My Veggie Vietnamese Bowl
I grew up with two New York City parents in Pennsylvania. One of the virtues they instilled in me is to appreciate diversity. Once I got interested in cooking, I began to crave the knowledge of global cuisine…and I wanted to try every little bit of it! I loved Chinese food..but what else is there out there? My friend John (has his PhD, so now Dr. John) moved to Philadelphia in 2005, and brought me to my very first Vietnamese restaurant called The Vietnam Palace. I loved their combination of sour, spicy, crunchy and savory cuisine! Some of the food was cold and marinated and some of it was hot and they put it all in one bowl or plate. I began to buy cookbooks to learn as much as possible, so I could make a simple version of it at home.
It has been said that those who eat from a bowl feel full and satisfied longer than eating from a plate. Let’s have a little indulgence with noodles and make a Vietnamese veggie bowl my way. I’ll add some chopped raw almonds in for an extra kick of fiber and protein and crunch. Bean sprouts are usually included, but this recipe will include more colorful veggies, fragrance and flavor from the lime and the cilantro. If cilantro isn’t your thing, you can substitute it with parsley….but cilantro is totally my thing 😉
I’m going to include the recipe for Vietnamese table sauce on here from one of my favorite cookbooks, Hot Sour Salty Sweet. If you love Vietnamese food…this is a MUST! Make the entire recipe, and store it in a jar and leave it in the refrigerator. It lasts forever and ever! You can also leave it out if you plan to use it several times throughout the week…it’s the ketchup of the Vietnamese culture. It’s sour, sweet, hot and fantastic! It soaks into the veggies and the noodles and gives it that extra kick! I finish the Vietnamese bowl with some sesame oil and top with sesame seeds for that extra smooth, nutty flavor. The vibrant veggies will add so much life to your dish and it is healthy too! Color takeout with <3!
My Veggie Vietnamese Bowl
1 cup rice or vermicelli noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 jalapeno (julienne)
1/2 medium carrot (julienne)
1/2 red bell pepper (julienne)
1 tbsp cilantro (as is)
1 tbsp raw almonds (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp Vietnamese table sauce (recipe is below)
Vietnamese Table Sauce (from the book Hot Sour Salty Sweet)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tsp rice or cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 thai chile (minced)
In a boiling pot, add salt, then the rice or vermicelli noodles. Follow the directions to make sure noodles are cooked to completion. Rice noodles usually take about 3 minutes.
Assemble ingredients for the Vietnamese table sauce, whisk together until the sugar is dissolved, and set aside. You will only need two table spoons of this mixture.
Julienne the vegetables. Remove and drain the noodles, and put in the bowl. Add sesame oil and toss. Arrange the vegetables and cilantro around the noodles, leaving room to let the noodles peek out. Put the almonds in an open space. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of the meal. Squeeze the lime on top and add the Vietnamese table sauce! Enjoy <3