Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad (Bun)
With layers of noodles, mixed herbs, assorted vegetables, grilled meat or shrimp, and a pungent spicy-sweet dressing, it’s easy to see why this dish is one of those that’s best ordered out.
Why This Recipe Works
We knew from making Vietnamese spring rolls that the best way to rehydrate the rice noodles, or rice vermicelli, for our rice noodle salad recipe was by dropping them into boiling water that had just been removed from the heat and letting them soak until tender. To flavor the pork tenderloin filling, we marinated the sliced meat in a mixture of vegetable oil, fish sauce, and brown sugar, then broiled it instead of grilling it. For the other salad components, we liked the traditional shredded carrots and julienned cucumber, but instead of pickling these vegetables, we simply allowed them to marinate in the dressing before adding them to the salad. For the dressing for our rice noodle salad recipe, we perfected a mixture of fish sauce, water, lime juice, fresh chiles, and garlic that was sweet, spicy, tangy, and pungent all at once.