Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bun Bo (Vietnamese Noodle Salad)

Bun bo is our family favorite from Vietnamese Restaurant. I like the taste of the sauce (nuoc cham) and also the crunchiness of the raw vegetables, especially bean sprout that comes with this salad. In the restaurant, the meat normally has the smoky flavor which I love so much. Unfortunately my homemade bun bo still lacked of that smoky flavor, but still I'm very satisfied with the result. I got this recipe from William Sonoma cook book.

375 gr rice noodles, soaked in warm water until soft
1 lb beef(chuck or flank), thinly sliced
3 stalks lemon grass, middle white part only, finely minced
5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
pepper to taste

for the salad:
4 cup lettuce (green leaf/romaine), chopped
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
2 cup beansprout, tails removed.
1 carrot, peeled, julienned
1/2 cup basil
1/2 cup mints

3 tbs vegetable oil
1 Spanish onion, thinly slice
1/2 cup toasted peanuts (unsalted), coarsely chopped
fried shallot

sauce (nuoc cham):
1 big clove garlic
1 red chili seeded
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
5 tbs fish sauce
3 tbs sugar
6 tbs water
2 tbs julienned carrot


1. Boil water in a big pot, put the noodle in and boil for about 2 minutes. Drain noodle and run under the cold water to arrest the cooking process. Drain noodle and put aside.

2. In a bowl, mix the sliced beef, lemon grass, 1/2 of the garlic, fish sauce, sugar & pepper, and leave them to marinate for about 1/2 - 1 hour.

3. In a big bowl, mix the lettuce, beansprouts, carrots, basil & mint. Divide the salad into 4 individual bowls. Put some noodle in each bowl, set aside.

4. Heat frying pan in a medium heat. Add 3 tbs vegetable oil. Toss is the remaining of the garlic, stir until garlic starts to change color. Toss onion to the frying pan and stir for another 30 seconds. Push onion garlic mixture to one side of the pan. Add the remaining vegetable oil, put in the beef into the frying pan, arrange them in one layer. Let the beef sear without stirring. After 1 minute, turn over the beef, and cook for another 1 minutes.

5. Immediately put the beef into the serving bowls.

5. Sprinkle chopped nuts and fried shallot over the beef

6. Serve the salad immediately with nuoc cham sauce.