This vibrant rice noodle salad boldly features Vietnamese-spiced pork patties, thin rice noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs, spring rolls and a salty-sweet sauce. It’s the lunch bowl you’ll be returning to again and again. The best part? You can meal prep all the components on the weekend, pack them up and enjoy throughout the week. You’ll be the envy of your co-workers!
Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
1 lb ground pork (use regular or lean for the most flavour, not extra-lean)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp lemongrass paste
1 Tbsp honey
Nuoc Cham Dressing
½ cup warm water
¼ cup honey
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup fish sauce
1 small red chili pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Approx. 4 cups cooked rice noodles
4 large (or 8 small) cooked spring rolls, cut into small pieces
1 lettuce head (like Boston), with some leaves intact, some shredded
1 large red pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 large English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
approx. ½ cup chopped, unsalted peanuts
large bunch fresh cilantro, for garnish
large bunch fresh mint, for garnish
limes, quartered, for garnish
1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to mix to make sure ingredients are well combined.
2. Use a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop to make 16 patties, flattening them slightly with your hands.
3. Place patties on a plate, covered in the fridge, until ready to cook.
4. Pre-heat a non-stick frying pan (preferably one with griddle marks) over medium heat.
5. Cook patties until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads 160˚F.
6. If not using straight away, set patties aside to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
Nuoc Cham Dressing
1. Whisk all ingredients in a small jug until combined. Some honey will produce a dressing that’s a little cloudy – that’s fine! Set aside until using (can be refrigerated).
Noodle Bowl Assembly
1. Gently reheat pork patties and spring rolls in a slow oven or microwave.
2. Line the bowls with one large lettuce leaf each.
3. Add shredded lettuce, cooked noodles, vegetables, pork patties and spring rolls.
4. Sprinkle over peanuts, cilantro and mint.
5. Serve with the lime quarters and dressing on the side and allow people to season with these to taste.
Tip: You can prepare all ingredients in advance and simply assemble when you’re ready to eat. For an amazing desk lunch, pack separate containers with noodles, vegetables, dressing and pork patties/spring rolls, and simply assemble for a meal to remember.
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