The Perfect Summer Meal
A Vietnamese vermicelli bowl has a base of thin rice noodles topped with a variety of salad ingredients and drizzled with a light dipping sauce. These bowls make the perfect summertime meal because they only require a little bit of cooking.
Thin rice noodles cook very quickly– I put them in boiling water, turn off the heat, and drain when they are al dente. And the shiitake mushrooms sauté up in just a few minutes. The other ingredients are raw, sliced thinly or grated.
Ingredients to make your Vermicelli Bowl
- Vermicelli noodles (thin rice noodles)
- Shredded cabbage and/or lettuce
- Shredded carrots
- Snap peas
- Green onion
- Fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or basil)
- Sautéed shiitake mushrooms
- Roasted cashews or peanuts
- Lime wedges
Nước Chấm Dipping Sauce
- Fish sauce (Red Boat brand) or coconut aminos (Big Tree brand)
- Lime juice
- Coconut sugar
- Red pepper flakes or Thai chile
Get Creative with Variations
Try these variations depending on what’s available near you:
- Try pan-fried tofu, grilled portobellos, grilled steak, grilled chicken, or grilled shrimp instead of sautéed shiitakes
- Add bean sprouts (sprouted mung beans) or sunflower sprouts
- Try different kinds of noodles (kelp noodles, Japchae noodles, mung bean threads, etc.)
- Use red cabbage or red leaf lettuce for extra color
- Sub peanuts for cashews
- Try a different sauce like my Almond Butter Dipping Sauce
6 ounces thin rice noodles (Thai Kitchen brand recommended)
1 pound shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon untoasted sesame oil
Sea salt and coconut aminos, as needed
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
1/2 small green or red cabbage, shredded
4 cups lettuce or spring mix, chopped
2 cups snap peas, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
2 cups cilantro, mint, or basil, roughly chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Nước Chấm Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or agave nectar
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes or fresh chili pepper (a few thin slices)
3/4 cup roasted cashews, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Bring pot of water to a boil. Add rice noodles and turn off heat. Stir to separate noodles and let stand 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water, set aside, and prepare other ingredients.
Trim off tough ends of mushrooms and brush off dirt with a paper towel. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Heat sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add sesame oil, sliced mushrooms, and generous pinch of salt. Cook in a single layer until golden brown on both sides. Remove to a bowl and drizzle lightly with coconut aminos.
Assemble bowls. Place 1/4 of each ingredient (noodles, veggies, and mushrooms) in its own section in the bowl. I usually place the mushrooms in the middle or on top of the noodles and sprinkle the whole bowl with green onions.
Whisk together dipping sauce ingredients.
Drizzle some dressing over each bowl and garnish with cashews and lime wedges.