Category Archives: noodles

Bun chai – Vietnamese Noodle Salad


So I had half the ingredients from yesterday’s Triple Sesame Salad (lettuce, spinach, cooked tofu, cucumber, scallions) and some dressing, but wanted something different tonight. Still working on my goal of finishing all my fresh vegetables and groceries before I go to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving this week, I pulled out a bag of green beans and a couple of eggs, and a bundle of round udon noodles. I was feeling like a variation on a Vietnamese noodle salad. Normally this salad would be served with nuoc cham dipping sauce, but I didn’t have any fish sauce, so I substituted soy, which turned out just fine. I also used some ginger, making it “nuoc cham gung.”

Ingredients:
(makes 2 servings)

Sauce:
1/4 c. soy
2 tbsp water
1 lime
1/2 tsp sriracha
2 cloves garlic
a chunk of ginger (about an inch long, peeled)
3 tbsp brown sugar

Salad:
mixed greens – romaine, spinach, red lettuce, whatever you’ve got is good
2 scallions
1 cucumber
about a half lb of green beans
2 eggs
tofu, cooked (from yesterday’s sesame salad)
noodles – I used round udon, you could use rice noodles though if you have them. You could also experiment with whole wheat.
peanut sauce (see previous post)

Directions:
1. Fill a pot with about 1/2 inch of water, and put in a steamer basket. Fill another pot with water for the noodle, and add the eggs to this pot. Turn both burners to high.

2. Cut the ends off the green beans and half them. Smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife, and slip the peel off. Cut the ginger into two or three smaller pieces. Add the green beans, garlic and ginger to the basket, and cover the pot.

3. When the water with the eggs in it comes to a boil, add the noodles. Yes, with the eggs. Living dangerously, I know.

4. While you’re waiting for the noodles to cook, peel the cucumber and cut it into 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice the scallions – cut the green parts into 1/2 inch pieces, and slice the white parts thinly.

5. When the noodles are done, remove them from the water with tongs and drain. Take the pot off the heat and cover, leaving the eggs in the water.

6. The green beans should be done by this point. Take them off the heat, and carefully remove the garlic and ginger from the pot.

7. Mince the garlic and ginger. Add to a small bowl with the soy, water, sugar and lime juice. Mix until the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust proportions to your liking.

8. Run the eggs under cold water and peel.

9. Arrange everything on a plate – greens, green beans, hard boiled egg, tofu, noodles, and cucumber. Sprinkle scallions over the greens. Drizzle the sauce over everything. Serve with peanut sauce on the side for dipping.

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