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Maybe Bún Chay

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

My partner recently asked for a Bún Chay from me. No problem. We have tried this delicious rice noodle salad with fresh herbs, delicious vegetables and a stunning vinaiggrette in one of our favorite restaurants and were absolutely delighted with this dish.

This time, however, I wanted to research the recipe a little deeper and found that I couldn't find a single Vietnamese source as the origin. If any of you are more familiar with the subject, please contact me. I can't get this topic out of my head. :D

"Bún", the rice noodles, appear in many dishes in Vietnamese cuisine and the word "Chay" means vegetarian.

I couldn't find a dish with exactly this name, Bún Chay, anywhere on Vietnamese or Asian blogs and all other sites that I searched for during my research on Vietnamese food culture.

Probably the closest thing to the delicious rice noodle salad I've seen on many western blogs, menus and cooking videos under the name are the classic dishes Bún thịt nướng chay and Bún chả giò chay.

So I can't guarantee that this recipe is really authentic, but I can assure you that it's all delicious. (The text is also subject to change if I find an answer.)


Duration: 1 hour

Difficulty: easy

Makes 2-3 servings


Ingredients:

Nước mắm pha chay (Vietnamese fish sauce)

10g (Birds Eye) chillies or more or less, depending on how hot you can handle

10g garlic

30g sugar

40g boiling water

15g vegan fish sauce (if you can't find one, use soy sauce)

15g soy sauce

25g lime juice


Đồ chua (pickled radish and carrot)

100g carrot

100g radish

175g water

50g rice vinegar

5g salt

15g sugar


Deep-Fried tofu

400g tofu

500g oil for frying

20g soy sauce

2g paprika powder

1g garlic powder


More toppings

100g cucumber

2 spring onions

Sprouts of your choice

Some lettuce

Roasted peanuts

Fresh herbs at will, I love a mix of mint, coriander and Thai basil

250g rice noodles / rice vermicelli


Preparation:

I would start with the Đồ chua. The pickled vegetables don't have to steep in their brine for too long, but the longer the better. If you want to make the vegetables in advance, you should bring the vinegar with the water, salt and sugar to the boil. In the meantime, the vegetables are cut into julienne strips and then poured with the hot brine in a clean screw-top jar. If the jars are still hot, the vegetables should be able to be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. The small amount given above is enough for me and I just put all the ingredients in a glass or a bowl and just put boiling water on it and then let everything rest for about an hour or until all the other steps for dish are completed.

While the vegetables are pouring through, it's the turn of the "fish sauce" Nước mắm pha chay. Our Asian supermarket here in Bremen is simply wonderfully set up and now also has a vegan fish sauce in its range. However, some health food stores or health food stores could also have some. If you don't get any, just use soy sauce instead. Chop your chillies and garlic as finely as possible and pour boiling water over them together with the sugar. Then there is the "fish sauce" and / or soy sauce. Roll a lime on a tabletop with a little pressure so that it dispenses juice more easily or take lime juice directly and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. The sauce can now rest as well while the fried tofu comes into play.

To do this, cut your tofu into small rectangles and squeeze it out between kitchen towels without crushing it. It should lose as much moisture as possible before it gets into the hot oil. Again, I can only recommend you to go to the Asian market you trust, many have handmade tofu that tastes fantastic. Fortunately, here in Bremen we also have Victor who provided us with delicious handmade tofu.

Heat your oil and deep-fry the tofu pieces until they are golden brown.

At some point they will float to the surface, then you should turn them every now and then so that they are evenly fried.

I love fresh fried tofu pure.

Especially in this dish, as it offers a nice contrast to the sauce, the intense herbs and the fresh vegetables in terms of both consistency and flavor.

My partner prefers it to be marinated, so I added a fast marinade made from soy sauce, some paprika powder and garlic granules to coat the fried tofu pieces.

Now the roughest is done and you can cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet. While these are in the water, you can snip the remaining fresh ingredients. Chop up a few roasted peanuts, roughly chop the herbs, cut the fresh cucumber into julienne strips and shred some lettuce into small pieces. When the noodles are cooked, pour them through a sieve and rinse them under cold water until they have cooled down. This also helps prevent them from sticking too much together, because you remove the starch that has dissolved in the cooking water.

Then you can plate. Divide the noodles into two or three portions, pour the brine from the vegetables and then add your toppings and some of the "fish sauce" to your bowls.

Then this perhaps Vietnamese dish is already ready and can be enjoyed by you. I'm already looking forward to doing the whole thing in summer, this will send the classic German noodle salad packing at the next picnics. :D

Guten Appetit!

If you've read this far, you might have noticed that I'm not running any adds, to improve your reading experience and because I deeply believe, that vegan recipes should be accesible to anyone.

But if you want to invite me on a virtual cup of fairtrade coffee via my PayPal.Me Link, I wouldn't say no. It would mean the world to me and helps me to keep buying ingredients for even more recipes. Thank you for cooking something vegan. 💜


PS.: The dish tastes amazin with some fried seitan shreds instead of deep fried Tofu as well. ;)

If you've read this far, you might have noticed that I'm not running any adds, to improve your reading experience and because I deeply believe, that vegan recipes should be accesible to anyone.

But if you want to invite me on a virtual cup of fairtrade coffee via my PayPal.Me Link, I wouldn't say no. It would mean the world to me and helps me to keep buying ingredients for even more recipes. Thank you for cooking something vegan. 💜


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