Vietnamese Bun

15 Jul

I am by no means a Vietnamese food expert, but it is one of my favorite cuisines. Adam isn’t as crazy about it as I am, so it was high time I resumed making some dishes at home so I can get my fix more often.

Bun is one of my favorites, with rice noodles and peanuts on top of lettuce, shredded carrot, and chopped cilantro. (No mung bean sprouts for me, thanks.) And the yummy nuoc cham sauce poured on, and maybe a protein.

This is my first time trying to buy a chili paste I picked out at the Asian market instead of buying a Western version, so it’s not just ground chilies. It has garlic and tamarind and I don’t remember what else, but it still worked great.

For the nuoc cham, you’re supposed to customize your recipe to your own taste, but here’s a starting point:

2 small cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground chili paste

1 fresh thai bird chili, minced (optional)

1/4 c. fish sauce

2/3 c. hot water

2 TB lime juice with pulp

1/4 c.  sugar

Mix it all up and adjust to taste! I got my recipe from the book The Best Of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking by Mai Pham. I tend to decrease the sugar and increase the lime.

I must say that mine was a bit strong for my taste this time, maybe because of the brand of fish sauce I chose, but I’ll just add some water next time. I also customized my bun by putting a full cup of the sauce over everything. I just love that stuff, but the lesson is to taste it before you douse your food in it.

Bun with shrimp, lots of peanuts and some fried shallots.

Dessert of quickly-melting vanilla ice cream with ginger simple syrup and a piece of candied ginger. Very yum.

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