Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs)

Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

The post Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This light and fresh Bún Chả recipe features flavorful and juicy pork meatballs paired with vermicelli noodles and plenty of herbs and vegetables. Bún chả is light yet filling and it comes together effortlessly in a few straightforward steps. Served with a homemade dipping sauce, this refreshing recipe is perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

Close up of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

What is Bún Chả?

Growing up, I didn’t realize there was a name for these delicious juicy pork meatballs. They were just something my mom made for me because it was one of the five things that I was willing to eat without question. It’s a recipe that you can easily make, you can scale it up or down, and most importantly, it’s super flavorful. 

Bún chả, also known as Vietnamese pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles, is a popular Vietnamese dish that is thought to have originated in Hanoi. You can find them served anywhere from street food stalls to restaurants in Hanoi. While a popular lunchtime recipe, you can enjoy this recipe any time of the day. I love how refreshing the noodles, vegetables, and herbs are on a hot summer day. You can even find Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama enjoying it on an episode of Parts Unknown!

What is fish sauce? 

Fish sauce is the secret ingredient of this entire recipe. It goes into the meatballs as well as the dipping sauce (nước chấm) and is an absolute umami bomb. It is a liquid condiment that is made from fermenting fish over time. It adds major savory, salty, and general deliciousness to the overall dish. You can find fish sauce in the international aisle in most grocery stores, or at an Asian grocer.

Bún chả being dipped in a bowl of sauce with ingredients on the sides.

What is lemongrass? 

Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that has a fragrant complex flavor that is bright and citrusy. You can purchase lemongrass fresh or frozen. I usually find frozen lemongrass at Asian grocers and like to stock up my freezer with them. If you can’t find lemongrass, lemon zest and some ginger could work in a pinch, but I highly recommend not substituting the lemongrass because it is key to achieving the authentic Vietnamese flavor profile.

When using fresh lemongrass, keep in mind that the bottom woody section should be discarded. I’ve been noticing more chain grocery stores carrying fresh lemongrass so you should be able to find it relatively easily. If not, check where the ginger paste is kept and you might find lemongrass paste instead for an easy swap!

How to store leftovers

This recipe is perfect for meal prepping! Store the rice noodles, veggies, and herbs in one container and the pork meatballs in another container. This makes reheating the meatballs much easier, especially at work. Everything should keep and stay fresh for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Tips for Making Bún Chả

  • Do not overpack the meatballs while shaping the meatballs as you do not want them to be dense. 
  • For uniformed meatballs, use a cookie scoop. This helps them cook evenly as well. You do not want to go any larger than around a golf ball’s size.
  • For the nước chấm, feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. 
  • While I use a non-stick skillet, you can use a grilling pan or cast-iron skillet as well. 
  • When buying rice vermicelli noodles, make sure to double-check the ingredients. At first glance, they look similar to cellophane noodles but they are not the same.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

Bún chả

Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Vietnames
Total Cost $16.22 recipe / $4.06 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 469kcal
Author Carmy Do

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork $4.49
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped $0.24
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot $0.68
  • 4 Tbsp minced lemongrass $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce $0.23
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02

Dipping Sauce (​​Nuoc Cham)

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes) $1.20
  • 3/4 cup water $0.00
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce $0.68
  • 1 Thai red chili pepper $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.02
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced $0.16

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice vermicelli noodles $2.99
  • 1 head butter lettuce $1.59
  • 1 handful fresh mint $2.19
  • 1 carrot, sliced $0.16
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced $0.50

Instructions

For the Meatballs:

  • CHop the garlic and shallots, and mince the lemongrass.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, salt, pepper, honey, lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. Set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Shape the mixture into small meatballs (about 20 meatballs), and then gently flatten them a bit.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the meatballs in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

For the Sauce:

  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together and adjust to your tastes. Optional: heat the water and whisk the sugar in to dissolve before adding the rest of the ingredients.

For the Bowls:

  • Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (usually cook 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water).
  • Serve the noodles with the meatballs along with a handful of lettuce, mint, carrots, and cucumbers with the nuoc cham on the side.

Notes

Editor’s note: The prices listed above are from U.S. chain grocery stores. If you have an Asian market in your area you’ll be able to source ingredients like fish sauce, lemongrass, limes, Thai chilis, mint, and rice noodles for much cheaper and often with much higher quality.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 2098mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

How to Make Bún chả – Step by Step Photos

Prepared aromatics for the meatballs on a cutting board.

First, prepare the aromatics for the meatballs. Mince three cloves of garlic, ¼ cup shallots, and 4 tablespoons lemongrass.

Meatball ingredients in a bowl.

Add the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass to a bowl with about one pound of ground pork, 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 Tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix the ingredients together then set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge so the flavors can blend.

Shaped meatballs in a casserole dish.

Shape the mixture into small meatballs, and then gently flatten them a bit. To help divide the mixture evenly, first, dive the meat into four equal pieces, then divide each quarter into five pieces to yield 20 meatballs.

Cooked meatballs in a skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

Prepared dipping sauce in a small container with a whisk.

For the sauce, whisk together ¼ cup lime juice, ¾ cup water, 3 Tablespoons fish sauce, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 finely chopped red chili, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and some thinly sliced carrots (optional garnish). Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients to your taste buds.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a sieve over a bowl.

Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (they usually require cooking for 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water). Drain the noodles and set them aside.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

Prepare the rest of the vegetables for your bowls. Slice a cucumber, slice a carrot into matchsticks, pull a handful of mint leaves from the stems, and wash some tender lettuce.

Finished Bún chả bowl from above.

Build the Bún chả bowls by adding the rice vermicelli noodles to a bowl along with some lettuce, cucumber, carrot, and Bún chả. Dip the Bún chả into the sauce, or drizzle a little over the bowl.

Bún chả in a bowl of dipping sauce.

SO fresh and so GOOD!

Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with noodles and vegetables, dipping sauce on the side.

The post Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad (30 Minutes!)

When the weather is hot, we find ourselves craving cooling, satisfying meals that come together fast. Enter this 30-minute Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad! It’s fresh, saucy, filling, SO flavorful, and delicious served warm or cold.
We love it for picnics i…

Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad (30 Minutes!)

When the weather is hot, we find ourselves craving cooling, satisfying meals that come together fast. Enter this 30-minute Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad! It’s fresh, saucy, filling, SO flavorful, and delicious served warm or cold.

We love it for picnics in the park, as a side dish for BBQs, or as part of a summer meal. Make it a meal by pairing with tempeh or grilled tofu or chicken skewers (recipes coming soon!).

Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad (30 Minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Fresh Spring Rolls are probably my favorite appetizer of all time! I don’t know if it’s the fresh and colorful veggies or the dreamy peanut sauce that they get dunked in. This peanut sauce is SO good you will want to drink it and lick the b…

Fresh Spring Rolls are probably my favorite appetizer of all time! I don’t know if it’s the fresh and colorful veggies or the dreamy peanut sauce that they get dunked in. This peanut sauce is SO good you will want to drink it and lick the bowl clean!  I love to pick a variety of…

Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.

The post Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m sooooo ready for the lighter foods of spring and summer! This week I made a deliciously light and fresh noodle bowl with crispy tofu, fresh vegetables, and a simple peanut lime dressing. I’m just loving all the cold crunchy vegetables and the light and airy rice noodles in this bowl. As always, I’ve got some substitution options for these Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls below, so make sure to keep reading!

Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl on a blue background and a fork on the side

What Kind of Noodles Can I Use?

I love rice noodles for this bowl because they’re super light and they taste great cold. I used a vermicelli style rice noodle because that was what was available at the store, but a slightly wider noodle would probably work best (wider noodles tangle less).

If you don’t have rice noodles available or want a less expensive option, these bowls are very similar to my Cold Peanut Noodle Salad, which uses whole what spaghetti, so I think that could also work here.

A third option is to serve these bowls over rice in stead of noodles. Jasmine rice would be my pick!

A fourth option is to serve this like a salad over shredded cabbage or lettuce.

Can I Substitute the Tofu?

Sure! I think both chicken and shrimp would also go great in this bowl. For chicken, just cube it up and sauté in oil until cooked through. You could even toss it in a little bit of the peanut dressing, making sure to save some for the rest of the bowls. For shrimp, just make sure they’re peeled and tails removed, then sauté in oil over medium until they’re opaque and pink (this only takes a few minutes).

Are Tofu Peanut Noodle Bowls Served Hot or Cold?

I eat this bowl cold. When you make them fresh the noodles may still be slightly warm or room temperature, but they’ll be cool enough to not heat the rest of the ingredients. The tofu also cools very rapidly.

How Are the Leftovers?

These bowls hold up pretty good in the fridge! The tofu doesn’t stay crispy, like any fried food, but it’s still tasty in the bowl. You can refrigerate these bowls, with the dressing kept separately, for about 4 days.

Three peanut tofu noodle bowls in glass containers, dressing being poured over one
Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl with a black fork on the side

Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.
Total Cost $10.40 recipe / $2.60 serving
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 53.25kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $2.79
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04

Peanut Lime Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter $0.38
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil* $0.04

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice noodles $2.69
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 cucumber $1.49
  • 1 carrot $0.08
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro $0.40
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12

Instructions

  • Start by pressing the tofu. Remove the tofu from the package, then place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a cutting board, plate, or another flat object over top, then place something heavy on top of that, like a cast iron skillet or a pot of water. Let the tofu sit with the weight on top for about 30 minutes to press the excess moisture out of the tofu.
  • While the tofu is pressing, prepare the peanut lime dressing. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, soy sauce and oil in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • You can also prep the vegetables while the tofu is pressing. Slice the red bell pepper, slice the cucumber into thin sticks, shred the carrot using a cheese grater, and remove the cilantro leaves from the stems (or just roughly chop them).
  • After the tofu has been pressing for about 30 minutes, pour off the excess water from the baking sheet. Transfer the pressed tofu to a cutting board, and cut the block into ½-inch cubes.
  • Place the tofu cubes in a bowl or shallow dish and sprinkle with salt and cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu cubes until they are coated in cornstarch.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu cubes and cook on each side until golden brown and crispy. Once crispy, remove them from the heat.
  • Finally, cook the rice noodles. Bring a pot of water to a full boil, then add the noodles. Boil only for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the noodles drain well.
  • To assemble the bowls, place ¼ of the noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Top with some bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, and crispy tofu. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts over top, then drizzle with the peanut lime dressing. Enjoy!

Notes

*Any light, neutral-flavored oil will work here, like canola, peanut, sesame (not toasted), avocado, grapeseed, etc. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 53.25kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.08g | Protein: 25.35g | Fat: 38g | Sodium: 437.33mg | Fiber: 6.05g
close up side view of peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

How to Make Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls – Step by Step Photos

A block of tofu on a baking tray with a cast iron skillet on one side, cutting board on the other side

Start by pressing the tofu. This removes the excess moisture and takes about a half hour, so start with this first. Remove the tofu from its package and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place something flat on top, like a cutting board or plate, then place something heavy on top of that. I use a cast iron skillet, but a pot of water also works. Let it press for about a half hour. You can see in the photo above all the water that came out.

Peanut lime dressing being whisked in a bowl

While the tofu is pressing, make the peanut lime dressing. Add 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ½ tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce, and ¼ cup neutral oil (anything light flavored) in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Prepped vegetables on a cutting board

You should also have time to prep the vegetables while the tofu presses. Slice one red bell pepper, one cucumber (depending on the size you may only need half), grate one carrot using a cheese grater, and pull about ½ bunch cilantro leaves from the stems.

Cubed tofu being sprinkled with cornstarch

After the tofu has pressed, transfer it to a cutting board and cut it into ½-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl or shallow dish, then sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu until it is coated in cornstarch.

Crispy tofu in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove the tofu from the heat.

package of rice noodles

Lastly, cook the rice noodles. I used vermicelli, but if you can find a slightly wider rice noodle that may work better because they won’t tangle as much. I used one 8 oz. package of rice noodles.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a colander

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and boil for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the rice noodles in a colander and rise briefly with cool water. Let them drain well.

rice noodles in a bowl topped with tofu, bell pepper, cucumber, and carrots

Now it’s time to build the bowls! Place ¼ of the rice noodles in each bowl. Top with bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, and tofu.

Finished peanut tofu noodle bowl, minus dressing

Top the bowl with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.

Peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

And finally, drizzle that delicious peanut lime dressing over top of the peanut tofu noodle bowls when you’re ready to eat!

Half-stirred peanut tofu noodle bowl with a fork in the center

The post Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Tofu Noodle Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables

We have a new stir-fry for you, and it’s not just any stir-fry. It puts our DELICIOUS Tahini Stir-Fry Sauce to use and has SUPER flavorful tofu, tons of fresh veggies, and lots of rice noodles that soak up all the saucy goodness! It’s downright addicti…

Tofu Noodle Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables

We have a new stir-fry for you, and it’s not just any stir-fry. It puts our DELICIOUS Tahini Stir-Fry Sauce to use and has SUPER flavorful tofu, tons of fresh veggies, and lots of rice noodles that soak up all the saucy goodness! It’s downright addictive and you’ll be going back for seconds (and thirds).

Plus, it’s customizable depending on what veggies you have on hand and requires just 10 ingredients!

Tofu Noodle Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables from Minimalist Baker →

Cozy Thai-Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe was supposed to be Vietnamese pho. But for some reason, pho keeps eluding me. So, after throwing a brief fit, I came back to the kitchen with a new idea: a brothy, Thai-inspired chicken noodle soup.
While it isn’t pho, it’s equa…

Cozy Thai-Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe was supposed to be Vietnamese pho. But for some reason, pho keeps eluding me. So, after throwing a brief fit, I came back to the kitchen with a new idea: a brothy, Thai-inspired chicken noodle soup.

While it isn’t pho, it’s equally delicious. This soup is everything we were craving: cozy and comforting with the perfect amount of noodles and flavor.

It’s also super simple to make, requiring just 1 pot and easy-to-find ingredients.

Cozy Thai-Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup from Minimalist Baker →

Spring Roll Noodle Bowl

This noodle bowl is a spring roll—in bowl form! This irresistible vegan dinner recipe is an explosion of flavor: tangy lime, herbal mint, and crisp veggies. When we say explosion of flavor, we mean it! This noodle bowl is everything that’s great about a spring roll, in bowl form. There’s the contrast of crisp veggies, tender noodles, and crunchy crushed peanuts, and an herbaceous punch from the trio of basil, cilantro and mint. And a zingy Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce infuses a gingery, citrusy goodness throughout. Honestly, we’re a little speechless with this one. It’s our adaptation of our favorite item at Duos, an Indianapolis restaurant run by our friend chef Becky Hostetter. We asked if we could feature her recipe and a little about her; she’s been pioneering plant-based real food since before it was cool. Oh and we’ll say it now: this noodle bowl is even better at over at Duos! Ready to get started? Featured chef: Becky Hostetter of Duos This recipe comes courtesy of Becky Hostetter, the pioneering woman chef behind Duos. Becky has been serving plant-based, veggie forward food to Indianapolis since way before it was cool. As in, back in the 1970’s! Since then, […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

This noodle bowl is a spring roll—in bowl form! This irresistible vegan dinner recipe is an explosion of flavor: tangy lime, herbal mint, and crisp veggies.

Spring roll noodle bowl

When we say explosion of flavor, we mean it! This noodle bowl is everything that’s great about a spring roll, in bowl form. There’s the contrast of crisp veggies, tender noodles, and crunchy crushed peanuts, and an herbaceous punch from the trio of basil, cilantro and mint. And a zingy Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce infuses a gingery, citrusy goodness throughout. Honestly, we’re a little speechless with this one. It’s our adaptation of our favorite item at Duos, an Indianapolis restaurant run by our friend chef Becky Hostetter. We asked if we could feature her recipe and a little about her; she’s been pioneering plant-based real food since before it was cool.

Oh and we’ll say it now: this noodle bowl is even better at over at Duos! Ready to get started?

Spring roll noodle bowl
Becky Hostetter of Duos

Featured chef: Becky Hostetter of Duos

This recipe comes courtesy of Becky Hostetter, the pioneering woman chef behind Duos. Becky has been serving plant-based, veggie forward food to Indianapolis since way before it was cool. As in, back in the 1970’s! Since then, Becky started Duos, which serves fresh, veggie-forward breakfasts and lunches with the motto “Slow food fast”. (If you’re in Indy, here’s where you can check them out.)

Back in the day, I tasted Becky’s vegan biscuits and gravy at our local farmer’s market and I was blown away. I had just started eating more vegetables and I had no idea it could taste that good. Her inventive concepts and spot on flavors make her one of the best chefs in our city. And her mission to bring good-for-you food to all eaters and show how delicious vegetables can be when prepared well: well, we’re 100% behind that message!

Not to mention, Becky is one of the kindest, most generous people I know. If you follow up on Instagram, you’ll remember she welcomes local non-profit Exodus Refugee to the Duos kitchen to host a “women’s friendship dinner” cooked by refugees from different countries. She’s truly a gem. Thank you, Becky, for your years of service in our city, and for letting us all taste your genius through this noodle bowl recipe!

Spring roll noodle bowl

Tips on how to make a noodle bowl

This noodle bowl is truly special. Since it takes about 45 minutes to make, we love serving it for company. Especially because it’s such a fun concept! However, you can make almost all of the components ahead. This can drastically cut down on the prep time and makes it into a weeknight meal or even a lunch. Here are a few notes on this noodle bowl!

Use our Marinated Tofu, your favorite baked recipe, or your fave protein.

To make this noodle bowl a filling main dish, you’ll need some protein. The original recipe served at Duos is vegan and uses their incredible baked tofu. Because we had just created our Marinated Tofu and it’s so easy, we decided to use it in this recipe! Marinated tofu doesn’t even require cooking: you can easily marinate it while you’re preparing the rest of the meal. You can easily make the marinaded tofu ahead and refrigerate until serving.

If you prefer using cooked tofu, use your favorite baked method (we hear this one by Cookie & Kate is good).

If you’re not a tofu person, no worries! Really any protein that you’d find in a spring roll works: cooked chicken would be natural. If you eat plant based but don’t love tofu, you could try tempeh or any other favorite plant-based protein sub.

Find your favorite rice noodles…or just favorite noodles!

There are lots of styles and shapes of rice noodles. For this noodle bowl we used a large, flat shaped rice noodle like you’d see in a pad Thai. (Some rice noodles are vermicelli, which are very very thin: we stayed away from that for this recipe.) There’s lots of variations even between brands of rice noodles, so you may need to experiment with a few brands before you find your favorite.

Are rice noodles gluten-free? Yes, most of them are! They are made with rice flour and water. Most of the dried rice noodles are gluten-free. However, some fresh rice noodles can contain wheat flour, so make sure to check the package.

Can I use other noodles here? Of course! This recipe works with any type of noodle you’d like: even spaghetti! Or if you’d like, go with zucchini noodles or squash noodles. The sauce brings such big flavor here that anything can work.

The veggies & sauce can be made in advance.

It can take quite a while to cut all the veggies and make up a sauce, no matter how simple it is. If you make this noodle bowl all at once, you’ll do these steps while the tofu is marinading. However if you want to simplify weeknight prep, here’s what you can do:

  • Make the sauce and refrigerate it. You can refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Cut the veggies and store refrigerated in an airtight container. You can chop all the vegetables in advance and store them in an airtight container, refrigerated. We’d do this no more than 1 to 2 days in advance, because the vegetables can dry out. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
Spring roll noodle bowl

This noodle bowl recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Spring roll noodle bowl

Spring Roll Noodle Bowl


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4

Description

This noodle bowl is a spring roll—in bowl form! This irresistible vegan dinner recipe is an explosion of flavor: tangy lime, herbal mint, and crisp veggies.


Ingredients

For the noodle bowl 

  • 1 recipe Marinated Tofu (or your favorite baked tofu recipe)
  • 7 ounces rice noodles (or your favorite noodles; we used large, flat noodles)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded (using a handheld julienne shredder is helpful)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil, mint, and cilantro (for best results, use all three!)
  • Crushed peanuts, for garnish

For the Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce (makes 1 1/4 cups)

  • 1/4 cup grated carrot (1 medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sambal olek

Instructions

  1. Make the Easy Marinated Tofu. (To keep the ingredients minimal, omit the sesame seeds and green onion, and use sambal olek instead of gochujang.) Or, you can use your favorite baked tofu method. While the tofu marinates, make the rest of the recipe.
  2. Make the sauce: Grate the carrot. Peel and grate the ginger and garlic. In a medium bowl, combine the carrot, ginger and garlic with the rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and sambal olek.
  3. Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions (you’ll likely pour boiling water over them and wait until they’re tender!). Rinse them under cool water when cooked.
  4. Prepare the vegetables: Dice the pepper. Dice the English cucumber. (If you use a normal cucumber, you may want to peel it first.) Shred the carrot.
  5. Serve: Toss the noodles with the tofu, veggies and the desired amount of sauce: we used about 1/4 cup per serving. You can put the entire recipe in a large bowl, or make little individual servings and toss with the desired amount of sauce and veggies. Garnish with chopped peanuts on top.

Notes

*Make ahead instructions: Make the tofu in advance and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Make the sauce in advance and refrigerate up to 1 week. Cut the veggies in advance and refrigerate 1 to 2 days (they can dry out if you go any longer).

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Southeast Asian

Keywords: Noodle Bowl, Noodle Bowl Recipe, Spring Roll Noodle Bowl

More noodle bowls!

Love noodles? Outside of this noodle bowl, here are some of our favorite pasta recipes:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing

When making our new Garlic Ginger Tahini Miso Dressing I started craving a dish to put it on, and my mind automatically went to a grain bowl with chickpeas and an Asian twist.
So, after testing a few variations I came up with this beautiful Crispy Mis…

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing

When making our new Garlic Ginger Tahini Miso Dressing I started craving a dish to put it on, and my mind automatically went to a grain bowl with chickpeas and an Asian twist.

So, after testing a few variations I came up with this beautiful Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowl with brown rice, fresh veggies, and a saucy garlic sesame marinade. When added, the Tahini Miso Dressing elevates it to the next level, but it is optional.

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing from Minimalist Baker →