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Vietnamese Style Noodle Bowl

Vietnamese bowl ingredientsThis is an adaptation of the Vermicelli bowl served usually as Lunch specials at Vietnamese restaurants in Austin. I like it because it has a fresh bright flavor and is relatively light.

 Components:

1) Noodles / Vermicelli

    *  I used regular spaghetti and cooked it as per packet directions. Ideally, Rice Vermicelli is needed as it is lighter and has a more pleasant texture than Spaghetti.

2) The Sauce:

    * Base recipe:

  • 1/2 cup soy-based seasoning sauce (like Golden Mountain)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 limes, freshly squeezed
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste or finely chopped fresh or dried chilies

    * Use Chopped green Chiles and Toasted sesame seeds as well.

Dilute the sugar with hot water and set aside to cool. Once it is cooled, add the vinegar, lime juice, and soy sauce. Lastly, mix in the garlic and chilies. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed: If the sauce tastes too concentrated, dilute with a little water. If it tastes too sweet, add more lime juice or vinegar, then add soy sauce to balance. If it tastes too sour, add a little more sugar and soy sauce, and a bit of water to balance.


2) Veggies and Baked Tofu:

   Vietnamese Bowl * Coarsely chopped Iceberg Lettuce.
    * Julienned Carrots and Cucumbers.
    * Tofu cut into (Quarter inch X quarter inch X 1.5 inches)
          o I marinated the tofu in the sauce for 10 minutes and baked for 25 mins in 425F Oven
    * Ground Peanuts
    * Fresh Cilantro and Mint.


Assembly:

1) In a Fairly large bowl, lay down the chopped lettuce.
2) Now make a layer of Vermicelli/Noodles.
3) Top with Carrots, Cucumbers and Tofu.
4) Ladle some of the sauce on this.
5) Garnish with Cilantro and Mint.
6) Ladle some more sauce.
7) Top with the ground/chopped peanuts.