Simple and quick to throw together, this grilled shrimp vermicelli noodle salad (bun cha) is great for those hot and muggy days when you just want a light meal.

Sunny warm weather sometimes mean hot and muggy days and on days like that, I lose my appetite for big heavy meals. On top of that, slaving over a stove is usually the last thing on my mind, that’s for sure.

 

Vermicelli noodle salads are awesome for days like that. It’s cool, refreshing, light and you can switch up your meats and even go full veggies or even add fruit.

 

The best part is if you are using the traditional thin vermicelli you don’t even need to dirty up a pot to make the noodles. I like just soak them in a bowl with boiling water via kettle or tap if you’re lazy like me and steam it! Just make sure that the water is REALLY hot if you choose to use tap water. Shrimp literally takes about 5 minutes on the grill (or stove if you feel so inclined) and just like that – food is ready!

 

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

 

 

INGREDIENTS

Most ingredients for the noodle salad can be found at your local grocery store. I added my Quick Pickled Daikon Radishes to my noodle bowl for a bit more flavour but it is completely optional.

If you have  hard time finding the vermicelli noodles, they can usually be found at a local grocery store or specialty grocery store.

 

For the lettuce, I like to use the leafy green lettuce over the iceberg lettuce because it has more flavour and more nutrients and it makes for a less watery noodle bowl.

 

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

 

For the grilled shrimp portion of the recipe, most of the ingredients can be found at the local grocery store. The toasted rice powder might be difficult to find but usually is available at an Asian grocery store. You can also purchase this online here.
If you are adventurous you can actually make the powder at home! 🙂 Just toast up some glutinous rice until they are golden brown on a frying pan and grind it up! I go through the process in bit more detail in my Lemongrass Meatballs (Larb Style) – 3 Ways.

 

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

 

 

 

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

How to cook vermicelli without boiling it

I like to soak them in piping hot water and steam it!

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

 

The results are a springy (read: not mushy) vermicelli made at just the right consistency. In short, you soak the vermicelli in a bowl of hot water for the time it says on the packaging and then strain it and cover it with a cloth to let it steam (rinsing the noodles under cold water is not required). For the full instructions I have a “How to Cook Vermicelli Without Boiling” post that goes into details about how to do this.

 

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

Noodle Salad Bowl
  1. For the noodle bowl, cut the carrots, cucumbers, pickled daikon into slivers and put it in a bowl with bean sprouts and vermicelli noodles. (Note: I like to remove the cucumber seeds and snack on them with the pups while I cutting up the cucumbers, this is optional but I find removing the seeds makes for a better texture in noodle bowls)
  2. Finely chop the green leaf lettuce and add that into the bowl as well.
  3. Finely chop the green onions, and cut the limes up into wedges and set aside with the basil as a topping after the bowl has been assembled.

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

Sauces

For the sauce/dressing I usually go with the traditional Nuoc Cham (a light lime fish sauce dressing that is slightly sweet). However, I also came up with a nutty version as well that resembles a half Nuoc Cham half Peanut Sauce dressing that is more flavourful and is something different to switch things up! Both dressings are good, depends on your mood.

Nuoc Cham Dressing

  1. In a bowl, add hot water and dissolve the sugar.
  2. Once the sugar has dissolved add in the fish sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, garlic and chilli (optional)

Nutty Frankenstein Nuoc Cham

  1. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce and 1 tablespoon of chinese sesame paste and mix until combined. (If you can’t find chinese sesame paste, you can substitute it with peanut butter with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Do not substitute sesame paste 1:1 with Tahini as that is a completely different flavour)
  2. Slowly add in the Nuoc Cham 1 tablespoon at a time to the thick paste until it is smooth and well incorporated. It should look like a runny peanut sauce.
  3. Voila! Something different.
Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

 

  1. In a small bowl marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes with lime juice, sugar, soy, ginger, toasted rice powder and garlic (cut the ginger and garlic into sizes big enough to easily remove, since we don’t want to grill the garlic and ginger else it will burn) for 15 minutes.
  2. Once 15 minutes is up, remove the shrimp from the marinade and remove any pieces of ginger and garlic stuck on to it. Skewer them on the sticks.
  3. Set the grill to high heat and when the BBQ is hot, grill the shrimp for approximately 2-3 minutes a side.
  4. Add it to the noodle salad and enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

 

Can you make this without a grill? You sure can! Just skip the skewer part and use a frying pan to cook the shrimp! 🙂 You can also switch up the meats and veggies to suit your moods, this is such a fun meal to play around with flavours with!

 

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)

 

 

Are you having fun with your noodle salads? You should be. 🙂

Print

Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Category: Main, Salad
  • Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese

Description

Simple and quick to throw together, this grilled shrimp vermicelli noodle salad (bun cha) is great for those hot and muggy days when you just want a light meal.


Ingredients

Vermicelli Noodle Salad

  • 1/2 package rice vermicelli (thin)
  • 1 carrot (cut into thin matchsticks)
  • 1/2 cucumber (sliced, or cut into matchsticks)
  • 3-4  lettuce leaves (cut finely into thin ribbons)
  • 1 cup pickled daikon radish (cut into thin matchsticks)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • basil
  • lime wedges
  • 1 stalk green onion (finely chopped)

Grilled Shrimp

  • 12 large shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 slices ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • Skewers

Nuoc Cham Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 birdseye chilli (finely minced, optional)

Nutty Frankenstein Nuoc Cham Sauce (an alternative to Nuoc Cham)

Toppings & Extra Bits (Optional)


Instructions

Vermicelli Noodle Salad

  1. In a heat proof bowl, add the dry vermicelli to it and pour boiling water into it. (Make sure you cover all the noodles with the water.)
  2. Soak it for the amount of time the packaging tells you. For us it was  approximately 1-2 minutes.
  3. Strain the noodles through a strainer or sieve after they are pliable and feel soft, put it back in the bowl and quickly cover it with a towel to steam it for approximately 3 minutes.
  4. Check it’s readiness by taste testing! If it’s not done and it’s no longer hot, add hot water back in and repeat steps 2 and 3. Once it’s done, portion a bundle into the serving bowl.
  5. Cut the carrots, cucumbers, pickled daikon into slivers and put it in a bowl with bean sprouts and vermicelli noodles.
  6. Finely chop the green leaf lettuce and add that into the bowl as well.
  7. Finely chop the green onions, and cut the limes up into wedges and set aside inside the bowl after the noodle bowl has been assembled.

Grilled Shrimp

  1. In a small bowl, combine the shrimp with all the ingredients under the Grilled Shrimp ingredient list and marinate it for 10-15 minutes
  2. Once the shrimp has marinated for 10-15 minutes, remove the ginger and the garlic from the shrimp so they don’t burn on the grill. Skewer the shrimp.
  3. Set the grill to high heat, and when it has come to temperature, grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Serve the shrimp in the noodle bowl and enjoy! 🙂

Nuoc Cham Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar with the hot water.
  2. Once the sugar has dissolved, combine the rest of the Nuoc Cham ingredients.
  3. Serve on the side of the noodle bowl. Tastes best when drizzling it over the noodle bowl, right before eating it.

Nutty Frankenstein Nuoc Cham Sauce (alternative to Nuoc Cham)

  1. In a small bowl, combine the chinese sesame paste with the hoisin sauce until smooth and completely combined
  2. Slowly add in the Nuoc Cham 1 tbsp at a time and mix until smooth.
  3. Serve on the side of the noodle bowl. Tastes best when drizzling it over the noodle bowl, right before eating it.

Notes

  • If you can’t find chinese sesame paste, you can substitute it with peanut butter with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Do not substitute sesame paste 1:1 with Tahini as that is a completely different flavour
  • If you can’t find Roasted Rice Powder, you can make this at home by taking glutinous/sticky rice and lightly toasting it over the frying pan until brown, then grind it up into a powder.

Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, however I provide these links
to make items easier to find if you cannot purchase this locally and I would never recommend anything I don’t own myself or highly recommend. I would prefer you buy your items locally if possible to support your local shops (and chances
are they are cheaper locally as well!) 🙂

 

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18 thoughts on “Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli Noodle Salad (Bun Cha)”

  1. i love making something like your nutty frankenstein (love that name!!) when i make spring rolls, but hadn’t thought to use it on a vermicelli bowl! and i’m a sucker for smoky charred shrimp 😍😋

  2. Gorgeous photos and styling! This meal looks like the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of summer. I love all those flavors and your tips on cooking vermicelli.

    1. Thanks Tara! I agree! Summer is here and we need to YAY this joyous time! haha 🙂 Don’t you just hate mushy noodles? 🙂

  3. I am always looking for new recipes to try! This is going on my list! Your vermicelli noodle bowl looks amazing! I know my hubs would LOVE those shrimp!

  4. Oh man, this is sounding SO GOOD to me right now! Totally filling while also being light and refreshing. I just need to get my hands on some vermicelli!

    1. This would totally work without noodles too but the texture of noodles are soooo addicting! 😀

  5. This looks perfect for dinner tonight! Your phots have my mouth watering!

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