Home » Course » Main Course

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Grilled Pork

BEHOLD. Vermicelli noodles topped with chargrilled pork, crunchy veggies, lime and peanuts. A healthy and light meal bursting with freshness and packed with so much yum! Vietnamese Noodle Bowl is the epitome of great flavor and texture.

A top down view of a bowl of Vietnamese Noodle Bowl
*This post contains affiliate links. We will earn a small commission if you purchase via these links at no additional cost to you. We only refer products we use and love!

What is Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowl?

This is a popular noodle dish originated from Vietnam that is served dry with lots of fresh veggies, grilled meats or seafood, and drizzled with a bold flavored fish-sauce-based sauce. Noodles used are thin rice vermicelli noodles that are white in color when cooked, similar to noodles used in Pho.

Today, you can find this dish in almost any Vietnamese restaurants across the United States. It is light, fresh and loaded with amazing flavors and textures.

I wanted to create something that is simple enough for everyday people to make (i.e. most of us who are not professional chefs but still want to make/eat good food at home), yet complex enough to capture the beauty, authenticity and complexity of this beautiful concoction. And to do it justice.

Because this noodle dish is a GORGEOUS blending of flavors and textures. One of the absolute best.

So fire up that grill (or pan fry it because that works too), grab some Vietnamese Egg Rolls should you choose to (talk about a pairing made in foodie heaven), and get ready to put together this delicious Vermicelli Noodle Bowl with Grilled Pork, or also called bun thit nuong.

What type of noodles to use?

Thin vermicelli rice noodles are used for this recipe. You should be able to find this at Asian grocery stores, and some mainstream stores in the Asian section. Here is an affiliate link for it if you want to get it online.

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl filled with vermicelli noodles, grilled pork and veggies, with sauce in the background

These are noodles used for Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). They are also similar to noodles used for Pad Thai and Pad See Ew, but are thinner in shape. Pad Thai and Pad See Ew use thicker rice noodles.

Do note that they are different from mung bean thread noodles (they look very similar!). Bean Thread noodles are usually clear and transparent when cooked.

How to make Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowl?

There are a few components to this dish, but don’t let it intimidate you because once you break it down it’s fairly straight forward!

  • Grilled Pork
  • Noodles
  • Veggies + Garnishes
  • Sauce

Grilled Pork

Grilled pork is marinated in a ridiculously flavorful sauce. My husband calls this the star of the dish, I say every component is just as crucial.

Marinate for pork in a food processor
marinate for grilled pork

The pork marinate is made with:

  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • brown sugar
  • garlic – fresh, avoid substituting with garlic powder
  • shallots
  • lemongrass – feel free to omit it if you cannot find it.

Throw everything into a food processor or blender, and blend it up.

If you don’t have a food processor or blender, chop up the shallots, garlic and lemongrass and mix everything together with a whisk.

I typically marinade the pork first as it takes about an hour for the flavor to really sink into the meat.

Grill pork on a grill pan or outdoor grill. If you don’t have a grill, pork can be pan-fried on a skillet as well.

A plate of Vietnamese grilled pork
Grilled pork

Grill under indirect heat (if using charcoal grill), or medium/low heat (if using grill pan, electric grill, or skillet) to make sure the insides of the pork is completely cook.

There is sugar in the marinate, so pork will brown/burn quickly on the outside. So check on it every now and then, and lower heat as needed!

Vegetables and Garnishes

Once the meat is on the grill, go ahead and chop/prep the rest of the veggies and garnishes.

Then pickle carrots and cucumber.

Pickling the carrots and cucumber gives them an extra oomph, and that tangy vinegary flavor goes perfectly with the noodles, pork and the rest of the garnish.

It doesn’t have to be pickled for a long time – about 30-60 minutes is sufficient.

Shredded carrots, peanuts, shredded cucumber, cilantro and mint leaves
Garnishes and vegetables: shredded carrots and cucumber (pickled), chopped peanuts, cilantro, mint leaves

Vermicelli Rice Noodles

As for the noodles, we will be using thin vermicelli rice noodles.

I typically buy them dry, but you can also find refrigerated ones in the Asian grocery stores.

Some will require boiling noodles in water briefly, and some just requires soaking noodles in boiled, hot water briefly. My recommendation is to follow package instructions. All we are trying to do is soften the noodles.

Sauce

If you think we are just eating the noodles plain, you are very much mistaken. Plain is not the word to describe this dish! In fact, I will argue quite the opposite.

We are about to make a sweet, tangy, salty sauce which comprise of fish sauce, lime juice (squeezed from fresh limes), brown sugar, water and red pepper flakes. And you betcha we are going to smother the noodles with that yum sauce.

How do you eat Vietnamese Noodle Bowl?

So many components!! How do we serve and eat them?

I asked myself the same question when I had this for the very first time!

Pile everything onto the rice vermicelli noodles – grilled pork, veggies, garnishes. Then splash that yum sauce all over it.

A bowl filled with vermicelli noodles, grilled pork and veggies, with sauce in the background

Then you decide how you want to proceed. Mix it all up; Or, mix some portion of it up, eat, and mix more of it up. I suggest pouring lots of sauce to it because that flavorful liquid is GOLD.

Optional, but highly recommended for your pleasure: Savor every bite.

Close your eyes and shut the rest of your senses so you get the full impact of the taste and texture of this heavenly Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Grilled Pork.

Substitutions and Variations

If you cannot find these ingredients, here’s what you can do!

  • Rice vinegar – use white vinegar instead!
  • Shallots – use white, yellow or sweet onions instead!
  • Lemongrass – simply omit this.
  • Brown sugar – granulated sugar works fine too.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store this as leftovers?

Store each component separately, and only combine rice vermicelli noodles, veggies and garnishes, meat and sauce, when ready to eat. Store each item individually in a sealed container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

What are other ingredients can I add to this noodle bowl?

I love adding some Vietnamese Egg Rolls or fried egg to it as well! Yum!

And that’s all, folks. Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowl. Just like the ones you get at restaurants. ENJOY!!

If you make this recipe please comment below and let me know how it goes! It would also make me SO HAPPY if you’d take a picture of your creation and tag me on Instagram. Because I WANNA SEE!

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

More Asian Recipes!

rice vermicelli noodles topped with veggies and grilled pork

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Grilled Pork

A classic Vietnamese recipe! Vermichelli noodles topped with grilled pork, crunchy veggies and garnishes, served with a flavor bursting sauce. Make this classic Asian dish at home!
4.87 from 73 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 731kcal
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

Grilled Pork

  • 2 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp shallots
  • ~2 inch lemongrass bottom white part
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Noodles

  • 7-8 oz dried rice vermicelli noodles

Vegetables and Garnishes

  • 1 1/2 cups cucumber shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots shredded
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • A few leaves lettuce
  • A handful cilantro
  • A handful mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup peanuts chopped
  • 1 fresh lime

Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste

Instructions

Grilled Pork

  • Remove some of the fat from pork shoulders (but it is not necessary to remove all the fat), and slice pork into thin slices. Bring them into a large ziplock bag.
  • Combine and blend the rest of the ingredients listed under "Grilled Pork" in food processor/blender to create marinate, and add to zip lock bag. Make sure pork is evenly coated with marinate. Marinade pork for at least 1 hour, or up to a few hours.
  • Grill pork on a grill pan or outdoor grill. Pork can be pan-fried on a skillet as well. Grill under indirect heat (if using charcoal grill), or medium/low heat (if using grill pan, electric grill, or skillet) to make sure the insides of the pork is completely cook. Note that because there is sugar in the marinate, pork will brown/burn quickly on the outside.

Pickled Vegetables

  • Bring hot water and sugar (see ingredients under "Vegtables and Garnishes") together in a bowl to dissolve sugar. Add rice vinegar. Stir to combine.
  • Add shredded cucumber and shredded carrots to bowl with vinegar miture. Or, if desire, separate vinegar mixture into two bowls and separately pickle cucumber and carrots.
  • Press the carrots and cucmber down so that they are completely submerged in the mixture. Pickle for 30-60 minutes.
  • Drain vienegar mixture.

Other Vegetables and Garnishes

  • Prep/chop the rest of the vegetables and garnishes – lettuce, cilantro, mint leaves, and peanuts. Slice lime into a few wedges.

Noodles

  • Cook noodles base on package insutrctions. It's usually cooks quickly! If noodles needs to sit for a while before combining with the other ingredients, rinse them in cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other, continuing to cook and turning mushy.

Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

  • Combine hot water and sugar to completely dissolve sugar. Then add the other sauce ingredients. Stir to combine.

Combine

  • Bring noodles to bowl, and top with grilled pork, vegetables, and garnishes. Serve with sauce, and enjoy!

Notes

Tip: I typically start by marinating pork and pickling the carrots and cucumber. While waiting on the marinate and pickling, I work on chopping/prepping vegetables, creating the sauce, and cooking the noodles.

Nutrition

Calories: 731kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1784mg | Potassium: 1002mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 8115IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




64 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Is that calorie amount per bowl or for the whole thing!? I really want to try this but am on a wedding diet 😭

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      It is per bowl. If it helps, reducing the amount of noodles in a bowl could significantly reduce the calorie…and you’ll still maintain all the delicious flavors! 🙂

  2. Emma Peel says:

    5 stars
    This isn 100% my go to Vermicelli noodle bowl recipe go to! Even my fussy boys love it!!! I was always nervous of committing to make this dish … thinking it would require a pantry overhaul but ingredients and directions are GREAT and accessible.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful, Emma! So glad you found the recipe and have been enjoying it so much!

  3. Hi there, I’ve always loved eating this when I can at any near by Vietnamese restaurant. Is there a specific kind of pork cut used when cooking? Any good tips for the noodles to not clump together or just read package instructions carefully? Many thanks!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Hi Geena! Pork shoulders or pork butt usually works well for this recipe. After cooking the noodles, rinse it in cold water immediately to prevent it from clumping together! Let me know what you think when you make this. Would love to hear how it goes!

  4. Ashley Jones says:

    5 stars
    My husband and I were blown away by this recipe! The pork was delicious. I was confused by the sauce until we assembled our bowls and it adds just enough flavor to bring it all together.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! That’s what I love to hear. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. 5 stars
    Could you use pork tenderloin for this recipe? I haven’t made it yet but it looks delicious!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yes – that should be fine! Let me know what you think when you try it! 🙂

  6. Is the pork sliced prior to marinating?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yes!

  7. Cristina L says:

    5 stars
    This was AMAZING. i made of with pork belly because that’s what I had on hand, I def recommend removing fat, but wow what a great recipe

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you Christina! So appreciate your kind words.

  8. What can I substitute for the fish sauce? I don’t like the fishy taste lol

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Hmm…I honestly don’t know of a substitute which will give it that same distinct taste. I’ve never tried it but you can maybe try soy sauce? I don’t think it’ll be as flavorful to be honest, but if you try it I’d love to know what you think!

  9. could you also use chicken or beef? would it be the same marinade?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yes! You can substitute with chicken or beef. That should be fine!

  10. Melanie Dee says:

    How thin should the pork be cut?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      About 1-2inches thick should be fine! It really doesn’t matter – you’ll have to cook it for a bit longer if it’s thicker. Let me know how this turns out!

  11. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was fantastic. I used chicken thighs instead of pork and the marinade provided a rich flavour to the chicken. Will make this again and again!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much!