Steak And Vermicelli Noodle Bowl With Nuoc Cham Recipe

This Vietnamese noodle bowl, says recipe developer Michelle McGlinn, is called bun bo xao and is kind of like a cold salad version of pho. As she explains, "It uses the same noodles as pho and is garnished similarly with fresh, leafy, aromatic ingredients like mint and cilantro." The intent of this recipe, she says, is to make a light, nutritious dish that gets plenty of flavor from a tasty meat marinade, as well as a Vietnamese dipping sauce called nuoc cham that's used here as a salad dressing.

McGlinn describes nuoc cham as "sweet and sour, garlicky, and just a little hot," although you could make it even hotter by adding more chili garlic sauce. If you want something less spicy and a little bit sweet, though, she says that you could use sriracha, as well. If you would like to make up a double batch of nuoc cham, it also makes a great accompaniment to homemade spring rolls, wontons, dumplings, or other Asian appetizers.

Collect the ingredients for this steak and vermicelli noodle bowl with nuoc cham

The main ingredients in this dish are the ones named in the title, these being steak (sirloin will do) and vermicelli. You'll also need a shallot, carrots, and cucumbers, as well as seasonings including soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, lemongrass, garlic, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, white vinegar, and chili garlic sauce. Grab some canola oil for cooking, along with cilantro, mint, and fried onions to use as garnishes.

Pickle the carrots

Combine the carrots with 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Rub the seasonings into the carrots until they soften up; as McGlinn tells us, "The sugar and salt massage draws the water out." Once the carrots are nice and flexible and have leaked out some liquid, cover them with a mixture of the water and vinegar along with ¼ cup granulated sugar. Put them into a covered container and stick them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, though McGlinn recommends pickling the carrots "as far in advance as you can," anywhere from 1 day to up to 2 weeks.

Marinate the steak

Mix up a marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, lemongrass, garlic, brown sugar, canola oil, and chopped shallot. Put the steak in a bowl and pour this on top, making sure all of the slices are coated. Put the steak in the refrigerator for at least half an hour, but up to 2 hours maximum is fine. McGlinn warns, "Don't marinate the beef for too long or it will get tough and stringy from the lime juice."

Cook the steak

Grease a pan (preferably a cast iron skillet if you've got one), then place it on the stove over medium heat. Once it's hot, put the steak in the pan along with a tablespoon of the marinade leftover in the bowl. Sear the steak slices until each side is charred.

Make the nuoc cham and assemble the noodle bowls

Your last step is to make the nuoc cham by combining the minced garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, granulated sugar, and water in a small bowl. To assemble the dish, divide the noodles among 4 bowls, followed by the steak and cucumber slices. Add mint, cilantro, and fried onions on top (McGlinn also suggests you "keep the garnishes on the table to add more as you eat"), then finish the dish off with some nuoc cham spooned all over.

There's no problem if you don't finish off this dish in a single sitting, as McGlinn notes that it's good hot or cold. If you plan to reheat the leftovers, though, she advises: "Store the toppings separately and add them after heating the steak and noodles."

Steak And Vermicelli Noodle Bowl With Nuoc Cham Recipe
4.9 from 19 ratings
Sweet, sour, garlicky, and just a little bit hot, nuoc cham is the delectable condiment these steak and noodle bowls can't go without.
Prep Time
40
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
4
servings
vietnamese beef noodle bowl
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the pickled carrots
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 2 teaspoons + ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • For the steak
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, sliced
  • For the nuoc cham
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ lime, juice only
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • For assembly
  • 16 ounces vermicelli rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fried onions
Directions
  1. To make the pickled carrots, sprinkle the carrots with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Rub the salt and sugar into the carrots until the strands feel pliable, then rinse them.
  2. Cover the carrots with water, vinegar, and the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar. Refrigerate them in a covered container for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 weeks.
  3. To make the steak marinade, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, lemongrass, garlic, brown sugar, canola oil, and shallot in a large bowl.
  4. Toss the steak with the soy sauce mixture to coat, then marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  5. Heat an oiled cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the steak, along with a tablespoon of marinade, and cook until lightly charred on all sides.
  6. Make the nuoc cham by mixing the garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, granulated sugar, and water in a small bowl.
  7. To assemble the dish, divide the cooked vermicelli among 4 bowls and top with the steak, pickled carrots, and cucumber slices.
  8. Garnish the bowls with mint, cilantro, and fried onions. Spoon the nuoc cham on top, and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 873
Total Fat 24.2 g
Saturated Fat 7.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 88.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 126.3 g
Dietary Fiber 4.2 g
Total Sugars 27.6 g
Sodium 2,151.6 mg
Protein 32.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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