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Noodle Bowl

Almost once a week I go to this wonderful vietnamese restaurant called Bun Mee for lunch. They have great sandwiches, rolls, and bowls filled with rice, meat, cilantro, cucumber and more. They are so filling and unique and once covered in peanut sauce they will make your day so much better. I wanted to make a bowl of mine own that tasted similar to Bun Mee's and came across this very helpful building your own bowl recipe. It listed how to create a bowl starting with a starch, adding a protein, toppings, and sauce. I chose to use rice noodles, partly because I wanted to eat something other than rice in my bowl, chicken, and topped with cilantro, lettuce, peanuts, bean sprouts, and a peanut sauce. After assembling the bowls and digging in I knew I had accomplished my goal. They tasted almost exactly like Bun Mee and now I have a way to make Bun Mee like food in my home. Super simple recipe and an amazing customizable taste to your liking.

Serves 6-8 people

What you need:

Note: This recipe is very customizable, this bowl is just what I chose to add

Pick a starch:

  • 10 ounces vermicelli noodles, cooked

  • 10 ounces white rice, cooked

  • 10 ounces brown rice, cooked

Pick a Protein: These were the recommended options. I just cooked chicken thighs with sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, and salt and pepper in a pan. It came out delicious and I saved some time.

Grilled Pork and Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless pork chop

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken

  • 12 scallions, white parts only – chopped and muddled (save the green parts for your toppings)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar

  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • ½ teaspoon molasses

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Sesame Crusted Tofu:

  • ½ cup soy sauce

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar

  • ¼ cup mirin

  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 20 ounces ultra firm tofu*

  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup panko

  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds

  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds

  • vegetable oil for cooking

Grilled Pork and Chicken

  1. Pound the meat out to a ¼ inch thickness and cut into vertical strips to thread on skewers. To make the marinade – add the muddled scallions, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, molasses, sesame oil, and black pepper to a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Divide the marinade into two large zip-top bag and add the pork to one and the chicken to the other. Seal the bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for 2 hours to overnight.

  2. Soak the bamboo skewers for 15 minutes. Preheat the grill to high heat. Thread the meat onto the skewers, working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the center. Once the grill is ready, oil the grates with vegetable oil. Place the meat directly over the flames and cook for approximately 7 - 10 minutes, turning frequently until the meat is cooked through with a bit of char. If you would like to use the oven instead, place the meat on a baking sheet and cook under the broiler for 4 -5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Sesame Crusted Tofu

  1. Using a clean tea towel, firmly press the block of tofu to remove any excess moisture. Slice the tofu to ½ an inch in thickness, then slice to a manageable width (approximately 2-3 inches wide).

  2. To make the marinade, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, and sesame oil in a large zip-top bag. Add the tofu slices, close the bag, and gently move the tofu around to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, periodically turning the bag to coat all sides of the tofu.

  3. Remove the tofu from the marinade and remove the excess moisture by pressing each piece firmly between several paper towels.

  4. To set up your dipping station, beat one egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, add the panko and sesame seeds – stir well.

  5. Working with one slice at a time, dip the tofu in the egg mixture, being sure to coat the entire piece. Then transfer the tofu to the panko-sesame mixture, turning and pressing to coat. Transfer the sesame crusted slices to a large dish and momentarily set aside.

  6. Over medium-high heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy-bottomed skillet. Once hot, add the tofu slices in batches. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden-brown. Lift the tofu out of the skillet and allow them to cool on a plate lined with a few paper towels.

  7. Once cool enough to handle, slice each tofu piece into bite-sized pieces.

Pick toppings:

  • 4 cups lettuce, cut into strips

  • 4 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced

  • 4 cups bean sprouts

  • 4 cups cilantro

  • do chua

  • 6 jalapeños, sliced

  • ½ cup peanuts, roughly chopped

Lastly pick a dressing:

Cilantro-Lime Sauce

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons mirin

2 tablespoons scallions, sliced

Ponzu-Ginger Sauce (adapted from Serious Eats)

8 tablespoons ponzu

4 tablespoons scallions, sliced

4 teaspoon grated ginger

4 teaspoons mirin

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Peanut Sauce

4 Thai chiles

1½ tablespoons galangal paste*

1½ tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass – tough exterior removed, cut from the bulb

5 Thai basil leaves*, fresh

2 tablespoons shallot, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon shrimp paste*

¼ cup white sesame seeds, toasted

¼ cup dry roasted peanut

1 cup coconut milk, shaken

1 tablespoon red curry paste

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

¼ cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

THIS IS THE PEANUT SAUCE I USED from Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 1" piece ginger, peeled

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon (packed) light brown sugar

  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

With motor running, drop ginger and garlic clove into a blender and blend until finely chopped. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and 1/3 cup water and blend, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if needed to thin, until smooth. Can make 3 days ahead of time. Bring to room temp before using

assembling the bowls

Recipe from: Hapa Nom Nom

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