Bun bo xao sa is a lukewarm salad with lots of fresh ingredients, very characteristic of the southern cuisine in Vietnam. It’s such a classic dish that’s almost never missing on the menu of restaurants. A simple meal which comes in various forms, but can only succeed with fresh ingredients. The noodles are richly filled with the fresh aroma of lemon grass, fresh herbs and crunchy garnish.

Light and refreshing in hot weather, tasty as lunch, but for dinner it tastes just as good. Bun bo goes very well with some Vietnamese spring rolls in or next to the salad.

Ingredients (4 portions)

  • 500 g beef, in thin slices
  • 2½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised en finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • sesame seed, toasted in a frying pan (optional)

Garnish

  • 300 g rice vermicelli, cook according to instructions
  • fresh herbs to taste: coriander, mint, Thai basil, etc.
  • been sprouts
  • cucumber, julienned
  • 1 kind of lettuce, like iceberg lettuce, or mixed lettuce
  • pickled carrots Dua ca rot
  • roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • fried onions, selfmade or ready-to-eat
  • basic fish dipping sauce Nuoc cham

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and black pepper with the fish sauce. Put the lemongrass, garlic and onion in a food processor and chop for a fine texture. Pour this in the bowl with sugar and fish sauce. Add the beef in the marinade with a few drops of sesame oil. Add the lightly toasted sesame seeds to the meat and stir well. Let stand, preferably at least an hour. The longer the better.
  2. Cook the noodles according to instructions.
  3. The tastiest is to grill (nuong) the beef on the barbecue, but this is not always possible. Stir-frying (xao) is also fine. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the meat briefly on high heat until brown.
  4. Put some vermicelli, lettuce, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, cucumber, pickled carrot Dua ca rot and beef in four bowls. Sprinkle some roasted peanuts and fried onions over it. Pour basic fish dipping sauce Nuoc cham over the salad in four bowls.