A salad of crisp vegetables and lettuce with noodles and pork all brought together with a sweet, salty, spicy, and sour sauce.
Vermicelli is one of my go to quick meals. I've written about it before in my Vermicelli Salad where I used slices of left over Prime Rib. You can use just about any leftover meat, or even tofu, you have and like but Char Siu is my absolute favorite. We have found a great brand of Char Siu at CostCo and it comes in a big package that we split into 3 or 4 smaller packs and keep in the freezer. I just pop one of these packs into the refrigerator the night before then slice it when thawed and we have enough for about 4 servings of vermicelli.
For the noodles I always try to keep some thin bean thread or rice noodles in the pantry. These cook in no time. I usually just put them in a big bowl, pour boiling water over them and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Once the noodles have softened I drain and rinse them in cold water. Leftover noodles are fine refrigerated for a day or two in a sealed container.
The vegetables are very simple. Just wash them and cut them however you like. I use sprouts, lettuce, carrots, sometimes cucumbers, and jalapenos (for my husband). Then you have your herbs. You can use them or not depending on your own personal tastes but I think they add a little something to the dish. Thai basil is my favorite and what I usually use, but mint, cilantro, and green onions are also good options and/or additions.
Most important is the sauce Nuoc Cham. It is a great combination of flavors salty, sweet, sour and spicy and it helps add flavor to the noodles and keeps them from sticking together. I love this stuff and am so happy I now know how to make it. I like to add my julienned carrots to the sauce and let them soak in it for even more deliciousness. Making the Nuoc Cham is probably the most time consuming part of this meal but it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Nuoc Cham can be made the night before and refrigerated until ready to use. It tastes even better the longer it sits. I've kept it refrigerated for about a week before (I don't know how long it actually lasts because we use it up rather quickly).
Char Siu Vermicelli
Char Siu (barbecue pork), sliced
Thin rice noodles (or bean thread noodles), cooked and rinsed
Cucumbers, sliced (optional)
Jalapenos, sliced (optional)
Green onions, sliced (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)
It's real simple just sit every thing out and let each person make their own salad.
I like to put sprouts and lettuce in first. Then, noodles, pork (cold is fine but you can heat it if you prefer), carrots (and other veggies), and herbs. Lastly I pour a few tablespoons of Nuoc Cham over everything.
The hardest part for me is getting everything to fit in the bowl. I've been looking for some really big serving bowls but haven't been able to find any yet that I like.
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