Celebrating one of the biggest days in the Lunar calendar…
I’m delighted to share with you a personal recipe from the family archive for Lunar New Year— Bún Chả Giò Thịt Nướng, a beautiful and fresh Southern Vietnamese dish that has been passed down from my mother.
Made up of layers of goodness, from the bed of vermicelli, lemongrass marinated pork, to healthy mixed greens and crunchy, golden spring rolls— all done in a single pan. Topped with crushed peanuts, pickled vegetables and a flavourful fish sauce to compliment the entire delicious dish. It’s every special occasion like birthdays, Christmas, Lunar New Year, that my mom would make spring rolls, while my dad did all the frying. They were easily enjoyed by all ages. Prior to 2020, when my parents came to visit me, my mom would freeze a bunch of them as part of her care packages to enjoy while I lived on my own. Nowadays, I miss them. I miss the taste of spring rolls where I was fortunate to have them served at the family home or simply pull out of my freezer when I thought of them. Now, I’m finally able to make my own, no matter where I am. I can get that taste of my mom’s cooking through these and I’m thrilled to share it with you guys to try. 🥄
Side note: I’ve also untouched the images of the food below to showcase the true bright colours of the ingredients, cook on the food, and final dish. Should I continue doing this or edit the images to be more cohesive with the tone of my website and style of photography editing? Let me know what you think!
Bun Cha Gio Cha Thit Nuong
- Our Place Always Pan to boil, fry, sauté
- Large Mixing Bowls
- Plates to fold Spring Rolls
- Large Serving Bowls for Final Dish
- Small Serving Bowls for Fish Sauce
- Small Sauce Pot for Pickled Vegetables Mix
- Jars for Pickled Vegetables
Spring Rolls | Cha Gio
- 1 lb ground pork (500grams of tofu works too)
- 1 lb peeled, clean shrimp
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 2 eggs
- 1 shallot
- 2 ½ tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- ¼ cup fish sauce (I use Phu Quoc Fish Sauce)
- 1½ cup dried black fungus mushrooms (also known as wood ear mushrooms)
- 1 package spring roll wraps (I use Spring Home TYJ Spring Roll Pastry, mom’s go-to)
- 1½ cup vegetable or canola oil to fry
Lemongrass Pork | Thit Nuong
- 1 lb pork loin
- 1 stalk lemon grass
- hoisin sauce
- 1½ tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp black pepper
- chili flakes (optional for desired level of spice)
- 1½ tbsp vegetable oil (or canola oil)
- 1 carrot
- 1 daikon (optional, the dish featured in the images only includes pickled carrot ribbons)
- 5 tbsp white sugar
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
- 1½ cup boiling water
- 1 dried bay leaf (optional, normally done without, however you can play with the pickled flavours if you’re feeling adventurous)
- fresh red chili peppers or habanero peppers (optional for desired level of spice)
- 2½ tbsp fish sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1¼ tbsp freshly squeezed lime
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- chili flakes or habanero pepper (optional for desired level of spice)
- pickled carrots and daikon (optional, this your pickled vegetable)
Noodles and Fresh Greens
- 1 package vermicelli noodles
- Asian basil
- crushed peanuts (Enjoy without peanuts if you're allergic!)
- fried shallots (optional)
- scallions (optional)
Spring Rolls | Cha Gio
- Soak your black fungus in some water to allow them to expand and rehydrate.
- Wash and peel your shrimp before mincing well.
- Finely chop your carrots, onions, shallot and black fungus.
- In a mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients for the filling and mix well.
- Peel and lay out your wraps on a large plate to begin folding.
- Add 2 tbsp of filling on your wrap. Wrap your spring rolls. Although there’s a traditional way which you can find online via videos, I just wrap mine like a baby burrito.
- Prep to fry by adding your oil in the pan. ** If you’d like to opt for a healthier version of spring rolls, you can oil a baking tray and pop them in the oven to bake. Frying definitely achieves that crunch and flakiness and is more of the traditional way of cooking these.**
- Once the pan is ready, fry your spring rolls, until they are golden brown all around and fully cooked inside.
Lemongrass Pork | Thit Nuong
- Slice your pork loin into thin strips.
- Finely cut your lemongrass.
- In a mixing bowl, mix everything together well. (Optional, leave marinated pork for 1 hr)
- Over medium heat and cook your marinated pork for about 5 minutes. (Until pork is cooked through)
- Once you're done, you can sprinkle crushed peanuts and/fried shallots over top. Feel free to opt from this step if you're allergic to peanuts or replace with fried shallots.
- Prepare pickled vegetables a day before or 1-2 hours before eating.
- Finely cut your carrots, (and daikon if you intend to make) A peeler works, as you can make them into carrot ribbons.
- In a small sauce pot, boil water. Then put your vinegar, sugar, bay leaf (optional) into the boiling water and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Prep your jar(s) in the meantime by placing your carrots/daikon inside.
- Remove the vinegar mixture you've made off the stove and pour into your jars.
- Feel free to add chopped chili peppers for desired level of spice, before putting the lids on the jars.
- Allow them to cool down and pickle for a minimum of 1-2 hours or overnight before eating. You can store them in the fridge.
- Super easy— just add everything together in a small bowl and mix.
- Feel free to add more lime, sugar or spice, depending on desired taste.
Noodles and Fresh Greens | Plating the Dish
- Boil water and cook your vermicelli noodles with the strainer in the Always Pan. A pot to boil your noodles works here too.
- Once they’re cooked, strain the noodles and allow them to cool down before adding them to the bowls.
- Dice up some scallions and reuse a bit of your fried oil from spring rolls to glaze them before topping your vermicelli noodles.
- Wash your fresh vegetables well and cut the cucumber into slices.
- Cut up the crispy spring rolls and then add all the remaining items into the bowl— the spring rolls, pickled vegetables, the lemongrass pork with some crushed peanuts on top (fried shallots are optional).
- Finish off with drizzling your fish sauce on top of everything in your bowl, and enjoy!
If you decide to make your spring rolls in advance like what I did here to split up the cooking time, you can place your freshly fried spring rolls in the freezer and when you are ready to serve to eat, simply pop them into the oven (toaster oven works too) to get them crispy again.
For those looking for a health conscious option instead of frying the spring rolls, you may bake them until they are golden and cooked inside as well. Traditionally, Vietnamese spring rolls are fried to get that extra crispy, golden and flakey outer shell.
What’s truly amazing about this Bún Chả Giò Thịt Nướng dish is that you can enjoy all the components of this dish separately. You have the choice to simply make just the spring rolls as delicious appetizers, or enjoy the lemongrass pork on some rice with steam vegetables. The fish sauce to this recipe can be used for almost any other Vietnamese dish, such as Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Pancakes/Crispy Crêpes), Gỏi Xoài (Mango Salad), Bánh Bột Lọc (Vietnamese Topioca Dumplings), Cơm Sườn Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops on Rice), Bánh Cuốn (Steamed Rice Rolls) and much more. Pretty versatile right? I normally make a large jar of fish sauce to store in the fridge and use it over time for my different various dishes.
Featured products used: Our Place Always Pan in “Heat”, Our Place Main Plates in “Steam”, Our Place Side Bowls in “Steam”, Our Place Drinking Glasses in “Clear”, Anthropologie Harvest Foliage Bowl, Bamboo Mixing Bowl, Miyabi 6000 MCT.
Love the dish?
Why not pin it to your Pinterest board and try it yourself!
If you could share your experience below, I’d love to hear about it.