Vietnamese Spring Roll Noodle Bowl (Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong)

creative direction, photography & editing CYNTHIA NGUYEN in collaboration with OUR PLACE

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!

 

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Bun Cha Gio Cha Thit Nuong

A beautiful and fresh Southern Vietnamese dish that has been passed down from my mother— consisting of layers of goodness. From vermicelli, pork marinated with lemongrass, to healthy mixed greens and crunchy, golden spring rolls. Topped with crushed peanuts, pickled vegetables and fish sauce to compliment the delicious and popular dish.
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4
Author: Cynthia Nguyen

Equipment

  • 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

Ingredients

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)
  • 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)
  • cup vegetable or canola oil to fry

Lemongrass Pork | Thit Nuong

  • 1 lb pork loin
  • 1 stalk lemon grass
  • hoisin sauce
  • tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • chili flakes (optional for desired level of spice)
  • tbsp vegetable oil (or canola oil)

Pickled Vegetables

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 daikon (optional, the dish featured in the images only includes pickled carrot ribbons)
  • 5 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp white vinegar
  • 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)

Fish Sauce

  • tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 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
  • lettuce
  • mint
  • Asian basil
  • cucumber
  • crushed peanuts (Enjoy without peanuts if you're allergic!)
  • fried shallots (optional)
  • scallions (optional)

Instructions

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.

Pickled Vegetables

  • 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.

Fish Sauce

  • 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.

 

Pin this recipe: Vietnamese Spring Roll Noodle Bowl (Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong) by Pinch of Chic

A beautiful and fresh Southern Vietnamese dish— consisting of layers of goodness. From vermicelli, pork marinated with lemongrass, to healthy mixed greens and crunchy, golden spring rolls. Topped with crushed peanuts, pickled vegetables and fish sauce to compliment the delicious dish.

Red Velvet Cookies

.


.

 

What’s better than cookies? Holidays cookies…

Whether it’s hosting or giving away sweet treats for the winter holidays, we think that the Red Velvet Cookie made from scratch is the perfect kind of cookie to offer.

My sister and I have gotten together to make these cookies in light of the holidays, gifting for the parents, and staying in to keep cozy.

We are pleased to share these super thick and soft, filled with natural red cocoa cookies. Roll them in powdered sugar and watch the cracks in the cookies unravel as they bake, not to mention the beautiful aroma emitted from the oven and dispersed throughout the room. The powdered sugar is the perfect and simple topping to evoke a winter-like feel, just like powdered snow that has fallen.

These red velvet cookies have almost a brownie like texture on the inside, and the deeper you get, the softer they are. Their shell is a bit more firm and they’re not too sweet compared to regular chocolate cookies. What’s also nice about these cookies are that they don’t require too much red food colouring unlike traditional red velvet desserts. We like how the natural red cocoa looks and decided to use a little less red colouring for these.


Spanish Seafood Paella

.


.

Nothing says let’s stay in and stay warm over a stunning, homemade Spanish Paella dish with bright, vibrant colours and seafood. With rich favours and the perfect amount of heat, this classic dish will win your hostess with the mostest badge and is the greatest, unconventional way to celebrate the Autumn season.

All it took the was some major jet lag and waking up hungry to a nippy Saturday morning in the city, only to realize it was 5AM. The only place that could possibly serve me at this time was a 24 hr diner or bargaining at the local farmer’s market. Who doesn’t love to drive a good bargain? From consuming also too many spuds and good roasts from my previous trip, I was craving for a good diverse dish– something Toronto is greatly known for offering and excelling at.

But how did a Spanish dish come to mind? A few things influenced this idea– St. Lawrence Market sits across from one of my favourite Spanish restaurants, called Barsa Taberna, which I normally nab a big pan of paella. I wanted to be able to throw everything into a pan of some sort and not have to worry about having too many components, such as making a separate pesto or cook a few things differently for one meal, etc. Lastly, I wanted to make a dish that could incorporate some nice heat, punchy colours, packed with flavours and best of all, lots of fresh seafood.

.

Spanish Seafood Paella
Serves 4
A classic Spanish dish that serves you beautiful flavours, colours and a bit of heat.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium size onion
  2. 1 red bell pepper
  3. 2 tomatoes
  4. 2 dried Guajillo chili peppers
  5. 3 large gloves of garlic
  6. 1 lemon
  7. bunch of curly parsley
  8. Bomba Spanish Paella rice
  9. ½ gram of saffron
  10. fish stock
  11. ½ lb black tiger shrimp
  12. ½ fresh mussels, scrubbed and soaked
  13. ½ fresh neck clams, scrubbed and soaked
  14. sea salt
  15. black pepper
  16. smoked paprika
  17. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. For prep, dice your tomatoes and red bell pepper into small cubes.
  2. Julienne your onion.
  3. Mince your garlic cloves and parsley.
  4. Slice your lemon into either slices or wedges.
  5. Slice your dried Guajillo chili peppers as well.
  6. Lay out some tin foil and place your saffron in the middle. Fold the tin foil over the saffron like a folded note, ensuring the spice doesn't fall out.
  7. In a large pan with medium heat, place the folded tin foil of saffron on the pan for 10 seconds on each side and remove from the pan. This will toast your saffron, releasing more of its amazing flavour and aroma.
  8. Sprinkle sea salt throughout the pan. As there will be a lot of ingredients going into the pan, we want to ensure it's all seasoned nicely.
  9. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, red bell peppers, tomatoes, then cook for and sauté until softened.
  10. Add the garlic, parsley and black pepper, cook for another 2 minutes.
  11. Add the fish stock and bring to boil.
  12. Add the Spanish paella rice evenly around the pan.
  13. Let the rice cook in the sauce from all your ingredients for about 5 minutes, you will notice it will start to brown on the bottom, which is what you're looking for.
  14. Take your toasted saffron out of the tin foil envelope and crush them with your fingers to have them in smaller bits to evenly sprinkle into the pan and allow them to release more of their fragrance.
  15. Add the dried Guajillo chili peppers, smoked paprika, saffron and season with salt and pepper if needed. Stir everything together.
  16. Cook for about 15 minutes with the lid or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. The rice will not be cooked through at this time.
  17. Turn down the heat and stir the rice around a bit, you will notice the crust on the bottom of the pan, that's what you're looking for.
  18. Remember to taste, feel free to add a little more salt and pepper over everything. I like to season a bit more as I move along.
  19. Move the pan around and rotate so that the rice cooks evenly.
  20. Arrange the shrimp, scrubbed and soaked mussels and clams, along with the lemon slices over the rice, cover with a lid again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the mussels and clams open up.
  21. Turn off the heat and garnish with additional parsley and whole Guajillo chili peppers.
  22. Enjoy!
Pinch of Chic https://www.pinchofchic.com/

 

Optional, you can use a frying pan, like I did or paella pan, which you can purchase here on Amazon for $19. A cast iron pan would also work.

.


.

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.

 

Chicken Pot Pie


creative direction & photography CYNTHIA NGUYEN

A meal that will truly make your weekend. Comprised of the best two things: warmth and comfort.
And it’s a strikingly adorable and delicious dish, even you can’t say no to a second helping. 

Did I also mention it’s dairy-free? 

 

Chicken Pot Pie
Serves 8
A comfort food favourite. Creamy chicken and vegetable filling, topped with puff pastry.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 white onion
  2. 1 potato
  3. 1 carrot
  4. 2 sticks celery
  5. 3 gloves garlic
  6. 1 cup sweet peas
  7. 1 cube of chicken broth
  8. 2 chicken breasts
  9. 1 cup coconut creamer
  10. 2 cups coconut milk
  11. 2 rolls puff pastry (or you can make your own)
  12. 1/4 cup flour
  13. 1 egg beaten
  14. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  15. 2 tbsp poultry herb seasoning
  16. 1 tbsp chili flakes
  17. salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Dice all of your veggies and chicken into cubes.
  2. Boil your carrots, celery, onions and garlic in a big pot.
  3. Then add your diced chicken, potatoes and sweet peas.
  4. While your veggies and chicken cook, roll out your puff and cut your puff pastry crusts to fit over top of your mini cocotte by placing the cocotte over the pastry and cut around. You can also use ramekins or deep dish pie pans if you don't have cocottes.
  5. Remove the boiled water from your veggies and chicken while leaving about 1.5 cups of the leftover boiled water.
  6. Add the turmeric, poultry seasoning and chicken broth cube, then mix the pot.
  7. Taking a mixing bowl, add your flour, coconut milk and creamer together and whisk until it becomes slurry.
  8. Pour into your pot of veggie and chicken and let it cook until thickened.
  9. Add chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Preheat the oven to 390°F.
  11. Fill your cocottes to the rim with your creamy veggie and chicken.
  12. Lay your puff pastry over top of the cocottes, ensuring it covers the edges.
  13. Lightly brush with egg over the pastry.
  14. Using a fork, press down the edges of pastry around the rim of the cocottes.
  15. With a knife, cut 4 slits over top of the pastry.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
Notes
  1. For garnishing, I sprinkled some poultry herb seasoning and sea salt.
  2. My Staub cocottes are ceramic but cast icon also works too.
Pinch of Chic https://www.pinchofchic.com/

SHOP MY POST:


 

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Now that Autumn is among us, there’re a few things worth incorporating into your cooking and enjoying while they’re in season— such as cinnamon, pumpkin and corn.

At first, it wasn’t my intention to share a blog post around this meal (hence the un-staged photos), however since the outcome was so good, I couldn’t resist in sharing the recipe. The big pot of goodness only lasted for a day and half between two people.

_____

Here’s a simple and perfect Autumn recipe to try at home: Sweet potato corn chowder. It’s vegan, dairy free, budget-friendly and nutritious. Low effort prep time with high return. 

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
A vegan and dairy-free recipe without the bacon!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 ripe corn
  2. 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed (2 cups)
  3. 1 onion, diced (3 cups)
  4. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 4 ribs celery, chopped (2 cups)
  6. 2 tsp chili powder
  7. 1 tsp of paprika
  8. chill flakes, to taste
  9. sea salt and pepper, to taste
  10. 2 cubes of organic vegetable stock (4 cups of water added)
  11. Optional: 4 strips of peameal bacon
Instructions
  1. Start with 4 cups of water in a large pot with 2 cubes of vegetable stock added. I used organic bouillon cubes.
  2. Add the diced onion, then minced garlic and chopped celery to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes or more until ingredients start to soften.
  3. Add the sweet potato, then bring to a light simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the sweet potato is easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Remove about 2/3 of the soup and blend until smooth and creamy then pour back into the pot.
  6. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve right away.
  7. Optional, but you bake 4 strips of peameal bacon till crispy and finely chop to little bits. Sprinkle desired amount of peameal bacon bits over top of your chowder. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can store this inside your fridge for up to 5 days.
Pinch of Chic https://www.pinchofchic.com/


Looking for Something?