Bún Chay

Today's dish is my take on Vietnamese Bún Chay, a vegetarian rice noodle bowl. When I lived in Houston, I would eat Vietnamese food several times a month. I miss it dearly, and when I found some vegan fish sauce, I decided to prepare one of my favorites, Bún Chay! While there's some chopping involved, there's not too much cooking, and the dish was ready in 25 minutes.

First, I first prepared a sort of nuoc cham with vegan fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, coconut sugar, fresh minced garlic, and raw jalapeno slices. I set the sauce aside in the refrigerator.

Then, I heated a skillet with vegetable oil, a huge chunk of ginger, and a whole jalapeno. I cooked the vegan beef until it was browned and added some salt and pepper.

Next I boiled some water and cooked some medium-thick rice noodles (6 minutes). Note, unlike water for pasta, I don't salt the water for rice noodles.

I finally assembled the bowl with the rice noodles, vegan beef, matchstick carrots, English cucumber, spring mix, green onion, and crispy fried onion. I topped it with my nuoc nam sauce. I love it because there are so many tastes and textures in one bowl, and it has some healthy components with the raw veggies. If you don't have vegan beef, try it with some crispy tofu!