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Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Pork Patties (Bún Cha)

Scott Phillips

Servings: two to three.


  • 8 or 9 oz. rice vermicelli noodles (thin rice sticks)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup very thin carrot strips (julienne)
  • 1/2 cup very thin daikon radish or jícama strips (julienne)
  • 3 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. red-wine vinegar
  • Vietnamese Dipping Sauce  (nuoc cham)
  • 1 lb. ground pork (ask the butcher for coarsely ground pork butt)
  • 5 small or 4 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fish sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large leaves romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on three servings without sauce
  • Calories (kcal) : 640
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 730
  • Carbohydrates (g): 73
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 32


  • Soak the rice vermicelli in a large bowl of warm water for 15 min. Meanwhile, bring about 2 quarts water and 1 tsp. kosher salt to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Drain the noodles and add them to the boiling water, stirring with chopsticks to gently separate the strands. When the water returns to a boil (after about 2 min.), drain the noodles in a colander (push the strands against the sides of the colander with chopsticks to help them drain completely). Put the noodles on a platter and fluff them with chopsticks. Set aside until cool, at least 30 min. and up to 2 hours.
  • Put the carrots and daikon or jícama in a colander. Sprinkle on 1 tsp. of the sugar, the vinegar, and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and mix well. Let the colander sit in the sink for 10 min., and then gently squeeze the vegetables to get rid of the liquid. Add the vegetables to the bowl of dipping sauce.
  • Put the pork in a bowl. Add the scallions, the remaining 2 tsp. sugar, the fish sauce, 1/8 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper and mix gently with your hands. Shape the meat into small patties about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick; you should have ten patties.
  • Grill the patties over a medium- hot gas or charcoal grill, (or in an oiled grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat) until they’re well browned outside and cooked through but still moist inside, 8 to 10 min. on a grill; 15 min. on a grill pan (cut into one to check—it’s fine if the pork is still a little pink inside). Add the cooked patties, still warm, to the bowl of sauce and vegetables and let sit for 5 to 10 min. before serving.
  • Serve the noodles on the platter, along with the lettuce, mint, and cilantro. Remove the pork patties from the sauce and put them on a different platter. Give everyone a large bowl and let people serve themselves noodles, lettuce, and herbs, then top that with pork patties and a generous drizzle of the dipping sauce and the vegetables in it. Toss gently.


Rate or Review

Reviews (9 reviews)

  • ak9doc | 04/30/2019

    Delicious! I’ve used different types of grilled meats/seafood as guest stars and it’s always good. I like to add bean sprouts, ground peanuts and lime juice for texture and flavor. Really hard to screw this up!

  • PlaneJane747 | 06/22/2014

    Always a big hit

  • srbarnard | 03/24/2011

    Wow! My husband and I love to eat Vietnamese food and always wanted to know how to make a good Noodle Salad. This recipe takes a little time to pull together with all the different ingredients, but is so well worth it. It was delicious and we'll be adding this one to our favorites!

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