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May 14, 2007 05:38 PM

Desperate for BunXao Recipe

Please does anyone have a good recipe for bun xao, the vietnamese rice noodle dish. I love the one from Saigon Grill in Manhattan. I searched online and tried some of the recipes and although good, they were not great.

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  1. What's in it? rice noodles, cucumber, bean sprouts, etc..

    1. Hey, try this, pretty darn close I think. Go to Kam Man in Chinatown on Canal St (near Mott) for all the sauces.

      1 16 oz package of rice vermicelli noodles
      3 eggs, beaten
      2 green onions, sliced
      1 lb Shimp, peeled and deveined (or chicken or beef, whatever you prefer)
      3 garlic cloves, minced
      1/8 cup unsalted peanuts, ground
      5 tablespoons fish sauce
      2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
      2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
      1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
      Oil for frying (sunflower or vegetable)

      Combine the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and dark soy sauce in a bowl, mix well until sugar has dissolved and set aside.

      Soak the vermicelli noodles in cold water for 25 minutes. Drain. Bring a pot of water to boil, add the vermicelli noodles and boil for about 1-2 minutes or until soft, stirring constantly to keep them separated. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop them from cooking.

      Heat oil in a wok on high, and add the eggs, stir fry and seperate until fully cooked and in little pieces, set aside.

      Add a bit of oil to the wok and cook the shrimp and half the garlic on high until they are just pink all around the outside, but a little raw on the inside, remove from wok and set aside.

      Add a bit of oil to the wok again and green onions and stir fry on high for about a minute. Add the shrimp and stir fry again for 1 minute. Add the rice noodles and stir fry for another minute or so, until warm and tender, then add the egg and stir fry until all ingredients are evenly blended (about 30 seconds) and hot. If it mixture appears dry, drizzle a bit of oil on top and stir into the mix.

      Take the bowl with the sauce mixture and dump it into the wok, stir fry for another 20 seconds or so until blended. Serve immediately and sprinkle some ground peanuts on top.

      If you want, serve with Nuoc Cham (the orange liquid they serve with bun xao at Saigon Grill). Google search a recipe and find one to your liking!


      1 Reply
      1. re: oddlaww

        After leaving NYC one of the things I crave most is Bun Xao from Saigon Grill. I made this recipe and I have to say it is really close. For me, adding the following things makes it closer. Add them after putting in the green onion and cook them until softened and slightly browned, then follow the directions above.

        juilenne carrots
        thin sliced mushrooms
        sliced water chestnuts

        It really needs the carrots and mushrooms for that authentic taste. The water chestnuts are for texture, but one of my favorite parts of Saigon Grill's version.

        Enjoy! Other vegetable options in addition to carrots and mushrooms are sliced lotus root, snow or sugar snap peas, and baby corn.

      2. I think to get the best flavor, you should soak the bun for up to 1 hour, do not boil. Fry your proteins and veggies and all (imitate the ingredients of your favorite restaurant), then throw in the raw soaked bun, stir fry, then toss in your liquids and stir until they are absorbed, you may have to add a little water, too. The noodles absorb better flavor that way, and will be easier to "xao" or stir fry.

        1 Reply
        1. re: luckyfatima

          Well it depends on what brand of noodles you have. Some you can soak for two hours but they will still be hard mostly and you will end up having to cook them for much longer in the wok. This will usually cause the noodles to be overworked in the wok and cooked for two long, usually end up with an ugly ripped, shrunken and torn result.

          I think for the beginner it is more acceptable to boil, but just boil for a tiny bit of time. Especially if you buy noodles that specifically say you should boil on the directions. But yes, soaking is always better, but not always an option for everyone, especially if you don't want to wait around for an hour! I have done both methods and there really is not that much of a difference.

        2. Dear Rothchild,
          I am a little late on this post but just googled Bun Xao recipe and saw your posting. Have you worked out the Saigon Grill's recipe? I too love the Saigon Grill's Bun Xao SO MUCH but no longer live in Manhattan.