|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||34%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||41%|
|Total Carbohydrate 56g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 24g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||35%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Bún bò xào is a noodle salad, but in Southeast Asia, bún bò xào would be considered a light meal rather than a starter course as a salad—as it's often defined in the West. Bún bò xào has everything that a balanced meal requires. It has meat, it has carbohydrates it has lots of vegetables and fresh herbs.
Bún bò xào is served in layers. At the bottom of the bowl are the cooked rice noodles (bún) cooled to room temperature. The noodles are topped with vegetables, both pickled and fresh. Next comes the beef (bò) that had been marinated with lemongrass then stir-fried (xào). The garnishes come last. Crushed roasted peanuts, fried crisp shallots, and lots of fresh herbs that may include cilantro, lemon basil, mint, perilla (shisho leaves), or all of them. A generous splash of nước mắm pha (more popularly known as nước chấm, the generic term for dipping sauce) is added, the contents of the bowl are tossed together and the bún bò xào is ready to be enjoyed.
Bún bò xào is comforting and familiar yet nuanced enough to be mysterious at the same time. It's all about the contrasting hues and textures of the ingredients which are happily brought together by nước mắm pha without which the salad is nothing but a discordant lump of colors and shapes.
"Bursting with flavors and textures, this dish is ideal for busy nights—especially when it’s too hot to do much cooking. I used shiso, Thai basil, mint, and cilantro for the herbs, and two Thai chiles instead of a finger chile. Instead of store-bought nuoc mam pha, I mixed up a batch in just minutes." —Danielle Centoni
8 ounces (about 250 grams) beef sirloin
1 tablespoon nước mắm (fish sauce)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely sliced lemongrass (use only the tender center of the white portion of the stalks)
8 ounces (225 grams) thin rice noodles, prepared according to package directions, then drained and cooled
1/3 cup julienned cucumber
1/3 cup pickled carrot and radish
1 finger chile, or 2 Thai bird chiles, thinly sliced, optional
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cups fresh herbs, such as cilantro, lemon basil, mint, perilla, or a combination of 2 or more
1 tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons fried crisp shallots (available in Asian stores)
1/3 cup nước mắm pha, for serving
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Cut the sirloin against the grain into slices a little less than a quarter of an inch thick.
Then, cut each slice into chunks about 1/2-inch wide. Place into a medium bowl.
Mix the beef chunks with the nước mắm (fish sauce), garlic, and lemongrass.
Divide the noodles between 2 bowls. Top with the julienned cucumber, pickled carrot and radish and finger chilie (if using).
Heat the peanut oil in a wok to smoking point. Stir-fry the beef for about 2 minutes.
Divide the beef between the 2 bowls.
Top with fresh herbs, peanuts, and fried shallots.
Serve with nước mắm pha on the side.