Bun Bo Xao or Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef Noodle Salad is a light and refreshing salad that is packed with lots of flavor. It highlights all the beautiful flavors in Vietnamese cuisine, and it’s the perfect comfort food for the warmer weather.
One thing I love about Vietnamese food are the fresh herbs and lightness of a lot of their dishes. Though Vietnamese cuisine isn’t known for being spicy like Lao and Thai cuisine, they are big on the flavor combos like Lao and Thai food! Sweet and savory is a huge flavor combo, and it’s one of my favorites.
If you’ve only had pho when are at a Vietnamese restaurant, I challenge you to try their other dishes, especially their different vermicelli noodle salads. Most have heard of bun cha which is caramelized pork (or other protein) with different herbs and an eggroll on the side.
Delicious but I also wanted to highlight Bun Bo Xao! Another vermicelli salad that is so quick to make you could have it every night of the week if you wanted.
There are lots of Bun Bo Xao variation. I learned how to make this recipe from a close friend who grew up in Vietnam and came to the states when she was in high school. Much like Thai food in the states, she learned that a lot of Vietnamese food here was also very westernized so she learned how to cook the dishes she grew up eating as authentically as possible.
What’s great about Bun Bo Xao is that the only thing you really have to prepare is the lemongrass beef and the vermicelli noodles. It can be made ahead of time and makes for a great meal prep dish!
Here are a few things to ensure you get the best Bun Bo Xao:
- The type of vermicelli noodle you get is important. You don’t want the flat rice noodles. You want the one that’s labeled as “stick rice noodle.”
- You can use any type of beef you want OR if you want to save time, you can buy shaved steak.
- If you’re paleo/low carb and etc, zucchini noodles are the perfect replacement for the vermicelli noodles. No need to cook or blanch the zoodles. They’re perfect raw.
- Oyster sauce is a pantry staple in Asian cooking. The brand I’m linking here is what I use and I personally think it’s the best one out there. If you can’t find it or can’t eat it, my friend ChihYu from I Heart Umami has a great paleo version on her website.
- Toppings are endless. It’s your pick of fresh herbs and vegetables.
- This salad can be eaten cold or warm! Both ways are delicious.
I hope you enjoy this Bun Bo Xao as much as I do! Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this dish.
Bun Bo Xao (Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef Noodle)
Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef
Nuoc Mam Cham (Fish sauce dressing)
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1-2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Thai chili peppers finely sliced
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 tbsp sugar or coconut sugar (use apple sauce if sugar free)
- 1 pck vermicelli noodles or 4 zucchinis spiralized
- chopped lettuce
- julienned cucumbers
- julienned carrots
- mint leaves
- chopped cilantro
- Thai basil
- bean sprouts
- crushed roasted peanuts or crushed roasted cashew nuts
Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef
Place ribeye (or any steak) in the freezer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from freezer and thinly slice against the grain.
In a bowl or shallow dish, add the ribeye, lemongrass, garlic, onion, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and ground black pepper. Mix until everything is well combined.
Marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat a large cast iron skillet or wok over medium-high with 1 tbsp avocado oil.
Add the beef and onions to the skillet, spread out the beef so a majority of it is touching the skillet.
Let sit for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to char and then toss until cooked through.
Nuoc Nam Cham
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan.
Heat everything through until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare vermicelli noodles according to package.
Add vermicelli noodles to a bowl and top with Vietnamese lemongrass beef and the different toppings.
Dress the noodle salad with nuom mam cham.