Vietnamese Rice Noodles Salad with Salmon (Bun Ca)

Having done the 2 Salmon with noodles posts (Japanese and Italian), I thought I’ll follow up with yet another version featuring the 2 great ingredients. Ms I-Hua suggested that I should try a salad version, hence this dish was born. Taking a great traditional Vietnamese recipe, and refresh it with some lovely pan-fried Salmon. The resulting dish was, not surprisingly, super tasty, yet light enough for the hot weather.

When it comes to Vietnamese Rice Noodles salad, many people would pair it with prawns, grilled pork, or even some fried spring rolls. I have not personally seen a salmon version however a friend of mine David mentioned that he has seen it served in more upmarket Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne such as Miss Chu. I wouldn’t usually order it in a restaurant because I get distracted by Broken rice and Pho all the time, but this is a seriously underrated dish. It’s also very simple with hardly any cooking involved. You only need to possess a little knife skill (to julienne), or a very good vegetable slicer.

I used Brown rice vermicelli noodles in my dish, although it’s not that obvious in photos. It has a slightly chewy texture which I like. It also makes this dish super healthy. I fried the Salmon in only about a tablespoon of oil and it was later blotted off. If you are on a low GI diet, this would be a great dish for you, with a good balance of protein and vegetables too. I guess you don’t need me to mention the health benefits of salmon right?

Love the vibrant colours of the dish.
Vietnamese Rice Noodles Salad with Pan Fried Salmon

100g  Brown Rice Vermicelli
1/2 Carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 Japanese cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks (optional to remove seeds)
1/2 cup Bean Sprouts
1/4 cup Coriander (you can also use Mint and Thai Basil, or combination of 3)
200g Salmon, skinned (marinated with a bit of Soy Sauce, Brown sugar and White Pepper)

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
Juice of 3 Calamansi Limes
3 tablespoon water
1 long red chilli, finely chopped (optional to remove seeds)

Lovely colours.
Lovely colours.

For the Nuoc Cham, stir all the liquid and sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Taste to adjust. Add finely chopped chili and set aside until needed.

Prepare the rice vermicelli to packet’s instructions. Mine just needed to be soaked in hot water until soft. Drain the set aside until needed.

Pan fry the Salmon for 2 minutes on both sides. Let cool and use a fork to separate into smaller pieces.

Mixed the rice noodles with all the vegetables and herbs, arrange the Salmon pieces on top, serve with Nuoc Cham. Pour the Nuoc Cham and mix well before eating.

My attempt at a pouring shot. Failed miserably.
My attempt at a pouring shot. Failed miserably.

The beauty of the Nuoc Cham is that it’s got a nice balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy flavour with plenty of umaminess. It pairs perfectly with the Salmon and made the salad refreshing to eat. It also filled me up for quite a few hours. Needless to say, I’ll be making this more often! Thank you Ms I-hua for the inspiration.

Any more suggestion for Salmon recipes? 😉

11 thoughts on “Vietnamese Rice Noodles Salad with Salmon (Bun Ca)

Add yours

  1. looks like a zesty salad that would first stir the appetite and ultimately satisfy the taste buds 😀 looking forward to some more creative salmon-noodle pairings if you carry on with this theme. perhaps a spicy indian tandoori-ish recipe? 😀

      1. Oops! It’s Vietnamese…and ya, they are quite similar in some ways. My girl loves glass noodles – will give this a try with that perhaps…sometime when she’s home. Should be ok..

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