Rice noodle salad with baked green rice meatballs

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Hello everyone and welcome back to Coucou Chinou!

Today I will continue on with Vietnamese cuisine! However, this one is a little bit non traditional as this is actually a play on the famous dish “bún chả”. Originally “bún chả” is  made with meatballs that are grilled on the barbecue, and the taste is a little bit sweet besides the savory flavor. However, for this dish, the prominent flavor will just be umami. I baked the meatballs in the oven, and I included another ingredient called “green rice flakes”. It is a specialty in the north of Vietnam, and in Vietnamese it is called “cốm”. My mother actually brought this ingredient to me all the way from Vietnam when she came to Europe a couple of weeks ago. ^_^ This is what it looks like:

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These green rice flakes have very particular aroma that will make you feel that you are standing in the middle of a rice field! 🙂 The season of “cốm” is actually very short, and usually Vietnamese people would eat it as-is, with banana, or we would cook it with sugar so that it will become a sticky rice dessert like this:

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or use it to make a sort of sweet sticky candy very very commonly eaten during the engagement-to-be-married ceremony in Vietnam. It looks like this:

banh-com-ha-noi

You can read more about “cốm” here :).

And now on to the savory dish that we’re going to cook today!

Ingredients (5 servings)

The meatballs:

  • 500 gram ground pork
  • 250 gram green rice flakes
  • 3 bulbs of shallot (chopped to small pieces)
  • 1 small head of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Knorr seasoning – pork flavor
  • 2 tsp black pepper

The noodles:

  • 375 gram dried rice noodles

Note: When you go to an Asian market, look for the dry cylindrical rice noodle, it usually has the word “bún” on it. There is another type of rice noodle in Vietnam but it is flat, and that one is called “phở”. This is the one you’re looking for:

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The sauce:

  • 200 ml water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Knorr seasoning – pork flavor
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp minced garlic

Condiment:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 2.5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 head of butter lettuce (or other kind of lettuce if you want, but better to be butter lettuce, Boston bib or green leaf lettuce). Here’s a guide for your reference:

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Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 195 degree celsius 
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together in a mixing bowl
  3. Form the meat mixture into medium meatballs
  4. Line the baking tray with wax/parchment paper
  5. Place the meatballs on top of the parchment paper (Note: For the amount of meat mixture we have, I could spread the meatballs on two trays and bake them at the same time in the oven)
  6. Place the two meatballs trays into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  7. While the meatballs are being baked, clean all the vegetables.
  8. Slice the cucumber and carrot into very thin slices and put them into a mixing bowl
  9. Put the salt into the bowl and mix well for 15 seconds.
  10. Let the mixture sit for a little bit until the cucumber becomes soft and a bit more transparent.
  11. Discard the salty liquid
  12. Put the sugar and the vinegar in the bowl and let sit.
  13. Rid the lettuce and cilantro of excess water
  14. Cut the lettuce in three parts by length for serving
  15. Chop the cilantro in small pieces for serving
  16. For the noodles, follow instruction on the package to cook. Usually the noodle takes 8 minutes to cook in boiling water. After being cooked, rinse the noodle with cold water to prevent if from becoming too soft or soggy.
  17. For the sauce, heat water on low heat on the stove, add all other ingredients and let cook on medium heat until boiling point, then turn the heat off and remove the saucepan from the stove.
  18. Now we can put the dish together:
    1. Put the lettuce at the bottom of the bowl
    2. Add the noodle (however much you want, some people like to eat more noodle, some like less)
    3. Add the meatballs
    4. Add the condiment
    5. Add the sauce (I would start with about 5 tbsp of sauce, then see if I need to add more)
    6. To eat, mix everything up in the bowl and enjoy! ❤

I hope you will try this dish and enjoy it! Let me know if you try it out and if you like it! As always, thank you all very much for reading and I will see you in the next post!!

Happy cooking and happy eating!! 🙂 ❤

xoxo,

Chinou

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