Umami packed noodles bowls

This meal is inspired by Vietnamese dining. There is often flavorful, crispy pork, rice noodles and a big bowl of greens and herbs. This is a fun meal to share with friends!

Umami packed noodles bowls

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Vietnamese


  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (rice wine, apple cider, or white vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lb ground pork, plain with no seasoning sub tempeh for vegetarian
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil can sub neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado
  • 3 limes
  • 1-3 teaspoons fish sauce optional – but recommended!
  • 1-3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly slices
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1/2 cup broth (vegetable/chicken/pork/etc)

To serve:

  • Rice noodles, soba noodles, or regular wheat noodles
  • 1/2 cup peanuts coarsely chopped
  • About 2-4 cups crunchy greens Any mix of watercress, baby arugula, sorrel, or some crunchy lettuces
  • About 1-2 cups herbs Any mix of thai basil/regular basil, cilantro, mint)


  • Macerated (aka quick-pickled onions & radishes): Place the red onion and radishes in a medium bowl. Add vinegar and sugar, stir. Most of the vegetables should be submerged under liquid, if not, add some more vinegar. Give everything a stir every couple of minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add desired serving of pasta and cook to directions. Drain, run cold water over the noodles, and set aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil and add the ground meat, breaking up as you mix. Add the zest one lime, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and chili flakes or jalapeƱos Keep cooking until meat is cooked through and gets nice and crisped up! Taste the meat and add more soy or fish sauce as needed. Turn the heat off and add about 1/2 cup of broth in the pan to deglaze the pan and create a bit of liquid in the pan. Add the rice noodles into the pan, and stir until the noodles are coated in the sauce and meat.
  • In a large bowl, add the greens and herbs.
  • To serve, in individual bowls add rice noodles, meat, peanuts and a lime wedge. Serve the large bowl of greens on the table. Add greens to your bowl as you go and enjoy! (Alternatively, you can add the greens first to your bowl, and then add the noodles, pasta and herbs – up to you!).

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