The best rice noodles have only two ingredients: rice or rice flour, and water. Rice vermicelli are thin, translucent noodles that are similar to cellophane noodles, with which they are often confused (rice vermicelli are made from rice; cellophane noodles are made from bean starch). There are different varieties of vermicelli depending on their shape: bun roi (stirred vermicelli), bun mam (twisted vermicelli), bun la (vermicelli paper), and bun dem tram (shreded vermicelli).
Rice vermicelli noodles are delicious and easy to prepare. Let’s see how rice vermicelli dishes are prepared step by step!
Before cooking, simply soak rice vermicelli in warm (not hot) water for just two minutes. Then, in order to have a delicious bowl of rice, you should add different kinds of ingredients and vegetables. You can choose one of various ingredients that can be served with vermicelli such as: grilled pork meat, fried rice cakes, snails, fried eggs, lean meat pie, chicken, and crab soup, etc.
Do not be so surprised if you see that each region and locality, even each restaurant, has its own vermicelli dishes with their own recipes. There are a variety of ways to enjoy rice vermicelli, each dish having its own unique taste, for example: “Bun Cha” (vermicelli and grilled chopped meat),“Bun Rieu” (vermicelli and sour crab soup), “Bun Bo” (vermicelli and beef ), “Bun Oc” (vermicelli and snails) and so on.
Let’s try the very delicious taste of Bun Cha and Bun Oc! Bun Cha (Vermicelli and grilled chopped meat) includes rice vermicelli, grilled pork and spicy, raw vegetables and well mixed fish sauce. For a dish of Bun Cha, you take a dish of rice vermicelli, a dish full of vegetables and a bowl of fish sauce combined with vinegar, sugar, hot chilly, garlic and pepper. The sauce will then contain all the essential tastes, sour, hot, salty and sweet. Grilles of well cooked pork would be opened and the contents dropped into the bowl of fish sauce. There are two kinds of Cha (grilled pork) used, depending upon the cut of the meat. If the pork is cut into small pieces, it is called Cha Mieng (piece of grilled pork). If it is minced prior to being shaped into small cubes, it is named Cha Bam (minced grilled pork). Bun Oc (Rice vermicelli with fresh water snail) has fresh water snails as main ingredient. These snails will have been kept in clean fresh water for about ten hours before being boiled for the dish, to allow sufficient time for the snails to release any organic matter they may have in their shells. The boiled snails after being taken out of their shells would be cleaned. The soup for the dish is made from the water in which snails have been boiled in. To the soup is added tomatoes and several kinds of flavour and vinegar.
Rice vermicelli are a part of different Vietnamese cuisines. Walking along some streets and stopping at one rice vermicelli vendor in Hanoi or Sai Gon, you will have chances for tasting various dishes of rice vermicelli with unforgettable flavor!