Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio

Healthy Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe (Gluten Free!) | ASpicyPerspective.comFresh and crunchy Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Salad Bowl Recipe, my all-time favorite classic Vietnamese dish.

AWESOME Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe (Gluten Free!)| ASpicyPerspective.com
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In college, one of my dearest friends and I, often scheduled lunch dates at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

One day, we entered the restaurant and were intercepted by a young Vietnamese waiter who was still learning English. He led us to our table as we chatted and giggled away.

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The waiter, who seemed to show special interest in our dining experience, hovered over us, trying to make conversation. We felt a little embarrassed at the extra attention.

Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

As he took our order, he asked me if I wanted my meal to be mild or spicy. I answered, “Spicy, please.”  He smoothly winked and answered, “Ahhhh, spicy food for a spicy personality!”

Yes, even with broken English, he had game. Some things cross all cultural boundaries.

Making Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe (Gluten Free!)| ASpicyPerspective.com

Even though that was close to twenty years ago, my friend and I never miss an opportunity to slip that unforgettable line to each other, “Spicy food for a spicy personality.”

How To: Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe (Gluten Free!)| ASpicyPerspective.com

The town I grew up in has a significant Vietnamese population with incredible little restaurants and vast Asian markets. Exploring the Asian markets is a feast for the eyes, especially the produce department and meat counter.

Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio is a traditional pork noodle salad, served in a bowl with fresh veggies and nuoc cham, an acidic dressing/dipping sauce.

Nuoc Cham

Nuoc Cham is normally made with sweetened lime juice and fish sauce, but I discovered that restaurants often make theirs with rice vinegar instead of lime. I find I actually prefer this method, as it cuts out a little of the “bite”.

The nuoc cham is the only source of spicy heat in Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio, so add as much or as little as you want to the salad. You can also boost the heat by adding more chili-garlic sauce.

Make Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

Gio’ is the Vietnamese word for fried spring rolls. Hot, chopped spring rolls are added to the top of the salad for crunch.

In order to speed up the prep time on this dish, I did not make our spring rolls from scratch. Instead I bought good-quality frozen spring rolls, oiled them and baked them in the oven. It provides the extra flavor and crunch without turning this meal into a 2 hour cooking affair.

Fabulous Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

Bold and healthy Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio is something I crave on a regular basis. My kids are crazy over it, and I bet yours will be too!
Favorite Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

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18 comments on “Vietnamese Bun Cha Gio

  1. lauraposted March 28, 2010 at 4:54 am Reply

    You just cannot imagine how excited I was to read this post! I fell in love with this salad in college and have repeatedly thought about it ever since – even trying to recreate it according to what turned out to be a very poor recipe. Yeah! No more searching. These photos are gorgeous.

  2. MaryMohposted March 28, 2010 at 7:35 am Reply

    Beautiful dish. Looks very delicious. I would love to try it. I love Vietnamese food.

  3. Ed Schenkposted March 30, 2010 at 7:57 pm Reply

    I just know I would love this.

  4. I Am Gluten Freeposted June 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm Reply

    This looks fantastic. We, too, have a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants in our area and it's so easy to find gluten free options (I have Celiac). Thanks for sharing!

    Ellen

  5. lauraposted July 16, 2010 at 11:49 pm Reply

    I did it! Fish sauce and all (only slightly reduced – still a major advancement for me (: ) This was incredible, Sommer! The flavors were perfect. The only bad part was Jonathan pulled down half of the nuoc cham sauce on top of his head and face and all over the kitchen – he cleaned up in the shower, but the fish sauce element is still lingering in my kitchen even though I keep cleaning. Oh, well. It was worth it. This recipe is wonderful!

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  10. Jamesposted September 19, 2014 at 10:11 am Reply

    I believe what this recipe actually is, is bun thit nung gio’. Bun cha is not served together in one bowl. Bun cha consist of strips of pork or pork belly and pork pattys. It is served with a plate of lettuce and herbs, a bowl of sweet nouc cham, pickled carrots and daikan and warm rice noodles. The taste and experience is almost identical except bun thit nung is served in a single bowl where bun cha is served on several plates. The meat and noodles are eaten through the nouc cham. Bun cha gio’ as you stated is the addition of the fried spring rolls. They are both meals we eat pretty regularly at my house, as well as numerous other Vietnamese recipes. Vietnamese food rocks!! Great sight!!

    • Jamesposted September 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm Reply

      Oh yea, Bun cha is served in the north(Hanoi), Bun thit nuong is served in the south.

  11. Brittanyposted February 27, 2016 at 8:01 am Reply

    This exact dish is my number one favorite thing to order at any Vietnamese restaurant. I live in an area with dozens upon dozens of incredible Vietnamese restaurants. The imperial egg rolls and chargrilled pork are my favorite additions to the vermicelli bowl! Yum, cannot wait to make this!

  12. Julie @ Cooks with Cocktailsposted February 27, 2016 at 9:54 am Reply

    This looks like the perfect healthy comfort food.  That pork looks to die for on top of all those veggies and drizzled in nouc cham, it would be heavenly!  This is going on my meal plan for this week.  

  13. Emily Mposted February 27, 2016 at 10:55 am Reply

    What brand of spring rolls are those?  I haven’t ever found a brand I like, but want to keep my eye out!!!

  14. Lizposted March 5, 2016 at 8:15 am Reply

    Nice recipe. Thank you.

  15. Rach's Recipesposted March 9, 2016 at 12:13 am Reply

    This was an excellent dish, exactly like what I had in Vietnam several years back. I do love it spicy too, so I went a little overboard with the chili sauce – perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Jess W.posted March 9, 2016 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I think I’m in love! This looks amazing! I’ve never had Vietnamese food before I’m excited to try this.