Vietnamese Lemon Grass Beef and Noodle Salad (Bún Bò Xào), a zesty stir-fry of marinated beef hot from the wok paired with room temperature rice noodles, makes a satisfying main-course salad year-round. Dressed with a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce and topped with roasted peanuts, the flavors are clean, bright and restorative. Yes, Vietnamese Lemon Grass Beef and Noodle Salad (Bún Bò Xào) calls for a lot of ingredients, but the prep is simple, and it’s an easy introduction to Vietnamese cooking for the uninitiated.
Hot from the wok, a fragrant, zesty stir-fry of beef is spooned over freshly cooked room-temperature rice noodles. Then come carrot, cucumber and radish slivers, and a sprinkling of crushed roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots for good measure. A pile of sweet green herbs is at the ready. Now a generous splash of the traditional umami-laden dipping sauce called nuoc cham.
And there you have it: bun bo xao, a warm, made-to-order Vietnamese noodle, refreshing and satisfying for an easy lunch or supper. For the uninitiated, this dish makes an easy introduction to Vietnamese cooking. The standard ingredients are all there: fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and hot pepper. There's no complicated broth to make; just a quick marinade for the meat, chopping a few vegetables, washing some herbs.