Who's ready to fill your house with people and serve up a big 'ole bowl of freshness. Well, if that isn't you - Don't fret. This also is an amazing quick weeknight meal. I'm going to talk a bunch about serving it to a crowd, but just know you aren't alone if you don't want to share this.
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowls are a favorite meal in our house. This seems to make the weeknight rotation at least every couple weeks because it is just overwhelmingly fresh with so many herbs, veggies, and that tangy, spicy, sweet Nuoc Cham sauce clinging ever so slightly to everything.
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowls
Quick Friends Night for 4
Guests arrived at 5:30 pm
Prepped for 30 minutes the night before
20 minutes on the Day-Of
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowl Basics
Rice noodles, thinly sliced veggies and all the fresh, vibrant fresh herbs your heart desires. It's pretty simple, friends. However, there are so many bright colors in this meal that I swear it makes it feel "special". I would also venture to say that these rice noodle bowls are an item that most people feel like they would have to head to their nearest Vietnamese restaurant to get. No need to leave. Just whip this up at home.
Lemongrass Marinade for Your Choice of Protein
You can use this marinade for a variety of proteins - chicken, beef, pork, tofu. Use it on a few or just pick one and simply grill the other. This would also be a great marinade to double and freeze with the protein to make this an even faster weeknight meal on another day.
Sweet, salty, tangy, lime-y. Well, not sure lime-y is a thing, but that's how I would categorize this. I love the lime juice and really get wild with how much lime my Nuoc cham can handle. Be sure to taste this and adjust to your liking.
I LOVE to serve this for guests, though, because it is so easy to prep most of the components ahead of time.
- Day Before
- Grill Protein
- Cook Rice Noodles
- Craft Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowls or set all ingredients out in a "build-your-own" type spread
This leaves you with a filling meal that doesn't require any other side dishes or salads. I would recommend large plates or bowls for guests to craft up a hearty serving. Go heavy on the protein since this will allow people to fill up on that if they are big eaters. Better yet, if you really are feeding a group with this meal -- Offer a couple protein options. Some of my favorites are chicken, thinly sliced pork, thinly sliced beef, tofu, or shrimp.
What you are setting out on the table
- Bowls & Forks or Chopsticks
- Platter of chopped vegetables
- Platter of chopped toppings
- Sliced Protein Options
- Bowl of Warm Rice Noodles
- Nuoc Cham
- Some extra spice - Sriracha or Chili Paste
- Since Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowls are gluten-free, dairy-free and easily made vegetarian (offer tofu) it is a great recipe to use when you have someone coming over that has any dietary restrictions.
- This recipe is beyond easy to increase for a larger guest count. This is definitely something I would consider doing for a big family meal (15-20 for us), especially since so much of it can be prepped the day-before or easily delegated (all that chopping) on the night of.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #theeternalhostess on Instagram. Enjoy, friends!