WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RICE NOODLES AND VERMICELLI NOODLES?
Although both are made from rice flour, Rice noodles and vermicelli noodles are different in their texture and composition, vermicelli noodles, or Bun Gao noodles, for example, are thinner and often called rice sticks. Packaged in a bundle or often in a long thin bag, vermicelli noodles are thinner than spaghetti noodles.
Sometimes confused with mung or glass noodles because of their similar appearance, vermicelli noodles, similar to rice noodles, are not only easy to cook, they are prepared in a matter of minutes.
Rice noodles, on the other hand, are thicker, more broad noodles, flat noodles. Though rice noodles vary in thickness, they are made of rice similar to vermicelli noodles.
WHERE DO YOU BUY VERMICELLI NOODLES TO MAKE VIETNAMESE NOODLES?
Typically, Vietnamese noodles are made with vermicelli noodles, although rice noodles can be used as a substitute. Without a doubt, I prefer thinner noodles for this particular Vietnamese noodle recipe, but in a pinch, any thin noodle will do, even spaghetti.
Obviously, all Asian stores carry a variety of rice noodles, including vermicelli noodles. Whole Food, for example, also carries a variety of rice noodles, as does Sprouts market. So simply look in the Asian section of your local store.
When in doubt, I order anything I can't readily find on Amazon. In fact, I learned the hard way that Amazon dropping it off at my door saves much more time than driving around town looking for specialty items.
HOW TO COOK THE PERFECT VERMICELLI NOODLES FOR VIETNAMESE NOODLES
WHAT IS LEMONGRASS? WHERE DO I FIND IT? AND HOW ON EARTH DO I COOK WITH IT?
Another important ingredient is the lemongrass. Lemongrass, for instance, has a unique and fresh, mild citrus taste. The first time I had lemongrass was at a Vietnamese restaurant we go to often. So, I planted and harvested my own. Luckily, I live in Arizona, which lemongrass loves. In addition, snakes and mice don't like the wonderful citrus small, so I get a two for the price of one.
Of course, not everyone has a lemongrass plant growing in their yards, so where can you find this special ingredient? Whole Foods carries it, and from time to time, so does Sprouts market.
To use the lemongrass in cooking, you first have to chop off the thick ends and peel away the layers, like an onion, until you get a pliable stalk that bends. Then, you dice the white pliable center.
DULSE...THE VEGAN INGREDIENT TO REPLACE FISH SAUCE IN ANY ASIAN RECIPE
Dulse is a variety of seaweed that resembles leafy red lettuce when fresh. Its flavor will definitely remind you of the ocean — its minerality makes it a great stand-in for salt.
The benefits of Dulse include, for example, high levels of protein and fiber. In addition, dulse is a nutrient-rich red alga that has become increasingly popular in health food circles due to its numerous nutrition properties. As a result, more and more experts advise people to implement sea greens into their diets, including dulse.
LEMONGRASS TOFU IS A PERFECT ADDITION TO VIETNAMESE NOODLES
For this Vietnamese noodle recipe, I decided to top it with Grilled Tofu. Although I love Vietnamese noodles without tofu, the tofu and marinade complement the taste of the dressing and fresh vegetables in the noodle bowl.
Even though I made Lemongrass Tofu for this Vietnamese noodle recipe, I also use it in my Vegan Tom Kha Gai Coconut Soup, Vegan Thai Tahini Veggie Noodle Bowls, or Yum Yum Noodles. So whatever Asian dish you love, try adding a little Lemongrass Tofu.
CHOOSING THE VEGETABLES FOR YOUR VIETNAMESE NOODLES RECIPE
Because I love color and try to eat the rainbow whenever I can, I chose purple cabbage, red bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, and green onion.
As a result, I made a beautifully colorful and hearty bowl for dinner. Not only does this Vietnamese noodle make a great dinner, but it also packs well for lunch as well. Just make sure you add the dressing right before you eat to keep the noodles firm.
THE DRESSING...A DRIZZLE OF THIS DELICIOUS DRESSING GOES A LONG WAY
What I love most about this Vietnamese noodle recipe is the combination of noodles, vegetables, Lemongrass Tofu Recipe, and the incredible dressing.
When serving, I put the dressing in a squirt bottle to drizzle on the noodles to add the peanut lemongrass dressing. Again, the lemongrass adds an incredibly clean and citrus flavor.
Combined with a little peanut butter, ginger, and soy (or Tamari), this dressing is so tasty; you might want to lick the bowl.
Check out this Vietnamese Noodles Recipe.
If you love this Asian vegan recipe, try these other great recipes:
- Asian Bowtie Pasta Salad
- Spicy Asian Salad
- General Tso Cauliflower Recipe
- How to Make Yum Yum Noodles
- Spicy Korean Baked Cauliflower
- Tofu Banh Mi
- How to Make Your Own Vegan Poke Bowl With Tofu, Rice and Vegetables
Lemongrass Tofu Recipe
- 1 recipe Grilled Tofu optional
- 6.75 ounces rice vermicelli noodles or rice noodles of choice
- 1 cup red bell pepper sliced thin
- 1 cucumber deseeded, and julienned
- 2 cups purple cabbage shredded
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup green onions chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 4 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or Tamari
- 1 Tablespoon lemongrass minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Lime wedges
- Asian garlic Chili Sauce
- Chopped salted peanuts
Grilled Tofu (Optional)
- Press, marinate and grill the tofu.
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender
- Put dressing in a squeeze bottle to drizzle on the noodle bowl.
- Place noodles in a shallow pan or bowl, so they fit completely without breaking the noodles.
- Boil 4 cups of water (make sure it is boiling)
- Pour boiling water over noodles
- Using a fork, move noodles around
- Leave the noodles for 4-6 minutes until noodles are tender
- Pour noodles into a colander and run cold water over the noodles
- Use noodles immediately, or place them in the refrigerator in a covered container until ready to use.
- DO NOT ADD DRESSING TO NOODLES IF USING LATER
- Cut the vegetables of choice
- Place a serving of noodles in the base of each shallow bowl
- Add vegetables, and top with grilled lemongrass tofu
- Drizzle with dressing
- Add garnish if chosen
- This recipe can be eaten hot or cold or a combination of both (My noodles and tofu were hot; the veggies raw), but you can cook veggies if you prefer
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂