I feel like right now people are really into eating salads because they’re easy to make and they’re refreshing to have during summer weather. But in Vietnamese culture, we don’t have salads. We have vermicelli bowls. They’re just as good as salads and just as easy to make. Personally, I think they’re better. A good bun thit xao xa or cha ca la vong always make a day better. They’re usually made of some type of protein on top of vermicelli noodles and fresh vegetables. I am literally always eating vermicelli bowls. Case in point this garlic butter salmon vermicelli bowl. Last week, I took a look at my fridge and just threw together a vermicelli bowl using what I had, and this was the result. I was so excited about it, I just had to share the recipe.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Salmon – This is the main protein in this recipe and so simple to prepare. My salmon came with the skin on, and I took it off because it made it easier to slice into chunks. I would recommend removing the skin for this reason.
- Seasonings (salt and pepper) – Both add flavor to the salmon. You can use any kind of salt for this recipe. I prefer using black pepper for salmon, but white pepper works too.
- Butter – Butter adds a nice richness and nuttiness to this recipe. If you don’t want to use butter, use olive oil.
- Shallots – Shallots add a nice sweet flavor to this dish. A good substitute for shallot is yellow onion. I would use 1/4 of an onion if you choose to use that instead.
- Garlic – Adds flavor to the dish.
- Lemon juice – Lemon adds brightness and freshness to the salmon. I used 1 tablespoon or about 1/2 a lemon.
- Toppings (vermicelli, lettuce, mint, carrots, cucumbers, peanuts) – You can customize the toppings to your tastes. I would recommend as a bare minimum including lettuce and vermicelli. These two ingredients add a good base for any other ingredients you choose.
- Vietnamese dipping sauce – This is essentially the dressing for this vermicelli bowl. Get the recipe for my Vietnamese dipping sauce here.
Making my salmon vermicelli bowl
First prepare your toppings. Make your Vietnamese dipping sauce. Slice your carrots, cucumbers, peanuts, and carrots. Cook your vermicelli noodles. Set aside. Next season your salmon with salt and pepper. Melt butter over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 10-20 seconds. Add the salmon and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until a nice sear appears. Remove from the heat. Squeeze lemon juice over the top.
Now you can assemble your vermicelli bowls! Add vermicelli noodles to a bowl. Next add lettuce, mint, carrots, and cucumbers. Top with salmon and peanuts (optional). Lastly, drizzle Vietnamese dipping sauce over the top and serve.
Tips on how to make the perfect salmon vermicelli bowl
Prep your toppings first
The salmon cooks in under 5 minutes, so you will get to the dinner table faster if you prep your toppings and Vietnamese dipping sauce ahead of time. You also want your salmon to be hot while the other ingredients to be cold. That contrast really makes the dish more refreshing.
Customize your toppings
Vermicelli bowls is all about what YOU like. I would recommend including lettuce and vermicelli noodles as a base, and then topping it with whatever else you want. Good options are cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, peanuts, and mint.
Did you make this dish?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
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Garlic Butter Salmon Vermicelli Bowl
- 1 lb salmon cut into 1 inch thick pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ a lemon
- 1 package vermicelli noodles
- 1 head lettuce ripped into small pieces
- 2 Persian cucumbers thinly sliced
- ¼ cup carrots julienned
- ¼ cup peanuts toasted, minced
- mint to taste
- ½ cup Vietnamese dipping sauce
- First prepare your toppings. Cook your vermicelli noodles, toast and mince your peanuts, slice your cucumbers and carrots, and make your Vietnamese dipping sauce. Set aside.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper.
- Melt butter over medium high heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook for 10-20 seconds.
- Add the salmon. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until there is a nice sear on both sides.
- Remove the salmon from the heat and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Set aside.
- Now you can assemble your vermicelli bowls! Add a handful of noodles to a bowl. Next add lettuce, mint, cucumbers, and carrots. Top with salmon and peanuts. Drizzle Vietnamese dipping sauce over the top and serve!