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Fresh and Easy Vietnamese Noodle Salad (Vegan Bún Chay)

This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Looking for Vietnamese vegetarian recipes? This is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Guys, I’m officially over winter. I refuse to accept any more crappy weather.

But that doesn’t have to mean that I have to keep eating soups, stews, and casseroles, right?

Looking for Vegetarian Vietnamese recipes? This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

I want to eat things that are fresh, and green, and raw, and filled with interesting textures! I have NEEDS.

This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Needs like this vegan Vietnamese salad bowl. Swoon.

This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

What You Need For This Recipe

This Vietnamese vermicelli salad has;

  • Tender rice noodles
  • Caramelized tofu
  • Raw vegetables
  • Lots of crunchy peanuts
  • The whole thing is topped with fresh herbs (cilantro + basil + mint)
  • And a tangy-salty dressing

Looking for vegan Vietnamese recipes? This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

I decided it was high time I made a vegan Vietnamese noodle bowl the way I wanted it!

This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Instead of greasy, deep-fried tofu I wanted mine to be sticky-sweet and caramelized.

Rather than two sprigs of limp herbs, I wanted handfuls of fresh Thai basil, mint leaves, and cilantro.

In lieu of a few stray slices of cucumber, I prefer a Vietnamese bun salad loaded with colorful veggies!

This Vegan bun bowl recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

Since I made this at home, I was able to keep the dressing/seasoning vegan by using mushroom soy sauce instead of fish sauce.

One quick note: most of the places around here call this dish “bun chay,” although I’ve also seen it called Vietnamese rice noodle salad, Vietnamese vermicelli noodle salad, Vietnamese bun recipe, bun Vietnamese salad, Vietnamese noodle salad and about a thousand other things so for the sake of argument let’s just refer to it as a Vietnamese cold noodle salad.

Looking for Vietnamese vegan recipes? This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Just looking at these pictures is giving me a serious craving! I think it’s time I make my way to the kitchen and properly welcome myself home.

How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Assemble the ingredients for the dressing.

Tofu Vermicelli Bowl Salad Dressing Ingredients

Whisk the Vietnamese noodle salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside to infuse.

How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Cook the noodles according to package directions; rinse with cold water, drain well, then divide into four serving bowls.

Assemble the ingredients for the caramelized tofu.

How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Heat one tablespoon of peanut oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the tofu pieces and fry until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes on both sides.

How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Salad

While the tofu is frying, stir the mushroom soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar together in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved.

Once the tofu is browned, pour this mixture into the pan. Allow the sauce to cook in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Flip the tofu to ensure the sauce coats and sticks to each side. Cook for another minute or so, until the tofu is caramelized and sticky. Transfer the tofu to the noodle bowls.

How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Top the noodle bowls with julienned carrot, sliced bell pepper, cucumber half moons, herbs, and peanuts.

This bun noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Pour a quarter of the prepared dressing over each bowl.

This Vietnamese salad vegetarian recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Here’s the Recipe!

In need of a healthy 30-minute meal? Look no further than this Vegan Bún Chay noodle salad!

Vegan Bún Chay Recipe (Vietnamese Noodle Salad Recipe)

This Vegan Bún Chay Vietnamese noodle salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish you can make in 30 minutes.
4.5 from 193 votes
Pin Rate Save
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 654kcal
Author: The Wanderlust Kitchen
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the Dressing
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut or date sugar*
  • 2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce - or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemongrass - white part only
  • 1 clove garlic - grated
  • 1 to 2 bird's eye chilies - sliced (optional)
  • 2 to 3 dashes Maggi seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon water
For the Bún Chay
  • 8 ounces thin rice noodles - vermicelli-style
  • 2 carrots - julienned
  • 1 large bell pepper - orange, yellow, or red, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup English cucumber half moons
  • 1 cup cilantro stems and leaves - remove tough stem ends if desired
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • Lime wedges for serving - optional
For the Caramelized Tofu
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 14 ounces firm tofu - sliced into bite-sized rectangles
  • 2 teaspoons mushroom soy sauce - or low sodium soy-sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or date sugar

Instructions

  • Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil for cooking the noodles.
  • While the water is heating, whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside to infuse.
  • After the water is boiling, cook the noodles according to package directions; rinse with cold water, drain well, then divide into four serving bowls.
  • Heat one tablespoon of peanut oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the tofu pieces and fry until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes on both sides. While the tofu is frying, stir the mushroom soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar together in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Once the tofu is browned, pour this mixture into the pan. Allow the sauce to cook in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Flip the tofu to ensure the sauce coats and sticks to each side. Cook for another minute or so, until the tofu is caramelized and sticky. Transfer the tofu to the noodle bowls.
  • Top the noodle bowls with julienned carrot, sliced bell pepper, cucumber half moons, herbs, and peanuts. Pour a quarter of the prepared dressing over each bowl. Serve at once.

VIDEO

NOTES

*You can also substitute brown or white sugar if needed.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Bún Chay Recipe (Vietnamese Noodle Salad Recipe)
Serving Size
 
1 serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
654
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
30
g
46
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
12
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
12
g
Sodium
 
548
mg
24
%
Potassium
 
697
mg
20
%
Carbohydrates
 
77
g
26
%
Fiber
 
8
g
33
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
23
g
46
%
Vitamin A
 
7231
IU
145
%
Vitamin C
 
66
mg
80
%
Calcium
 
240
mg
24
%
Iron
 
5
mg
28
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Take a picture and tag @thewanderlustkitchen on Instagram or tag #thewanderlustkitchen! We can't wait to see your version!

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In need of a healthy 30-minute meal? Look no further than this Vegan Bún Chay noodle salad!

About the Author

Anetta

Hi, I'm Anetta! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel stories from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. I believe that food brings us together as much as it sets us apart. Be brave, try something new!

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Comments:

    1. Hi Emma, boiling the water is for cooking the noodles. Sorry for the confusion, I have updated the instructions to make them clearer.

  1. My husband and I have made this salad a few times now and we LOVE it. I have an aerogarden where we grow both Thai basil and mint, and this is a perfect dish to use it up. Before COVID, we would regularly order bun salads at local Thai restaurants, and this satisfies our cravings perfectly. Now that we have made it a few times, it only take us half an hour as well, with the use of our handy mandolin.

  2. We loved this so much we had it two nights in a row! A real flavour explosion. I made no changes other than to use normal basil as I couldn’t find Thai. I couldn’t really time myself on the first night, as I was having ‘one of those nights’ where I was losing things and knocking things over and generally being hopeless. The second attempt was very smooth however, and all done in about 25 minutes (the dressing was already made from the night before however). Will definitely be making again – very soon 🙂

    1. I’m making this tonight and am very excited. I live in the far west side of Portland and have been looking for Maggi for years and can’t find it. Where do you get it?
      Also, I don’t know where you are located but Vivi’s Noodle House in Hillsboro is the best Vietnamese food I’ve had on the west side.

  3. I cooked this for my boyfriend’s family (their standard for food is HIGH) and it was an absolute success and I must say extremely tasty. I did use all the ingredients apart from coriander as I could not find it in Turkey, and I used regular fish sauce. I must mention though that this took me about 1,5 hours, never 30 mins!

    An absolutely delicious dish!

  4. I made this recipe the other day with absolutely zero changes or additions and it was so very delicious! The flavors come together incredibly; I was reminded of the dishes I consumed at little eateries in Vietnam with the half-height stools. My meat-eating partner also ate this with gusto. We had a few veggies and a little dressing left over, and they made a wonderful lunch after marinating in the fridge overnight. I love your stuff!

  5. Ok, first, the combination of flavors is DELICIOUS! A wonderful fresh dish for a warm California summer day. And very close to what I used to eat in a neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin.
    Two small points of criticism: First, this took me over an hour to prepare and I am a seasoned 😉 cook, so I don’t know how you’d whip this up in 30 minutes.
    Second, I wanted more dressing – I think I’ll double the quantity next time.
    Otherwise, I’ll say it again, DELICIOUS!