Recipe: $19.56 | Per Serving: $4.89 | Yield: 4
This Vietnamese Bun Cha Salad is a super flavorful Whole30 twist on a traditional Vietnamese favorite. It is packed with flavor and freshness and you're going to LOVE it. Seriously. It's the best.
We started making a version of this on our first Whole30 back in 2017 when we were having weekly dinner parties with our fellow Whole30 pals.
It was so beautiful and colorful that it made its way into the regular rotation of dinner parties, and we now even make low FODMAP modifications so we can continue enjoying it while undergoing treatment for SIBO (yes, we both have SIBO.) 🙄
It all starts with these quick-pickled vegetables (which, honestly, deserve their own post.) And the trifecta of Southeast Asian herbs: basil, mint, and cilantro. Definitely use Thai basil if you can get your hands on it, but Italian / Sweet basil works just fine.
As I mentioned in the Bun Cha Meatballs post, bun cha is traditionally served cold with rice noodles and a mild sweetened fish sauce, which you can definitely do if you want. You can also serve this with rice or stuff it into rice paper for Bun Cha Spring Rolls. AMAZING.
After whipping up the quick-pickled veggies, make yourself some amazing Vietnamese pork meatballs. And put it all together on a plate / bowl like so.
Vietnamese Bun Cha Salad! It's life-changing stuff.
A word about the price:
This recipe is definitely pricier than most on this site, but it is an absolute restaurant-worthy, dinner party-worthy, entertainment showstopper that still comes in at just $5 per serving! We always have leftover veggies when we make this, and you'll save money if you make your own mayonnaise rather than buying the Chipotle Lime mayo by Primal Kitchens.
How to Make Quick-Pickled Vegetables
This is so easy! You can use the hot method or the cold method.
Hot method: warm rice vinegar on stove and add some sort of sweetener - honey or coconut aminos or even regular sugar. Slice or shred your veggies and stuff them into a jar or shallow dish. Cover with the rice vinegar. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Cold Method: combine the rice vinegar with honey or coconut aminos. Slice or shred your veggies and stuff them into a jar or shallow dish. Cover with the rice vinegar. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
That's it! Check out the quick-pickled veggies on this post if you want to see the hot method. Fast and delish.
Vegetarian: No, but I'm sure you could serve the salad with some sort of tofu or tempeh option that would still be delicious.
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER!
Vietnamese Bun Cha Salad (Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-free)
For the Quick Pickled Veggies:
- 1 ½ cups matchstick carrots
- 1 ½ cups matchstick radishes daikon or others
- 1 jalapeño sliced (use less for less spicy)
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos or use honey for Low FODMAP
For the Meatballs:
- 1 recipe Vietnamese Bun Cha Meatballs
For the Salad:
- 6 cups arugula
- 1 cucumber thinly sliced
- 3 Tablespoons mint
- 3 Tablespoons basil
- 3 Tablespoons cilantro
- 3 scallions 1 cup chopped - use only green parts for Low FODMAP
- 6 lime wedges
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise Primal Kitchens Chipotle Mayo or homemade mayo, thin it out with some of the pickling liquid to make a dressing if desired
- Cut the carrots and radishes into matchsticks, or use a julienne peeler. (To save time, you can also grate them!). Place in a large shallow dish with the sliced jalapeño, and add the rice vinegar and coconut aminos or honey. Cover and set aside to "pickle" for 30 minutes if possible. (You can also shove them into a jar and cover them with the pickling liquid.)
- Prepare the Bun Cha Meatballs!
- Assemble your salad! Combine the chopped herbs in a bowl for easy grabbing, slice the lime into wedges, and feel free to thin out the mayo with a little of the pickling liquid (or water) if you prefer a dressing consistency. I recommend dividing the arugula among the bowls and placing the remaining ingredients on the table so everyone can make their own.
- Dig in!