Rice vermicelli with grilled shrimp (bun tom xao)

Main Dish
6 servings
20 min
35 min


Number of serving: 6

Thai basil

fresh crisp bean sprouts

3 sriracha d chili's, cored/seeded and minced

crispy fried onions

1 cucumber, diced or julienned

1 and 1/2 pkgs Bun noodles

1 and 1/2 lbs large Tiger Shrimp, peeled and de-veined

AND/OR 1 large brick of extra firm tofu, sliced

Optional other additions:

Hoisin Sauce

fresh mint

dry roasted peanuts, chopped

carrots, julienned

lettuce or cabbage


Spicy Peanut Sauce:

1/3 cup all-natural creamy Peanut Butter

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

3 cloves garlic, pressed

2 tbsp rice vinegar

3 tbsp tahini

3 tbs Sambal-Oelek

1 or 2 tsp Sriracha Sauce


Nuoc Cham:

1 clove garlic

1 or 2 tsp Sambal-Oelek

1/2 tsp Sriracha

2/3 cup hot water

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Fish sauce

2 tbs fresh lime juice


  • 1)
    Make your sauces:

    Marinate shrimp in a few tablespoons of peanut sauce.

    Allow to sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  • Prepare the Noodles:

    Bring a stock pot of water to boiling.

    Add the noodles and allow to boil for 3 to 5 minutes.

    Stir once or twice as they boil to break the noodles apart.

    Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse in cold water until the noodles are cool and the water runs clear.
  • Let the noodles drain in the colander for at least 30 minutes, or can leave them for up to 2 hours unrefrigerated.

    Before serving, run just a bit of warm water over the noodles so they aren't sticking together .

    Grill the shrimp and/or tofu over moderate heat just until done.
  • The shrimp will only take around 4 or 5 minutes.

    The tofu, slightly more.

    Bring it all together:

    Fill each bowl with noodles.

    Top with a handful of bean sprouts, fried onions, a pinch of the diced chili peppers, and cucumber.
  • Tear the basil and cilantro into each bowl.

    Top with with the shrimp.

    Pass the Nuoc Cham at the table - each person should pour on about 3 or 4 tbs of the stuff.

    Pass the peanut sauce as well - which can be added to taste.

    Toss the noodles, toppings and sauces together a few times with chopsticks or fork, and enjoy!!
  • 2)
    Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat.

    Stir and heat until it has reach a smooth and creamy consistency.

    Serve immediately or keeps several weeks in the fridge.

    As it cools it will change consitency slightly, become thicker.

    If you like, heat in the microwave over medium heat or in a sauce pan on low before serving.

    It's also good cold straight out of the fridge
  • 3)
    Combine Sambal-Oelek, Sriracha, water and sugar.

    Stir well - until sugar has dissolved.

    Add the fish sauce and lime juice and stir until combined.

    Make at least 15 minutes before serving - but the earlier the better, you can even make it days in advance.

    Just stir it all up in a jar and keep it in the fridge, then on the day need take it out and let it come to room temp before using.


Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Shrimp (Bun Tom Xao), photo 1
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Shrimp (Bun Tom Xao), photo 2
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Shrimp (Bun Tom Xao), photo 3
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Shrimp (Bun Tom Xao), photo 4
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Shrimp (Bun Tom Xao), photo 5
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Shrimp (Bun Tom Xao), photo 6


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