This dish needs little introduction…it is simply the light and totally satisfying vegan version of the standard vermicelli bowl.
When I considered posting this, I wondered if it was just too simple and whether it was possible that vermicelli bowl lovers hadn’t come up with this at home already. But then I thought, if even one hasn’t, it would be worth posting.
So, without further ado, here is how I do it. The amounts in the ingredient list aren’t very specific because you can use as much or as little as you like. It just depends on how you like the dish. I like 75% noodle, 25% peppers, tofu, etc.
- 1 package of white rice vermicelli (or any vermicelli you like)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 block of extra firm tofu, pressed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- fresh basil, cleaned and torn
- fresh mint, cleaned and torn
- fresh cilantro, cleaned and torn (for that portion of the population who lacks the cilantro-tastes-like-soap gene)
- 1/2 of an english cucumber, cut into 2″ sections and cut into matchsticks
- bean sprouts
- chopped peanuts
- lemon juice
- tamari (or soy sauce)
- agave syrup or white sugar
- chili garlic sauce (I like Kum Le brand)
- 1Tbsp peanut oil (or another vegetable oil)
- vegan spring rolls (I happened to find vegan ones in the freezer at Metro, but if you’re feeling fancy, make your own!)
- Cook 2 spring rolls as per package directions. (Mine took 20 minutes, so they were done pretty close to the same time as everything else.)
- Cook the vermicelli as per package directions and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat 1Tbps of oil on medium high heat and add your tofu. Toss it until most sides are a nice gold brown.
- Once the tofu is browned, add your garlic, peppers, onion, and sprouts to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together about 3Tbsp of tamari (or soy sauce), 2Tbsp cool water, and 1Tbsp of agave syrup. I like it to taste like an even balance of salty and sweet, so adjust according to your taste. Add this to your skillet and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes until everything is starting to soften a little but remains nice and crisp. Remove from heat.
Fish sauce replacement/lemon sauce:
- In a small bowl mix about 3 Tbsp of water with 2Tbsp of lemon juice and 2Tbsp of agave syrup (or white sugar). Adjust according to your taste. (I like it to taste like sugary lemons). Also, there are numerous versions of vegan sauces for this type of dish online, so feel free to try some out. I was starving and not feeling fussy, so this was perfect for me.
- Fill 3/4 of your bowl with vermicelli and 1/4 with your sautéd veggies.
- Top with spring rolls cut into 3 or 4 pieces, a good sprinkling of chopped peanuts, and fresh cucumber, basil, and mint (no cilantro for me!).
- For flavour, I dress the dish first with my lemony sauce. Then I add tamari and chili garlic sauce to my heart’s content.
Voila! Homemade Vegan Number 5!