Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Bowl

When your life is as busy as ours, you tend to always reach for easy meals idea. Sure, the little pho shop on the corner is cheap and delicious – but making some noodles at home can be just as simple, and even more rewarding.
When we first moved to Vancouver, almost three years ago, we used to live pretty much off Salad Rolls,Bun Cha, Bánh mì and Pho from our favourite neighbourhood spot: Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro. Very quickly, we became somewhat addicted to the fresh and vibrant flavours of Vietnamese cuisine.

Being a chef, Tristen was no stranger to bowls. Most of his meals in a kitchen are thrown together in a “deli cup”, and eaten as fast as possible between tickets – the infamous dirty bowl. Somehow, noodles bowls are still one of his favourite meals.

Now that we’re cooking at home more often, we still find ourselves craving Baoguettte. To resist the temptation, we came up with these vietnamese inspired turkey meatballs, with a fresh and spicy rice noodle salad. The flavours really help to brighten up any day, and definitely satisfy any cravings you might have. Spicy, Sweet, Sour, and Salty. This bowl hits all of the notes.

Top view of Spicy Lemongrass Turkey Meatballs
Honey Garlic Glazed Lemongrass Turkey Meatballs
The Final Bowl - Ready to Eat
The Final Bowl – Ready to Eat

SCALLION/GINGER DRESSING
1Bunch Scallions – Thinly Shaved
3inch Ginger – Grated
1tbsp Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Fish Sauce
3tbsp Rice Vinegar
4tbsp Grapeseed Oil

Shave the scallions as thinly as possible. Avoid using a food processor as it will become bruised and taste slightly bitter.
Grate the ginger using a microplane, and then season with soy, fish Sauce, rice vinegar, and salt. Whisk in grapeseed oil.
Fold the Scallions in and hold until needed.
Holds nicely (and even improves in flavour) for about 3 to 4 day.

SPICY LEMONGRASS TURKEY MEATBALLS
1lb Ground Turkey Leg
3inch Stalk Lemongrass – sliced
1 Thai Chili
1/2 Garlic Scape
1/4 Cinnamon Stick
1tsp Corriander
1/2tsp Fennel Seed
1/2tsp Black Peppercorn
1/2tsp Pink Peppercorn
1 pod Star Anise
2tsp Soy Sauce
1/2tsp Fish Sauce
1tsp Cooking Wine

In a mortar and pestle, grind the dry spices, and then add the chili, garlic, and lemongrass. Grind to a fine paste.
Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and cooking wine.
Mix the marinade with ground turkey, and form into 1oz meatballs. Allow to set in the fridge for at least an hour.
In a nonstick pan, heat enough oil to coat the bottom and sear the meatballs over high heat.
Once nicely browned, remove the meatballs to rest.
Drain the oil from the pan and use it to make your honey garlic glaze.
Once the glaze is cooked, add your meatballs back to the pan, toss in the sauce, and cover with a lid to steam for 2 to 3 minutes.

HONEY GARLIC GLAZE
1/4cup Honey
2 garlic Cloves – thinly sliced
1tbsp Sherry Vinegar
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1/2tsp Black Pepper – ground

In a heavy bottomed pan, add the honey over medium/high heat and allow it to caramelize. Be sure to swirl the pan to evenly distribute the honey as it cooks.
Once the honey has reduced slightly and starts to caramelize, add the sliced garlic and allow it to toast. Have the sherry vinegar ready.
As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant and toasty, add the sherry vinegar to stop the cooking process. Add the soy sauce and black pepper.
At this point, you can set the glaze aside for another use, or add the meatballs to finish.

TO ASSEMBLE
Cooked and chilled Rice Noodles, Scallion Ginger Sauce
Shaved Carrot/Cabbage, Peashoots
Mixed Herbs (Cilantro, Thai Basil, Mint)
Chopped Cashews, Fried Shallots
Honey Garlic Glazed Turkey Meatballs

Basically, just throw it all in a bowl. If you want to make it pretty, go for it! If not, it’ll taste just as delicious.

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