Rainbow Bun Cha Bowl with Cosmos Red Cabbage Noodles and Vermillion Annatto Fried Tofu
Looking for something fresh, crunchy, colorful, and perfect for Summer #WellnessWednesday? We got you covered & this is a top-priority to try. Full of flavor, hearty Rainbow Bún Chả Giò Chay with a little delicious twist — the Vietnamese Rice Noodles (Bun) in this beautiful shade of purple from Suncore Foods® Cosmos Red Cabbage Supercolor Powder and pan-fried annatto tofu using Suncore Foods® Vermillion Annatto Supercolor Powder. Load it up with bed of shredded lettuce, fresh herbs, cucumber, pickled radish & carrot, and finished off with homemade vegan fish sauce. The extra crunch and slurping of noodles with juicy egg rolls bite, IT IS A DELICIOUS MOUTHFUL OF GOODNESS. Give this delightful dish a try to enjoy for lunch or dinner.
Ebony Carrot Vermicelli:
100g dried rice vermicelli 2 bundles
3 tsp Suncore Foods® Cosmos Red Cabbage Supercolor Powder
Vermillion Annatto Fried Tofu:
3 200g blocks extra firm tofu
Neutral oil for frying
3 tsp Suncore Foods® Vermillion Annatto Supercolor Powder
1/2 cup all-purple flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Suncore Foods® Rose Salt
3/4 cup room temperature water
2 cups breadcrumbs
Pickled Daikon Radish and Carrots (Đồ Chua):
250g daikon radish peeled and sliced into matchsticks
250g carrot peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 heaping tbsp Suncore Foods® Rose Salt
1 cup boiling hot water
6 tbsp cane sugar or to taste
4 tbsp vinegar
2-3 tbsp water extra if needed
Fried Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Cha Gio Chay):
12 spring roll wrappers mine were 8.5” squares
2 tbsp dried wood ear mushrooms
50g dried mung bean vermicelli noodles
1 lb extra firm tofu mashed
100g shiitake mushrooms or other fresh mushrooms of choice
2 tbsp neutral oil
1 small onion diced
1 small carrot shredded
1 tsp Suncore Foods® Rose Salt or to taste
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce to colour (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
2 1/2 tbsp corn starch
Water to seal rolls
Neutral oil for frying
Shredded lettuce green leaf or other lettuce of choice
Fresh mint leaves
6 Vietnamese fried vegetarian spring rolls (Cha Gio Chay)
Vegan fish sauce or Vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc cham)
1. Noodles — Cook the rice vermicelli according to package instructions. Once the water starts to boil, mix in Suncore Foods® Supercolor Powder and continue to cook as per package instructions. Rinse through running cold water after cooking to wash off some starch.
2. Vermillion Annatto Fried Tofu — Drain water from the tofu by wrapping them in paper towels and then placing a heavy flat surface (a board or plate) on top of each. Leave for 15 minutes until water has been absorbed by the towels. You can also op to use a tofu press. Slice the tofu into any shape you like but i sliced mine into rectangles. In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the batter until it turns into a smooth, thick consistency. In another bowl or plate, add in the bread crumbs. One by one, dip each tofu into the batter then coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Coat well using one hand (this is to avoid messy hands—I usually use one hand for dry and one hand for wet when coating). Press down the bread crumbs on the tofu. Set aside once coated. Heat a pan (I used a cast iron pan) with some oil. Once hot (you can add in some bread crumbs to test the heat—it will start to bubble once hot), place the tofu and cook until golden brown, moving it around on each side every 2 minutes or so. Once golden brown, set aside on a strainer to drain excess oil or you can put this on a plate with paper towels. Let cool for a few minutes then enjoy.
3. Pickled Daikon Radish and Carrots (Đồ Chua) — In a large strainer with a catch basin, place the sliced radish and carrot. Add in the salt and mix well to coat the veggies in the salt. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes to remove some of the liquid from the veggies. Meanwhile, prepare the pickling liquid by mixing together the hot water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the vinegar. Feel free to adjust to your desired sweetness and sourness levels. Leave this mixture to completely cool. Pickling the Veggies After leaving the veggies to sit, run it through water 2-3 times to wash out the salt. Drain the veggies from the water and carefully squeeze to remove the excess liquid. Transfer the veggies into the jar. Carefully compress into the jar. Pour the liquid into the jar to completely submerge the veggies. If the veggies aren’t submerged, feel free to add 2-3 tbsp more water to completely submerge. Seal the bottle well then give the bottle a good shake (if you added more water). You can leave the jar in room temperature to allow it to pickle. I left mine for 24 hours before placing it in the refrigerator. Note that this can depend on your room temperate. The room temperature here is usually at 30C.
4. Fried Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Cha Gio Chay) — For the wrappers, make sure they have been thawed and are at room temperature. This way it will be easier to separate them—they’ll be pliable and won’t break apart easily. Meanwhile, soak the wood ear fungus in boiling hot water for 10-15 minutes or until completely rehydrated and tripled in size. Once rehydrated, slice into thin strips. In another heat proof bowl, add in the dry noodles. Pour in boiling hot water and leave the noodles to sit for 10-15 minutes or until chewy and cooked to your liking. Drain the noodles from the water and run through cold water to stop the cooking. Roughly chop up the noodles into small pieces, around 1” long if possible. Set aside. Mash the tofu in a bowl then set aside. You can press the tofu beforehand but it’s not necessary since the water will evaporate during cooking. Set aside. For the fresh mushrooms, mince or slice them into very small pieces. Heat a large pan or wok over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the oil. Sauté the onion until translucent, around 1-2 minutes. Afterwards, add in the chopped wood ear mushroom and fresh mushroom. Cook down for 2-3 minutes. Add in the carrot and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding in the crumbled tofu. Mash the tofu if there are some big chunks. Leave everything to cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. This will allow some water from the tofu to evaporate. Season the filling with salt, sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce (if using) and pepper, to taste. Mix everything together. Add in the cornstarch to the mixture. Mix well until the filling starts to thicken. The corn starch will help bind everything together and it’ll thicken from the moisture of the tofu and carrot. Taste the filling and feel free to season more, if needed. Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool before wrapping into rolls. You can also opt to prepare the filling in advance and just store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. I made mine 2 days in advance. Prepare a bowl with water to use to seal the edges of the wrapper. Add around 2-3 tbsp of filling on a wrapper. This may depend on the side of your wrapper. Compress the filling and try to squeeze out any air pockets. You can watch the video below or see the photos above for a complete step-by-step on how to wrap the spring rolls. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add enough oil to submerge at least half of a spring roll. Once the oil has small bubbles and is very hot, lower the heat to medium high. Carefully add in a few rolls (depending on the size of your pan). The spring rolls should immediately sizzle. Leave the rolls to cook for around 3 minutes or until golden brown before flipping over to brown the other side. Remove from the heat and place standing up on a strainer. Allow to cool and do not cover to prevent the rolls from getting soggy. Cook the rest of the rolls before turning off the heat. These are best enjoying while warm and crispy. You can wrap a spring rolls in a large piece of lettuce with some noodles, herbs, and pickled veggies before dipping in the sauce. You can also opt to slice the rolls into half or into bite-sized pieces. It’s totally up to you!
5. Assembling the Bowls — In a large bowl, add the shredded lettuce. Top with the noodles, fresh herbs, and pickled veggies. Add in the spring rolls. I cut mine up into smaller bite-sized pieces. Finish the bowl with vegan ‘fish’ sauce or vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc cham). Mix and enjoy!