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“Recipe by Mark Bittman.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Dressing
  • 14 cup fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon vietnamese garlic and red chile paste (or chopped fresh chilies to taste)
  • salt and black pepper
  • The Rest
  • 4 -6 cups lettuce (washed dried and torn or chopped)
  • 1 -1 12 cup cooked rice noodles
  • 12 cup shredded peeled carrot
  • 14 cup fresh mint leaves (left whole or barely torn)
  • 14 cup fresh Thai basil (left whole or barely torn or other sweet basil)
  • 12 small slice cooked pork (or 12 poached or grilled shrimp, split lengthwise in half)
  • scallion oil (optional recipe follows)
  • Scallion Oil
  • 14 cup neutral oil (like corn oil or canola oil)
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 -3 scallions, trimmed and minced


  1. To Make Scallion Oil: Put the scallions in a small bowl; stir in the salt and sugar.
  2. Heat the oil in a small pan until it is thin and fragrant. Pour the oil over the scallions; they should sizzle (if they do not, the oil wasn't hot enough). Cool and use by the spoonful.
  3. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, sugar, ginger, and chili-garlic paste with about 1/4 cup water, to produce a thin sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and black pepper if necessary.
  4. To finish: Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Top each with a quarter of the noodles, carrots, herbs, and pork or shrimp. Drizzle the dressing over all and top with Scallion Oil.

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