Vegan Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatball Noodle Salad with Vegan Fish Sauce

Everything you love about Vietnamese food can be found in this lemongrass meatball noodle salad, but veganized. Fresh, savory, tangy, nourishing, and super flavorful – this juicy noodle salad is perfect for lunch or dinner!

Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatball Noodle Salad 

When people think of Vietnamese food, they think of Pho, Banh Mi, Spring rolls, or egg rolls but not Bun Cha. Why is that? I am not sure but I am here to spread the word to the world about this underrated Vietnamese dish. This lemongrass meatball noodle salad is my vegan interpretation of Bun Cha, which is traditionally made with pork. 

Tiff’s Vegan Fish Sauce Dressing

I did not think it was possible but I have finally developed a vegan fish sauce recipe that not only lives up to the original fish sauce but it is made with ingredients you probably already have at home. The soy sauce and white distilled vinegar creates the salty base, while the sugar and lime provides a boost of sweetness and acidity to the sauce. The spicy Thai bird eye chili peppers and earthiness from the minced garlic brings all the flavors together. This vegan fish sauce can be whipped up in 2 minutes! 

A few notes

  1. Please refrain from adding all the vegan fish sauce to the noodle bowl to keep the salad fresh unless you will be eating the entire salad that day. As a pro tip, keep the vegan fish sauce in a separate jar and add only as needed. 
  2. For any uncooked meatballs leftovers, feel free to freeze it for up to a month. 
  3. The recipe for pickled carrots can be found under the Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich post. We will be shredding the carrots for this recipe to make it softer and easier to eat with the other ingredients. For ease and convenience, I highly recommend using a julienne peeler to shred the carrots. This is one of the best tools to use in the kitchen and I can’t recommend it enough! 
  4. Any leftover cooked rice vermicelli noodles will last 1 day in the fridge. I would encourage you to boil a fresh batch of noodles when making this salad. 

This Vietnamese lemongrass meatball noodle salad is: 

Incredibly satisfying







& SO Wonderful! 

Please let me know if you gave this recipe a try. Leave a comment below or tag a photo on Instagram @tifflovestofu. I’d love to see or hear how it turned out for you. 

Vegan Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatball Noodle Salad With Vegan Fish Sauce

Prep Time

15 min

cooking time

15 min



total time

30 min




1 16oz. package of vegan ground beef (Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods work best)
4 tbsp fresh lemongrass (minced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 green onion (finely chopped)
1 shallot bulb (minced)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup (or any sweetener)
1 tbsp vegan fish sauce
1 tbsp vegan oyster sauce (alternatively, you can mix 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp hoisin sauce)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
4 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
Vegetables and Noodles
1 small head romaine lettuce (cut into ribbons)
114g (or 1 nest) rice vermicelli (medium sized, Three Ladies brand)
1 cilantro sprig (as a topping)
2 persian cucumbers (cut into matchsticks)
Pickled carrots (see pickled carrots recipe under Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi post)
Tiff’s Vegan Fish Sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp white distilled vinegar
1 lime
5-6 fresh Thai bird eye chili peppers (roughly chopped)
4 cloves garlic (finely minced)

Cooking Instructions

Add rice vermicelli to a pot of boiling hot water. Follow instructions on the package but typically, it only takes 5-8 minutes to cook. Once the noodles are cooked, drain the water and set it in a bowl on the side.
Step 2
Prep the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and green onions. Add to a mixing bowl along with the vegan ground beef, cornstarch, soy sauce, maple syrup, vegan fish sauce, vegan oyster sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix together well then form the mixture into 2 tbsp meatballs.
Step 3
To cook the meatball, heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat and add the meatballs. Pan fry the meatballs for about 12 minutes (6 minutes on each side) or until it develops a golden, crispy edge. Once thoroughly cooked, add to a plate and set to the side.
Step 4
While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the vegan fish sauce by combining sugar, soy sauce, water, vinegar, juice of a lime, chili pepper, and garlic in a glass container. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Feel free to adjust according to your preferences. If you like it more sweet, add more sugar. If you like salty, add more soy sauce.
Step 5
On to the vegetables, wash the lettuce, cucumbers, and cilantro well. The best way to wash the vegetables is by soaking in a bowl of water, draining the water, and repeating it 2-3 times until the water runs clear. After it has been cleaned, prep the vegetables as instructed in the ingredients list to the left.
Step 6
To assemble, add the vegetables, pickled carrots, noodles, and meatballs to a bowl. Drizzle 2-3 tbsp of the vegan fish sauce (or sweet chili sauce) and top with shallots. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Step 7
Optional: Thinly slice one shallot and pan fry in a 1 cup of vegetable oil until the shallots are golden, about 7-8 minutes. Drain the oil through a fine mesh sieve and lay the fried shallots on a paper towel covered plate to allow the paper towel to absorb the remaining oil. Add the shallots to the salad as needed.

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Hi, I'm Tiff!

Tiff Loves Tofu is a blog all about simple and delicious plant-based recipes, largely influenced by my culture and life experiences. I hope to show people that cooking wholesome, vibrant plant-based meals is not only easy but it is loads of fun. So, let’s get cooking!

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