Tempeh Bo Bun Cha Gio

Tempeh Bo Bun Cha Gio

5 from 1 reviews

Delicious Vietnamese Bo Bun with smoky tempeh, egg roll, marinated carrots, and a fresh broth. A filling, nutritious, and delicious meal!



Marinated Carrots & Broth

  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1-inch kombu
  • 1/2 cup water

Smoky Tempeh

  • 7 ounces (200g) tempeh
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemongrass stalk (optional), diced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke

Egg Rolls (Optional)

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 and 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 34 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 56 egg roll wrappers
  • oil for frying

The Rest

  • 9 ounces (250g) rice noodles (or other gluten-free noodles)
  • 1 cup chopped greens (lettuce, arugula, etc)
  • toppings: about 1/4 cup crispy fried onions, 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped fresh mint


Marinated Carrots & Broth

  1. In a bowl, combine the maple syrup, lime juice, white rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and kombu together. Add the carrots and cover with plastic film. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to one week.

Smoky Tempeh

  1. Cut the tempeh into thin slices (or cubes if you prefer). Transfer to a large bowl, or small baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the shallot, garlic, lemongrass, lime juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, and liquid smoke. Pour over the tempeh slices, cover with plastic film and let marinate at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.

Egg Rolls (Optional)

  1. If your egg roll wrappers are frozen, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw on the counter while you prepare the filling.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced garlic and onion, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the freshly grated ginger, carrots, cabbage, and mushrooms, and cook for another 5 minutes. You don’t want to cook too long to keep the carrots slightly crunchy.
  4. Drizzle with the soy sauce and white rice vinegar, and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (you can add the sriracha if you like it spicy). Stir in the chopped chives and let cool 15 minutes.
  5. Place an egg roll wrapper on a large cutting board, one of the corners facing you. Place about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up tightly from the bottom. The rolls must be very tight. Slightly wet the top edge before closing the roll. Repeat with the remaining filling, you should get 5-6 egg rolls. Cover with plastic film and cook just before serving.

To Make the Bo Bun

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and divide into 4 serving bowls.
  2. Drain the carrots, discard the kombu piece, and keep the marinade. Dilute the marinade with 1/2 cup water. Pour the diluted marinade over the noodles. Top with the carrots, and chopped fresh greens (arugula, mint leaves, etc). Set the bowls aside, this will be our “cold” base.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, shallow-fry the marinated tempeh, about 1 minute of each side. Then pour the remaining marinade (remove the lemongrass) over the tempeh and cook for another minute, or until slightly brown. Remove from heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.
  4. Cook the egg rolls: Heat about 2 cups of oil in a deep saucepan. Once the oil is hot, fry the egg rolls, one or two at a time, until golden brown on each side. Remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper towel to absorb excess oil. Let cool 2-3 minutes, and cut into 3-4 pieces and place on top of the noodles.
  5. Top with the tempeh, crispy fried onions, a few peanuts, and some mint leaves. Serve immediately.


For healthier egg rolls: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the egg rolls on the baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Note: My favorite way to cook egg rolls is frying though, it yields crispy, golden brown rolls with a better texture.