The herb noodle salad known as bun is a traditional Vietnamese dish. (Note: Bun is also the word for plain rice vermicelli, but in this book we generally use it for herb noodle salad.) On a restaurant menu, there is often a whole section devoted strictly to bun dishes. Bun is often served as its own meal, topped with fresh seafood, grilled meats, and meat pies like cha lua or thit mam. Each geographic region has its own bun recipes. In South Vietnam you will find more seafood-based dishes, for example, while people in Vietnam’s central region love their shrimp variations of bun. The recipe here is for a basic bun with some standard garnishes. You will find a number of recipes with grilled meats and seafood that can or should be served with this basic herb noodle salad. Some other easy and flavorful toppings include fresh shrimp (deveined and cut lengthwise), diced tofu, fresh fish, and more vegetables, like braised eggplant, carrots—whatever you like! Bun is best served in individual bowls; if you make one large, family-style bowl, make sure to serve it quickly so that the herbs do not wilt, or wait until the last minute to add the dipping sauce.