This was always one of my favorites for breakfast as a child.   While this is usually served at special occasions such as weddings, my mom would make this as a special breakfast for us.    Similar to porridge, this is made with thin, white vermicelli noodle that’s cooked in sweetened milk and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.

Typically there are two version of this dish; one has a soup like consistency, while the other is cooked until it is thickened, then poured into a dish and allow to set until it’s firm enough to cut into pieces.   We usually had the soup like version. 

Today I’m sharing two versions of this dish, one traditional and one modern.  The traditional version, flavored with vanilla and almond is topped freshly grated nutmeg and chopped pistachio, would be perfect for breakfast.

The modern version which is a rich, decadent pudding with hints of orange and flecks of vanilla bean and topped with a burnt sugar crust is undeniable dessert.   Whether for a special occasion, dessert or just breakfast Vermicelli is always a treat.



5 oz Vermicelli noodles

2 tbsp butter or ghee

3 cups whole milk

½ tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup condensed milk

Nutmeg and pistachio to garnish

In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter.  Add noodles and allow to brown.  Add milk and raisins, then cook for 10 minutes over medium heat until it has thickened slightly and noodles are soft.  Add vanilla and almond extracts and condensed milk, stir.   Remove from heat.  Before serving, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and chopped pistachio nuts.

Vermicelli Pudding with a Burnt Sugar Crust

5 oz Vermicelli noodles, broken into small pieces

2 tbsp butter

2 ½ cups whole milk*

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 tbsp orange liqueur

1 egg, beaten

¼ plus 2 tbsp condensed milk

Sugar to add on top

In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter.  Add noodles and allow to brown.  Add milk and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.    Add two heaping tablespoon slowly into the egg while mixing it with a fork.  This is to temper the eggs so it doesn’t scramble when added to the pot.    Next add egg mixture to pot while stirring to incorporate.  Add vanilla, orange liqueur and condensed milk, stir.  Cook over low heat until thickened but not boiling.  The texture should be similar to pudding.

Remove from heat and place into 4 small ramekins then allow to cool.   To form the burnt sugar crust, add a thin layer of sugar over the top of each ramekin.   Use a brulee torch to caramelize the top of the custard.  If you don’t have a torch use the broiler setting on your oven and place ramekins on the highest rack in the over or as close the fire as possible.   Watch closely while it cooks for 5-10 minutes or until sugar has melted and turns golden brown.   Once the sugar has caramelized, set aside for 5 minutes for the sugar to set, it will become hard.


  • I used whole milk with the cream on top, if you’re unable to find that half and half would be an excellent substitute.  For an even richer pudding reduce the milk by ½ cup and add ½ cup heavy cream.
  • To make Vermicelli cake, cook vermicelli according to the first recipe but cook until it is very thick then place in a buttered pan and allow to cool completely before cutting.
  • Candied cherries and golden raisins are excellent additions to the vermicelli.
  • Both of these dishes are best on the first day.  Personally I don’t like second day vermicelli.