This Vietnamese Noodles dish is a wonderful fresh salad and is perfect in the warmer months. It combines soft rice vermicelli noodles with lemongrass chicken and crunchy salad vegetables all doused in a traditional Vietnamese dressing. With all these ingredients, it is a meal in itself and makes a great light lunch or dinner alternative.
At first glance, the Vietnamese Noodles recipe looks a little complicated, but in fact it’s really easy. While there are a lot of ingredients, there is very little cooking involved. Most of the work is simply in chopping the vegetables and herbs.
My kids really liked this dish too (it was included in Menu Plan #8). I served the salad dressing on the side and minimised the herbs on their plate as the flavours for these can be a bit overpowering for little people. They happily tucked in and gave it the thumbs up.
Adapted From Australian Good Food
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup fish sauce
¼ cup white sugar
1 ½ tablespoons peanut oil
1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
500g chicken thigh fillet
375g rice vermicelli noodles
2 cups (160g) beansprouts
½ iceberg lettuce, coarsely shredded
1 carrot, coarsely grated (using a vegetable peeler)
1 cucumber, cut into thick matchsticks
1 cup mixed herbs eg mint, thai basil, Vietnamese mint, coriander
2 tablespoons lime juice
Make the marinade by combining half the garlic, ¼ cup fish sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon peanut oil and lemongrass in a bowl. Add chicken and ensure it is well coated. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
To prepare the rice vermicelli, place the noodles in a heatproof dish. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the noodles. Allow the noodles to stand until tender, about 5 minutes, and use a fork to gently separate the noodles as much as possible. Once ready, drain off the water and rinse them well under cold water. Drain again.
Make the base of the salad by dividing the noodles between the serving bowls. Top with the vegetables and herbs.
To make the salad dressing, combine the remaining garlic, fish sauce, sugar and peanut oil with the lime juice and ½ cup water. Set aside.
Now it’s time to cook the chicken. Preheat a grill or barbecue to medium heat. Place the chicken on the heat and cook until well browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat and slice into strips.
To finish off the salad, add the chicken strips and any extra garnish. Serve with the dressing alongside.
The Klutzy Cook Notes
- Ensure rice vermicelli is used not bean-thread vermicelli.
- It is important to choose nice fresh herbs and lettuce so there is plenty of crunch in the salad. Use whatever Asian herbs are readily available.
- A finely chopped birdseye chilli can be added to the salad dressing for a little heat.
- Chopped peanuts can be used as a garnish to add extra crunch.