Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Salad

This Sunday's inspiration was spawned (as most times) by some marathon cooking show watching.  We were watching a Vietnamese cooking show (Luke Nguyen) and his food always looks so good!

I started my quest as usual - searching online for recipes - researching quantities and cooking methods.  When I found some common themes in the recipes, I knew I had a great starting point for my dish.  The dish sort of morphed into something different, not entirely a Vietnamese dish, but my twist on the flavours.  I got a little carried away in the pantry, but it turned out pretty delicious.  Empty bowls as evidence.

Here's what I came up with today - there may be a lot of ingredients, but the preparation is actually pretty simple.

Serves 2
8 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
6 oz rice stick noodle
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons coconut oil*
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
2 teaspoons peanut butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemongrass paste*
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon coconut powder*
1/2 cup of julienned cucumber
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fried onions
2 tablespoons fried garlic

- Poach the chicken breast in some chicken stock until cooked through (about 10 minutes).  Once the chicken is cooked and cool enough to handle, shred and set aside.
- Prepare the noodles - fill a large pot with water.  Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.  Put the rice stick noodles in the hot water and soak them for 10 minutes with the lid on.  After 10 minutes, drain, rinse under cold water and set aside
- In a small glass jar with a lid, put in the rice vinegar, lime juice, chili sauce, fish sauce, coconut oil, sesame oil, garlic chili sauce, lemongrass, ginger, and the coconut powder powder. Shake to combine, set aside.

To assembly the salad, layer the noodles, chicken, cucumber, carrots, cilantro and green onion in a bowl.  Top with the fried onions, fried garlic and dress the salad to taste.

Notes*:  If you can't find coconut oil, then you can use peanut oil or any other vegetable oil.  You can find tubes of lemongrass paste in the herb section of the grocery store.  Coconut powder is sold in most ethnic sections of the grocery store - twice the amount of coconut milk can be substituted.

All photos property of Jo Ann Hennigar and may not be used without permission.

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