Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

One thing I love about living in a large city is the range of cuisines we have access to. From Mexican cuisine to Venezuelan, we have it all within walking distance here in Boston. When we lived in London, I discovered the joys of Korean and Vietnamese food (hello Pho!) and since we moved to Boston, I have become so addicted to Japanese, although my Vietnam love has not abated!

I have to admit, when it comes to salads as a main meal, I need some excitement in my life. I like bold flavors and lots of ’em! I love a simple green salad to accompany a meal but when its the main event, its got to be punchy and flavorful. East Asian food is all about those strong flavors. This has been my go-to lunch recipe all summer. Any time I have been craving Asian food, I whip this up, occasionally with a few variations. It is loaded with vegetables and packed with those delicious vietnamese flavors of salt, sweet, spicy, sour and bitter. I love to top it with lots of chopped coriander, sliced spring onion and chopped nuts. I feel totally virtuous eating this and don’t feel the need to hot foot it to the nearest asian restaurant!

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

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Serves 1

Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • Clove minced garlic, I use a fine grater
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (about ½ fresh lime)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 chicken breast

Salad:

  • 30g dried vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 carrot, julienned (I grate mine on a box grater)
  • 1 cucumber julienned
  • Handful of shredded lettuce (I used Chinese leaf lettuce but iceberg is great)
  • Small handful bean sprouts
  • Small bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Lots of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges (to serve – optional)

Nuoc Cham Dressing:

  • 1/2  tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  •  red chilli, finely chopped (adjust quantity to your taste)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  1. First make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Sit the chicken in the marinade and baste it. Allow to marinate for minimum 20 mins.
  2. Place the rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Sit for 2 minutes and then drain. Rinse with cold running water and set aside to drain.
  3. Chop all the vegetables finely for the salad and mix together well.
  4. Prepare the dressing my mixing everything together in a bowl.
  5. Now cook the chicken breast on a medium heat for 15-20 mins or until cooked through. Keep the heat relatively low as the sugar in the marinade can burn easily.
  6. Assemble everything. tear apart the rice noodles and mix well the with vegetables. Shred the chicken and top off the salad. Drizzle with dressing.
  7. Top with chopped nuts, spring onions and coriander.

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