Summer is in full swing, and here in New York City at least, that means swampy weather, sweaty commutes to and from work, and very little desire on the part of this food blogger to stand over the stove for an extended period of time. Enter: This Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Chicken.
A Summery Meal with Minimal Stove Time!
It’s easy to understand why one would look for this refreshing, tasty Vietnamese rice noodle salad on a hot swampy day, whether you’re on the streets of Vietnam or in your stuffy city apartment.
The rice noodles cook in no time at all, and the only other stove task you need to do is searing a few chicken thighs, which can be done in less than 10 minutes.
The rest of the ingredients are served raw––crunchy bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and herbs, all smothered in that ubiquitous and delicious Vietnamese condiment, nuoc cham.
If you’re unfamiliar with nuoc cham, it’s a rather thin sauce with salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. Fish sauce, lime juice/vinegar, garlic, sugar, and chili are combined with a bit of water, and It. Is. Delicious.
It’s used as a dipping sauce or condiment, but in this situation, you can think of it as your dressing for this Vietnamese noodle salad.
So if the summer heat is getting you down, this Vietnamese rice noodle salad recipe is guaranteed to perk you back up. Here’s how to make it!
Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Chicken: Recipe Instructions
In a medium bowl, combine 4 chicken thighs with all the marinade ingredients (garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vegetable oil), and set aside for 30 mins to an hour while you prepare the other salad ingredients.
Combine all the nuoc cham ingredients and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved into the sauce. Taste and adjust any of the ingredients accordingly if desired.
Boil rice vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions.
Drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside in a colander.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. You could also heat a grill pan or grill for this. Sear the marinated chicken for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Set aside on a plate.
To assemble the salad, combine the rice noodles with bean sprouts, julienned carrots and cucumber, romaine lettuce, mint, and cilantro. Slice the chicken thighs and add to the salad. Serve with your nuoc cham sauce.