Recipe: Griddled Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowl
Hello I’m Rachel and I can’t stop blogging Asian-inspired bowlfuls. First there were my Korean Pork Belly Bun Bowls, then I made Korean Prawn Rice Bowls with Sesame Pak Choi. To kick off the New Year I made Easy Salmon Poke Bowls (I know, poke is Hawaiian not Asian, but I served it with Asian condiments!), then Cold Korean Noodle Bowls. Today, ahead of barbecue season we’re busting out the indoor griddle to make some delicious, succulent Vietnamese chicken that just so happens to be great served over a Vietnamese-style bun/ summer roll bowl. Perfect for barbecues, lunches, light dinners, and packed lunches.
On a side note, what do you all think of these photos? I treated myself to a brand new MacBook Pro for my birthday (you know the ones, with the fancy retina screen?) because my old one after about 4 years was starting to die on me, and I’ve also switched over to using Lightroom to edit my photos, as I know it is supposed to be better than what I was using before, and I have to pay for it anyway to get Photoshop! While I love my new, extra bright, extra sharp screen for general, everyday life and for catching up on Netflix, I actually think it is *too* much for editing photos – I’m finding it really hard to adjust! That, and getting used to new software, I’m a little less confident in these, the first recipe photos I’ve edited on here (my first Lightroom post was this Mee Market X Gelupo review I posted last week!)
Anyway, back to these chicken noodle bowls. Basically, you have four, easy elements to get right for the whole thing to come together: marinate your chicken at least a day ahead, ignore the instructions on your packet of rice noodles (I’ve never, ever got a good wide, flat noodle from simply soaking them in boiling water), use a really fresh lime in the sauce because it is what gives it a bit of zing (unlike the chilli sauce, where sweet chilli sauce is best, but using something like sriracha won’t be the end of the world!) and use this as an opportunity to clear the ends of pickles and veggies from your fridge.
This recipe makes enough to build two bowlfuls, though I make this for just me: I have a cool bowl with crisp veggies and hot chicken on one day, and have the whole thing cold the next. Feel free to double up if you want to meal prep for the week/ you’re feeding more of you. The dressing keeps great for a week or two in the fridge if you want to make more (it is great on all sort of cold Asian-style noodle dishes), and if you’re doing this as a packed lunch, invest in cute little portable dressing bottles.
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1/2 tbsp Runny Honey
- Juice of 1 1/2 Limes (plus a wedge to serve)
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves, crushed
- Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 1/2 tsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
- Pinch Golden Caster Sugar
- 160g (6 oz) Wide Rice Noodles
- 2 Large Spring Onions, shredded
- 4 Large Radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 English Cucumber, peeled and sliced into half moons
- 1 Small Red Chilli, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 2 Forkfuls Pickled Carrots or 1 Small Carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 Baby Gem Lettuce, shredded
- 1 Large Handful Fresh Coriander Leaves
- 1 Large Handful Fresh Mint Leaves
To marinate the chicken, combine the vegetable oil, 1 tbsp of fish sauce, the juice of 1 lime, honey, the crushed garlic and a generous amount of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl or in the bottom of a ziplock bag. Add the chicken, and cover/ seal at least overnight.
To make the dressing, whisk together the remaining fish sauce, lime juice, the sweet chilli sauce and a pinch of golden caster sugar. To cook the noodles, cook them for 3-4 minutes in a pan of boiling water (they’re done when they’re only just firm to taste) then instantly drain them and rinse them will in a sieve with cold water to prevent them sticking to each other. Drain well. Meanwhile, prepare all of your herbs and veggies.
To cook the chicken, heat a griddle pan (I use this one and it is one of the best gifts Le Creuset could have given me, so easy to wash up!) over a medium high heat and cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until the chicken has a nice, caramelised char and is just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, slice, and assemble your bowl (if you are feeding a crowd, you can get people to build their own) with the dressing on the side.