Looking for a delicious and healthy meal that’s bursting with flavor? Look no further than our Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli bowls! Our dish features bouncy vermicelli noodles topped with char-grilled chicken infused with a fragrant lemongrass and fish-sauce marinade, fresh herbs, crisp lettuce, and tangy pickled vegetables. The dish is then completed with a mouth-watering umami-bomb of a fish sauce-based dressing. And for those looking for a low-carb option, simply wrap the same ingredients in Vietnamese spring roll papers or whole green leaf lettuce leaves for a tasty and satisfying meal!
What are Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli bowls?
Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli (Bun Ga Nuong, Bun Cha Ga) is a dish that consists of rice noodles served with grilled chicken. Chicken thighs are marinated in a fragrant blend of lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and a fish-sauce based marinade. The dish is topped with fresh herbs such as cilantro and mint, as well as crispy lettuce and Vietnamese Pickles (Do Chua). The chicken is usually grilled until it has a smoky char on the outside while remaining juicy and tender on the inside. The dish is served with a side of savory and slightly sweet Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham, Nuoc Mam Pha), which gives it an umami flavor.
Why This Works
Chicken thighs have never tasted better with this recipe – it’s one of my favorites! Not only can you enjoy it as a noodle dish, but also you can transform it into other tasty options. Firstly, try creating a delicious chicken spring roll by wrapping the ingredients in softened Vietnamese rice paper. Secondly, for a more filling option, substitute the vermicelli for a baguette to create a mouth-watering Banh Mi sandwich. Simply remove the lettuce and mint and add some cucumber and mayo for a truly satisfying meal.
For those looking for a low-carb options, use lettuce to create a healthy wrap with a smaller portion of vermicelli. For a Vietnamese Chicken Salad, double the green lettuce and reduce the vermicelli by half. The possibilities are endless with this versatile dish! Be sure to check out: Air Fryer Chicken Wings, and Vietnamese Pork Chops Over Rice, Banh Mi with Chicken.
What is Vietnamese dipping sauce?
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce is called nước chấm in North Vietnam and nước mắm (nước mắm pha) in Southern Vietnam. It is used as a dipping sauce or dressing made with a condiment that is made from fermented salted fish. The core ingredients for dipping sauce is fish sauce, water, garlic, birds eye chilies, and sugar. It functions by adding sweet, salty, and umami flavors to food.
What are Vietnamese pickles?
Vietnamese Pickles (Do Chua) are made with raw carrots and daikon that are sliced into coins or julienned into strips. The thinner the vegetables, the faster they will pickle. To prepare the vegetables for pickling, a julienne vegetable peeler can be the most efficient tool. It’s important to invest in a quality peeler to prevent injuries. When making the pickling juice, it can be reused up to three times before it needs to be discarded. This can be a great way to save time and reduce waste.
What are vermicelli noodles?
Vermicelli noodles are a type of thin and transparent rice noodles commonly used in Asian cuisine. They are made from rice flour and water and are often used in dishes such as soups and salads. Like pasta, they come in different thicknesses and shapes. For this recipe, you will need to find fine and straight Vermicelli noodles. Vermicelli has a delicate texture and a neutral flavor, which makes them an excellent base. They are easy to prepare and cook quickly. You should be able to find this at a Vietnamese grocery, Chinese grocery that carries Vietnamese products, or online. A 10.5 oz (300 g) package costs about $4 USD.
What is light soy sauce?
Soy sauce is a popular condiment used in many Asian dishes, and it comes in several different varieties. Generally, when a recipe calls for soy sauce, it is referring to light, thin, or premium soy sauce, which are the same thing. This type of soy sauce has a lighter color and more delicate flavor compared to other types like dark soy sauce or tamari. It is made from a combination of soybeans, wheat, water, and salt. The mixture is fermented for a period of time to develop its characteristic savory and umami taste. It’s important to note that different brands may have slightly different flavor profiles, so it’s a good idea to taste-test various brands to find the one that works best for your taste preferences. Due to its unique qualities, light soy sauce should not be substituted with dark soy sauce.
What is fish sauce?
Fish sauce a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine and is known for its dark brown, clear appearance. This fermented liquid seasoning is made from fish and is characterized by its strong, pungent aroma. It has a distinct taste that is a blend of sweet, salty, and slightly briny flavors. In cooking, fish sauce is used to add saltiness and a rich umami flavor to dishes. It is commonly used as a seasoning in pho broth, as a dipping sauce in Vietnam, in marinades and sauces for Thai cuisine, and to enhance the flavor of various dishes.
Is there a difference between Thai and Vietnamese fish sauce?
Yes, there is a difference between Thai and Vietnamese fish sauce. While both sauces are made from anchovies, salt, and water, they have distinct differences in flavor, aroma, and usage. Both Thai and Vietnamese fish sauces are widely available in most grocery stores and can be used interchangeably in many recipes. However, if a recipe specifically calls for one type of fish sauce, it’s best to use that type to achieve the intended flavor profile.
Thai fish sauce (nam pla) is fermented for up to a year. It has a salty, savory taste, with a slightly sweet and tangy flavor. Thai fish sauce is commonly used in many Thai dishes as a seasoning. Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam) may also include sugar, water, and other seasonings in addition to the other ingredients. It is typically fermented for a shorter period of time, resulting in a milder, less pungent taste. Vietnamese fish sauce is often used in Vietnamese cuisine for dipping sauces, marinades, and dressings.
How do I buy fish sauce?
With many different brands available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right fish sauce. If a reputable brand that you recognize is unavailable to you, consider the following:
- Read the ingredients: Look for a high percentage of anchovy extract and salt, as this is an indication of high quality. Some lower-quality fish sauces contain added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
- Consider the color: Fish sauce should be amber-brown in color and relatively clear. If the sauce is very dark, it may indicate over-processing or the addition of caramel color.
- Choose a reputable brand: Look for well-established brands with a proven track record of producing high-quality fish sauce. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family who have used fish sauce before.
Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli
- 1.25 lbs boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp fresh lemongrass trimmed, peeled, ground
- 4 cloves garlic trimmed, peeled, minced
- 1 shallot trimmed, peeled, minced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 10.5 oz pack dry fine vermicelli rice noodles
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 head green lettuce trimmed, rinsed, drained, shredded
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 cups Vietnamese pickles recipe on my website
- 2 cups Vietnamese dipping sauce recipe on my website
- 1/4 cup fried shallots
- 1/4 cup fried garlic
- Marinate | Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl or ziplock bag. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, oil, black pepper, and sugar. Mix until the marinade is evenly distributed. Seal and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight, mixing it at least once in between.
- Noodles | Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse them under cold running water until the water runs clear of starches. Set it aside over a colander or sieve to drain.
- Cook | Heat the pan to medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan and once it’s hot, add the chicken. Grill for about 4 mins on each side or until the internal temp reaches 165°F / 74°C and the exterior is slightly charred. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
- Assemble | Divide the cooked vermicelli noodles, lettuce, cilantro, mint, lime, pickles, and grilled chicken equally among four bowls. Serve with dipping sauce, crispy shallots, and fried garlic if desired.If you've tried this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments below! Your feedback is greatly appreciated and it helps me improve my recipes for future cooking adventures. And if you enjoyed it, don't forget to give it a thumbs up or share it with your friends! You can help my channel by tagging @vocabularyoffood in your cooks. ۶(◠ 。◠)۶