about this recipe:
Vietnamese Salad with Lemongrass Chicken, is one of my favourite dishes to cook for my weekly work lunches. This dish is light, fresh, healthy and full of flavour. It’s the perfect dish. This dish will help you feel energised and won’t make you go back to work feeling lethargic and sluggish, which tends to happen after eating a heavy meal.
The execution of this dish is fairly simple, the majority of the time spent is used to clean and prepare all the ingredients. I highly recommend buying a mandoline slicer – What is a Mandoline Slicer? You can cut the preparation time in half if you use a slicer, plus, everything will be cut evenly.
Vietnamese Salad with Lemongrass Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts you can also use thigh
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp lemongrass paste you can also use fresh
Salad dressing or Nuoc Cham
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 chilli sliced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
Rice Noodle Bowl
- 300 g dried vermicelli noodles
- 2 large carrots
- 250 g fresh bean sprouts
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 small lettuce
- fried shallots garnish
- fresh coriander garnish
- mint garnish
- birds eye chilli garnish
- Marinate chicken and set aside. Add all the marinade ingredients to a bowl and mix. Put chicken in the fridge and start prepping your vegetables.
- Prepare all your vegetables. Julienne your carrots and cucumber and cut the lettuce into thin slices. Place all vegetables in separate bowls so it’s easier to plate up at the end.
- Wash your bean sprouts in cold water. I find removing the hulls from the bean sprouts keeps them fresh for much longer. This does take a lot of time, though.
- Prepare the noodles following the packet instructions. Once cooked, strain and run cold water through the noodles.
- By now, you should be ready to cook the chicken. Cook chicken on a hot pan. Make sure the chicken gets golden and crispy on the outside.
- Plate up. First, put a serving of noodles and a bit of the dressing to the noodles, then place your vegetables, chicken and herbs. Finally, add fried shallots and dressing.
- If you are meal-prepping this recipe, you can put your fried shallots and dressing in small sauce containers and then add to your bowl when you are ready to eat. This way all your vegetables will stay crisp.
Making the Chicken:
To begin this recipe, you need to marinate your chicken. Marinating the chicken is one of the most important steps of this recipe. By marinating the protein, you ensure it soaks up all the flavours. Meaning, you will not only have delicious chicken, but also super juicy chicken. For this recipe, I used chicken breast. If you prefer to use another cut of chicken, such as thigh, feel free to do so. Chicken thighs tend to have more fat, so the chicken will be a lot juicier if you use thigh.
When you begin cooking the chicken, make sure your pan is set to a high heat. By having the pan on a high heat, you are ensuring you get a nice char on your chicken. This again, is full of flavour. Another mistake a lot of people make when cooking with a pan, is overcrowding. Make sure you don’t overcrowd your pan with chicken. Because, you will end up boiling your chicken instead of frying it.
While your chicken is marinating or cooking, begin preparing all your other ingredients. Traditionally, the carrots are pickled with vinegar and sugar. I personally like my carrots completely raw, as they stay far more crunchy. If you want to pickle your carrots, follow: How to pickle carrots? As I mentioned above, I recommend using a mandoline slicer for slicing the carrots, it reduces preparation time but also ensures consistency. The rest of the ingredients are fairly simple, just slice.
Once you have cooked your Noodles, according to the packet instructions – you can begin assembling your Vietnamese Salad with Lemongrass Chicken. Simply place the cooked Noodles at the bottom of your bowl/container. Then, place each individual ingredient accordingly. Making sure you can see each individual colour.
Finally, slice your chicken. Once sliced, place the chicken on top of the salad then sprinkle some freshly sliced chilli. If you are eating this salad now, garnish with the Nuoc Cham dressing and Fried Shallots now. If you plan on making these salads for lunch, put the dressing and shallots in separate containers. By doing this, you ensure the salad will still be crisp and fresh when you eat it.