After all that holiday indulging we thought we’d end the weekend on a healthier note with an Asian inspired dish. Both Steve and I love Vietnamese food, especially the noodle bowls, but he has yet to find a restaurant that lives up to his favourite place in Montreal. (Apparently everything really is better in Montreal ;)) We had the idea Sunday night to try making the dish at home. This recipe is from Ricardo Magazine and if you’re already a fan of Asian cuisine you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. The only thing we had trouble finding was lemongrass. I substituted with the zest of the lemon and found the final chicken had a touch too much lemon flavour for my liking so the next time I will add half and see how that turns out. If you plan ahead for the marinade, this recipe is quite quick and easy. Steve actually did the cooking this time and he did an amazing job! I couldn’t stop inhaling this stuff! And it’s satisfying without leaving you feeling bloated and icky. I’m definitely trying this one again.
Vietnamese Style Grilled Chicken Bowl
Nuoc Cham Sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) sambal oelek
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) sugar
Juice of 2 limes
60 m l (1/4 cup) fish sauce (nuoc mam)
30 ml (2 tbsp) water
2 stalks lemongrass or grated zest of 1 lemon
15 ml (1 tbsp) peanut or canola oil
5 ml (1 tsp) toasted sesame oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) chicken broth
8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
200 g (7 oz) rice vermicelli, soaked in boiling water and drained
1/2 iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
1/2 unpeeled English cucumber, cut into thin strips
125 ml (1/2 cup) toasted salted peanuts, chopped
Nuoc Cham Sauce
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Set aside.
Cut the stalks of lemongrass into small pieces and finely chop in a food processor.
Add the peanut oil, sesame oil, broth and half the nuoc cham sauce. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the marinade into a glass dish or sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. When in a hurry, marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the grill, setting the burners to medium-high. Oil the grate.
Grill the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. On a work surface, slice the chicken and set aside.
Divide the noodles, lettuce and cucumber into bowls. Add the chicken and sprinkle with the peanuts. Drizzle with the remaining nuoc-cham sauce.