It was hot in Minneapolis on Thursday. And while heat is not really a deterrent to cooking outside, humidity is. On Thursday the temp was in the 80's...the humidity was in the 90's...and worst of all, the dew point was in the 70's. So I decided I was going to cook inside.
Given the temperature, I wanted to cook something without firing up the oven. I had found a really nice looking Vietnamese noodle bowl recipe on Flipboard and so I decided to give it a go. The recipe called for marinating whole chicken breasts, then grilling them before cutting them into bite-size pieces. I did not want to go outside and grill, so I cut them into bite-size pieces before marinating and cooked them by giving them a quick spin in my wok.
As it is with most Asian recipes, this one was a little toilsome. Toilsome not so much in the cooking sense, but rather in the preparation sense. But as it always is with these kind of recipes, once the prep is done, the meal comes together quickly. It's a fabulous meal. Light. Healthy. And beyond delicious. But what isn't when we are talking about the national sauce of Vietnam...Nuoc Cham! This recipe serves four.
Lemongrass Chicken Marinade
Chicken Noodle Bowl
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces rice noodles
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
1, 8-ounce bag of bean sprouts
Lime slices for garnish and squeezing
- Prepare the marinade. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken and mix well.
- Add the chicken to the marinade and stir well. Marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the Nuoc Cham. Combine all the ingredients and stir well to dissolve sugar. Set aside at room temperature.
- Cook the noodles. When they are just tender, drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until the noodles are cool. Set aside at room temperature.
- Remove chicken from marinade. Heat a wok over very high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the wok and then add chicken. Stir until chicken starts to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Build your noodle bowls. Divide the noodles into 4 servings. Top with cilantro, mint and bean sprouts. Divide the chicken and lime slices over the 4 bowls. Drizzle with Nuoc Cham and pass additional sauce along side to let everyone dress their bowls to taste.
Wine pairing: Talk about a marriage made in heaven. A well-chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from down under is the perfect remedy for the heat outdoors and the perfect complement to the spices and heat in this spectacular meal.
|Grogs and Goldie, 1956|