After a week of being snowed in, eating way too much pizza, and ending with the Super Bowl, I have more than a few food sins for which I must repent. This Vietnamese inspired noodle bowl is packed full of vitamin rich herbs, raw veggies and lean proteins, and it doesn't take more than 30 minutes to throw together. This pretty much makes it a certified One Bowl Wonder.
Traditional Bun Nuong Ga noodle bowls are made with vermicelli noodles, lemongrass spiced chicken, herbs and pickled veggies like daikon and carrot. My version takes that bowl and adds a few extras to give it a little more greenery. If you look closely, you'll see that I used flat somen noodles in these photos because they're what I had on hand at the time, but vermicelli noodles are the best for these bowls.
Aside from being a healthy get-you're-life-on-track meal, this recipe is seriously tasty. The nouc cham sauce/dressing for the bowls serves up a punch from the chilis and fish sauce in it. The herbs are a bright addition to a dish that could be bogged down by the noodles. It's filling, but it doesn't leave you filled with regrets.
Can't really say the same for that 2nd Digornio pizza... (Supreme, obviously). Read ahead for the noodle bowl and nuoc cham sauce recipes.
Vietnamese Noodle Bowl
For the Noodle Bowl:
1 Chicken Breast, Fat Trimmed & Thinly Sliced into 2 Inch Long Pieces
1 Stalk of Lemongrass
1 Teaspoon of White Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Honey
1 Package of Vermicelli Noodles
2 Leaves of Romaine Lettuce
4 Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 Red Onion or 1 Shallot
3/4 Cup of Cilantro
4 Large Basil Leaves
1 Stalk of Green Onion
1 Inch of Ginger, Peeled
1 Carrot, Peeled
For the Nuoc Cham Sauce:
The juice from 1 Lime, Tip: Choose a lime with thin skin, they always have the most juice!
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
1 Thai Chili, or 1 Teaspoon of Chili Garlic Sauce
- Slice lemongrass and mix with honey, fish sauce, white pepper and chicken in a large zip lock bag. Toss chicken in the marinade and set aside for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- After the chicken has marinated, spread out on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through and the marinade on the chicken is slightly golden.
- While the chicken is cooking, wash and prep all vegetables. Boil one large pot of water for noodles.
- While the water is boiling, slice the romaine into strips, quarter the cherry tomatoes, shred the carrot, slice ginger, slice onion, and chop all remaining herbs. Set aside.
- Add vermicelli noodles to the boiling water. Once fully cooked, strain and toss with sesame oil to keep from sticking. Set aside in bowl.
- On medium low heat, dissolve the sugar into the juice of one lime and water. When the sugar has dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and add in fish sauce, chili or chili sauce and garlic. The sauce should be a light golden color. Adjust to your taste. If you'd like more sour, add more lime. For more salt, add more fish sauce. Allow to cool at room temperature while you assemble the bowls. The sauce can be made one day ahead.
- Lay out all parts of the bowl - vegetables, herbs, chicken, noodles and sauce. Add a layer of noodles to your serving bowls. On top of the noodles arrange your herbs, vegetables and chicken. Dress with the nuoc cham.
Chicken, vermicelli noodles and veggies are all pretty cheap ingredients. More than likely you'll have left over vegetables, chicken and noodles since this recipe is made for two people. This roughly broke down to about $5.00 a plate, which isn't too bad now that you have lots of yummy ingredients for the rest of the week. Fish sauce is a great pantry staple if you like cooking Southeastern Asian dishes, or if you want an easy way to marinade all meats, so you won't regret buying it for this recipe!