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It’s Vietnamese night! But if you’re thinking Pho, the answer is no. Don’t get me wrong, that trendy soup is incredibly delicious. I just happen to be a sucker for Vietnamese noodle bowls. They are a go to dish in our household and are surprisingly healthy and easy to make. My lemongrass marinade can be used with chicken thighs, tenders, pork or shrimp. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 pound marinated chicken thighs or chicken tenders (or pork shoulder or shrimp) – marinade recipe below
1 pkg vermicelli noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups lettuce, thinly sliced
2 cups bran sprouts
½ cucumber, julienned
1/2 cup pickled carrot and daikon
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Handful of chopped cilantro, basil (Thai basil is best, but italian will do in a pinch) and mint
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
4 spring rolls (optional) – I know, not a “from scratch ingredient”, see my bucket list
1 recipe basic dipping sauce (below)

Method
1. Fry or grill your marinated meat on med-hi heat.
2. Divide lettuce equally among 4 bowls.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook vermicelli according to package instructions. Drain and place on top of lettuce.
4. Throw your spring rolls into the toaster oven to heat and crisp them up. When done, cut them in half.
5. Arrange chicken, cucumber, bean sprouts, carrots and daikon, green onions, peanuts, fresh herbs and 1 spring roll artfully on top of the noodles.
6. Serve with dipping sauce – which you typically pour over the whole dish to taste.
7. Try some Sriracha or chili oil for an extra kick!

 

Marinade:
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped shallot (or onion)
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dark (black) soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
1. Mix all your marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add 1 pound of chosen protein and mix well. I like to massage my meat for really good penetration…. Errr. It’s best to marinate over night but a couple of hours will be fine.

Basic Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
2 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 or 2 Thai chilis, thinly sliced or or a dash of red pepper flakes

Method
1. Throw it all in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste. Adjust the flavors to balance out the sweet and sour.