Jun 29, 2012

Vietnamese Noodles

While researching for a new summer recipe, I came across a great Vietnamese/Indonesian street food recipe I though perfect for sharing. It immediately brought me back to my youth in California and days of surfing with my good friend, Truc. He is a first generation Vietnamese American who’s mother would occasionally prepare Vietnamese meals after our surfing endeavors (that was when we didn’t go to Pedro’s Tacos instead).

This recipe highlights a lot of great Vietnamese flavors, rice noodles and vegetables galore. It can be served with hot noodles and chicken and the cold veggies or everything can be wrapped up, refrigerated and served chilled later. It’s a speedy recipe, inexpensive and healthy, a perfect weeknight meal at the firehouse or the home.

I tacked on a little infomercial on what it is like to live in California or Hawaii and surf/bodyboard at the end of the video, so watch for it.

This is a recreation of Asian Street food in a bowl with heavy Vietnamese influences. This cuisine reminds me of coming back from a morning of surfing in CA and eating at my friends house where authentic Vietnamese food was served from his mother. It is a light, fresh and inexpensive meal perfect for the firehouse and home. In this episode we discuss fermented anchovies, "lingering" crews in the kitchen and bodyboarding.
Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)


Chicken Breast or Thighs (3-4 or about 1.5 lbs.)
Rice Noodles (2-3 ounce packages)
Cucumber (sliced)
Carrots (shredded)
Radishes (sliced)
Green Onion (sliced)
Cilantro (minced)
Lime Wedges

Vegetable Sauce

Fish Sauce (6 Tbs.)
Brown Sugar (6 Tbs.)
Lime Juice (12 Tbs.)
Jalapeno (minced)
Garlic Clove (2 minced)

Meat Sauce/Marinade

Peanut Butter (creamy 6 Tbs.)
Fish Sauce (3 Tbs.)
Soy Sauce (3 Tbs.)
Rice Wine Vinegar (3 Tbs.)
Lime Juice (9 Tbs.)
Ginger (1” cube minced)
Garlic Clove (minced)
Sriracha (1 tsp.)


Blender (if using)
Various Sealable Plastic Containers
Bowls of Various Sizes


Vegetable Sauce

Place the lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, jalapeno, and fish sauce in a container and mix to combine until the sugar dissolves.

Meat Sauce/Marinade

Place the lime juice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and peanut butter in a container and whisk to combine until a heavy cream like consistency is achieved. This can also be done in the blender.

Assembling the Noodles

Marinate the chicken in a third of the peanut sauce (tossing to coat) for a minimum of 15 minutes or up to an hour in a small bowl.

Cook the noodles by bringing a large pot of water to boil then turning off the heat (or just use an electric kettle). Pour the water over the noodles and allow them to sit for 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cook the chicken on a grill or stovetop 4-5 minutes a side. Loosely tent with aluminum and allow to rest 5 minutes. Slice against the grain into thin slices and set aside.

Place all the vegetables in small serving bowls and sprinkle with 1-2 Tbs. of the Vegetable Sauce and toss 15 minutes prior to serving. Add remaining Vegetable Sauce with the remainder of the Meat/Marinade Sauce and mix till combined. Place all the bowls (chicken and rice noodles as well) out buffet style to allow people to choose what they want. Add 2-3 Tbs. of the sauce, top with cilantro, lime wedges and Sriracha. Note that the noodles and chicken can be cooled and chilled to serve cold if you so choose. Enjoy.

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