Bottom-Friendly Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls


Ingredients:


For the Lemongrass Chicken (courtesy of Sarah Bành @groovyfoodies):

  • 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts

  • 4 tbsp lemongrass, minced

  • Juice of one lemon or lime

  • 4.5 tbsp fish sauce

  • 2.5 tbsp soy sauce

  • 4 tbsp brown sugar

  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced (omit if you have IBS and use ~1/2 tbsp garlic powder)


For the Vermicelli Bowls:

  • ~4 oz vermicelli noodles, cooked and cooled

  • Romaine, chopped


For the Vietnamese Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/3 C fish sauce

  • 3/4 C water

  • 1/2 C sugar

  • 1/4 C rice wine vinegar


For the pickled veggies (optional):

  • 1-2 Carrots, peeled and julienned

  • 1 Daikon, peeled and julienned

  • 1 1/2 C distilled white vinegar

  • 1 C water

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 2 tbsp sugar


For the toppings:

  • Cilantro, chopped

  • Mint, chopped

  • Bean sprouts

  • Cucumber, sliced


Instructions:


For the Lemongrass Chicken (courtesy of Sarah Bành @groovyfoodiess):

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the chicken) and whisk together until the brown sugar is dissolved.

  2. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat. Marinate for 4 hours. If using chicken breasts, marinate overnight!

  3. For both an Air-Fryer (what I used) and an oven, set to 380 degrees and cook the chicken for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Depending on the thickness of the chicken you use, you may need to cook the meat slightly longer.

  4. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven/air-fryer and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice the chicken.


For the Vietnamese Sauce (Nuoc Mam):


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Use a small mixing bowl and whisk if you do not have a mason jar.


For the pickled veggies (optional):

  1. Combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cut the heat.

  2. Place julienned carrots and daikon in 2-3 mason jars.

  3. Pour the pickle brine over the carrots and daikon and leave the lids off for about 15 minutes.

  4. Refrigerate overnight for best results!


For the vermicelli noodles:

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package's instructions.

  2. Strain the noodles and rinse very well using cold water.

  3. Place the noodles back in the pot and using a pair of tongs and the same strainer used to strain the noodles, lay small bundles of the noodles back into the strainer. This step ensures the noodles are "dry" enough so they don't become slimy.


For the assembly:

  1. In a large bowl, lay down a bed of romaine lettuce and top with vermicelli noodles. Add sliced chicken, pickled veggies, toppings of your choice, and a healthy dash of the dipping sauce. Toss to combine and bottoms up!