A huge thank you to House Foods for sponsoring this post!
When I traveled in Vietnam years ago, one of my favorite dishes to eat bún thjt nuóng, rice noodles with grilled meat. They were usually served at these curbside “restaurants” with short tables set up on the sidewalk adorned with small mismatched plastic chairs. The menus weren’t extensive, but what they actually served was done very well. What you got was a plate full of rice noodles with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs topped with meat fresh off the grill. My goodness, that stuff is good.
This lemongrass chicken noodle salad is inspired by the bún thjt nuóng I ate in Vietnam. I marinated chicken with a lemongrass and coconut sauce and quickly pan-fried them. Instead of the traditional rice noodles, I used House Foods’ fettuccine-shaped tofu shirataki noodles that are low in calories and carbs. I LOVE using these noodles for summer salads because they’re light yet they still fill me up. I paired the noodles with some crisp vegetables and dressed the salad with fish sauce, lime juice, a light drizzle of sesame oil, a tiny bit of sugar, and a pinch of salt.
The entire dish comes together pretty quickly, and it’s perfect for dinner! The leftovers are great for lunch the next day, too!
MASTERING MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
- Grating Lemongrass: For this recipe, I suggest grating your lemongrass instead of chopping it. Lemongrass is quite stringy and doesn’t break down that easy. The first few times I tried this recipe, I blended sliced lemongrass with the other ingredients, and the marinade didn’t turn out as smooth as I would have liked. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t grate the lemongrass. Just mince with your knife. However, you might notice a few bits of lemongrass in your chicken when you cook it.
- Marinating the Chicken: To make sure that the chicken soaks up enough flavor from the marinade, make sure to leave it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Better yet, marinate the chicken overnight!
- Variations: For a vegetarian version, used extra-firm tofu. Just chop the tofu into cubes before marinating it.
Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Salad
Chicken and Marinade
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 1/2 cup (120ml) light coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 pound (450g) chicken breast
- kosher salt
- 3 8-ounce packages of House Foods fettuccine tofu shirataki, drained and rinsed
- 3 small carrots, peeled and cut to matchsticks
- 1 1/4 cups sliced cucumbers
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions, about 1/4 of a medium onion
- 1 stalk of scallions, sliced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- pinch of salt
- chopped roasted peanuts
- red pepper flakes
- Chop off the bottom end of the lemongrass stalk. Peel off a few of the outer leaves (about 2 or 3) to reveal the fleshier part of the lemongrass. Chop off the green, woodier part of the lemongrass. Using a microplane zester/grater, grate lemongrass, starting from the bottom of the stalk.
- Blend lemongrass, coconut milk, fish sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, and ginger. I like using an immersion blender for this. Set aside.
- Slice chicken breasts into smaller chunks. I like slicing a breast in half, and then take the thicker half and slicing that into 2 thinner slices. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken chunks with a bit of kosher salt. Place chunks in a sealable plastic bag and pour marinade inside. Shake bag so that the marinade covers all chicken pieces. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- While chicken is marinating, prep noodles. Fill a small pot or saucepan with water, about several inches, and bring to boil. Cook noodles for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain water and run under cold water. Pour noodles into a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, juice of 1 lime, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and a pinch of salt. Stir ingredients together and adjust seasonings to your taste.
- To cook chicken, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on a sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. Shake excess marinade off chicken chunks before placing in the pan. Cook each side for about 4 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Dish onto a plate and let chicken rest for a few minutes before cutting them up. I shredded the chicken, but you can also slice them into 1/2-inch strips.
- Toss noodles, sliced carrots, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, and chicken together. Serve noodle salad with chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro, and red pepper flakes, if you like.
Disclosure: This recipe is sponsored by House Foods. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen! To learn more about House Foods products and recipes, check them out at their website or follow them on Facebook!