Next time you’re in need of a truly unique and delicious salad, try this Vietnamese chicken rice noodle salad – it will not disappoint.
I’m in with the flavors and freshness happening in this salad! So so SO in love.
As I was looking at all the fresh herbs in my garden and the quick pickled vegetables I had in my fridge, my mind was drawn back to a time I had this amazing chicken salad at a Vietnamese restaurant, years ago. I immediately knew what I was going to be making for dinner – a Vietnamese chicken rice noodle salad! I love that with Vietnamese salads all the components are on top of of the salad and then as you pour the dressing on you mix it together.
This salad really packs a flavor punch.
The chicken is marinated in lime juice, garlic and cilantro which makes it supper yummy in and of itself, but then when you add that on top of a bed of rice noodles and pour the delicious dressing on and mix everything together – it makes an unforgettable salad.
There are a few other things that make this such a great salad 1-it can be served warm (warm noodles and chicken) or cold (perfect for lunches!) 2-it is gluten free because the noodles one uses for this recipe are rice noodles (vermicelli noodles) 3-you can really customize it to whatever vegetables you have on hand, if you don’t have pickled vegetables that is ok too, you can just use sliced up veggies and 4-this salad can be made in under 30 minutes!
- For the chicken:
- 1 lb chicken breasts cut into strips (or chicken tenders)
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup basil chopped (optional, you could use 1/2 cup cilantro and no basil)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 limes juiced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 inch of fresh ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon cilantro finely chopped
- For the salad:
- 1 package 8.8oz rice noodles (vermicelli)
- 1/2 cup peanuts toasted and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup mint chopped
- 3 green onions chopped
- 2 cucumbers finely sliced
- 1 cup pickled vegetables finely sliced (or 2 large carrots, finely sliced)
- Start by marinating the chicken, place chicken strips in a bowl and squeeze lime juice over them, add in the garlic, herbs, canola oil and salt, stir a few times so that all the chicken is covered in marinade. Let marinade for 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook them over high heat in a non stick frying pan until no more pink remains and chicken is cooked through, set aside.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the dressing by simply whisking together all the ingredients and then set it aside.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions - note, they cook a lot faster than regular noodles and you want to make sure not to overcook them, for mine I boiled water, then turned the heat off, put the noodles in for 4 minutes, then drained the water and they were done.
- While the rice noodles are cooking, chop up the ingredients for the top of the salad (mint, green onions, cucumbers - I use a mandolin to get them super thin, and cut up pickled vegetables or carrots into matchsticks) and roast the peanuts (bake at 350 on an aluminum lined baking sheet for 5 minutes.)
- When ready to assemble the salad divide noodles into bowls, top with 2 chicken strips, then place a pinch of peanuts, mint and green onion on top of the noodles, then place about half a cup of cucumbers per salad and a few carrot matchsticks (about 10) on each salad. Stir/shake the dressing, then pour over the salad bowls -and enjoy!