Recipe video above. This Vietnamese lemongrass marinade is exceptional - you'll absolutely love it! This is one of my siganture recipes - it's as delicious as it is healthy, ideal for making ahead, for midweek meals and a cheap (impressive) meal idea for large groups. DON'T BE DAUNTED by the list of ingredients - the ingredients for the marinade and sauce are largely the same!
Keyword: lemongrass chicken, vietnamese noodles
Chicken and Marinade
600 - 800g / 1.2 - 1.6lb chicken thigh fillets, skinless and boneless or breast (or pork, beef or any seafood)
1stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised them sliced into pieces easy to pick out later (Note 1)
2garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
2tbspfish sauce(Note 2)
1tbspsoy sauce(all purpose or light, NOT dark soy)
Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Sauce)
1/4cupfish sauce(Note 3)
2garlic cloves, finely chopped
1red birds eye chilli, finely chopped (Note 4)
200 g / 7 oz vermicelli noodles, dried
2cucumbers, julienned (optional: remove seeds)
5cupsiceberg lettuce, finely sliced
Handful of mint leaves
Handful of cilantro/coriander
Sliced red chilli(for garnish - optional)
Lime wedges(to serve - optional but recommended)
Combine Chicken and Marinade ingredients and set aside for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours. (Note 4)
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a fry pan over medium heat (or heat the BBQ). Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off large bits of lemongrass (small bits should fall off during cooking).
Place chicken in the pan and cook each side until dark golden brown and chicken is just cooked through - about 6 to 8 minutes in total.
Remove from pan, shaking off any remaining bits of visible lemongrass and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Then slice into thin pieces.
Nuoc Cham Sauce
Combine the Nuoc Cham ingredients and mix well to dissolve the sugar. Adjust to your taste (spiciness, lime, sweetness) and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Soak the vermicelli noodles in hot water for 3 minutes (or according to packet instructions), then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the noodles from sticking together.
Individual servings: Place noodles in bowl. Top with vegetables and herbs, and sliced chicken pieces. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of Nuoc Cham Sauce (be generous, ~ 4 tbsp per serving) and serve with lime wedges.
DIY (my preferred way): Place chicken, vegetables, herbs, noodles and sauce in separate bowls / piled on platters. Then let everyone make their own bowls!
1. Lemongrass - to prepare, peel the tough outer layers off to reveal the softer white part on the bottom ~1/3 of the lemongrass. Bruise using the back of the knife (see video). Don't slice too finely or finely chop, you want the pieces large enough so you can just brush them off (lemongrass is kind of tough, it has to be very finely chopped / cooked for a long time to eat).You could sub with 1 tbsp lemongrass paste.2. Fish sauce is a key ingredient in a lot of Asian cooking. Don't worry, it doesn't taste fishy when combined with other ingredients! It's an incredible flavour enhancer that has more depth than salt or soy sauce and is very cheap to buy at supermarkets or Asian grocery stores (even better value!).3. Chilli -This can be substituted with any spicy chilli or even chilli paste. Adjust to your taste.4. CUSTOMISE:
Make this kid friendly by just serving the chilli on the side.
To make it GLUTEN FREE, ensure you use GF tamari.
Sub the vegetables with other vegetables of choice eg. capsicum/bell peppers, snow peas (finely sliced)
5. Freezing: Pop the chicken in the fridge as soon as it's in the marinade. Then let it defrost in the fridge - it will marinate during this time.6. DIY Noodle Bowl Spread: Pile all the components on a large platter or separate bowls and let guests serve themselves. That's how I typically serve this.7. Nutrition per serving.