This vermicelli, chicken, and nuoc cham salad is a delicious dish that screams summer. Nuoc cham is a traditional Vietnamese sauce or dressing that is a mix of fish sauce (which I have previously praised for it’s ability to give dishes that certain umami,) chiles, sugar, and lime juice. This sauce makes for a flavorful, yet light, dish that you’ll love.It could not be nicer weather in New Hampshire right now. It is sunny and in the low 70s; Thursday may even hit 90°F, which could call for a jump in the lake! As a result, the heat is really making me want to break into the summer dishes. I’m a big fan of this Vietnamese vermicelli salad because it’s served at room temperature, as opposed to most noodle dishes, which are served hot.
Speaking of hot… Fresno chilis are pretty spicy. That said, even including the seeds in this sauce, spread out among the vermicelli, chicken, etc. this dressing really isn’t super spicy. That said, if you want to, by all means omit some of the seeds to adapt the spice level to your taste.
So….I know, I know, it’s been a while. I am deep in the throes of moving and have been between New York and a few weddings the past few weeks, so I’ve been basically without a working kitchen. This is my last week in New Hampshire, then I will be back in NYC! I’m looking forward to it for sure, but it’s also a bit bittersweet since it is so nice and beautiful in New Hampshire this time of year. But, it will be great to be back in the New York groove with close friends nearby. That said, I will be unpacking and possibly waiting for my kitchen supplies to arrive, so forgive me for one more week while I get all settled into my new apartment. Then I’ll be back to regular posting!
Chicken and Vermicelli Salad
Yield 2-4 servings
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1 large shallot (or to small shallots) sliced crosswise into rings
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 packet (6.75 ounces) vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 Fresno chili, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/12 cup Thai or sweet basil leaves
- Heat up the avocado oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add the shallots to the pan, cooking until they are brown and crisp (about 10 minutes).
- Once browned, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside to cool.
- Salt the chicken breasts to season and cook in the skillet you previously cooked the shallots in until thoroughly done (about 20 minutes) - until 165 on a thermometer
- Once done, set the chicken aside to cool on a plate. When it is slightly cooled, shred the meat, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for 10 minutes, or until cooked but not mushy.
- Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and then drain again.
- In a large bowl, mx together the lime, chili, garlic, fish sauce, and coconut sugar.
- Add the noodles, radishes, chicken, and half of the basil leaves. Toss to thoroughly coat in the dressing.
- Top with the shallots and remaining basil.
Feel free to make the shallots and dressing in advance. They will stay good up to 2-3 days.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.
Courses Lunch or Dinner