Vietnamese food is as mysterious and wonderful as Vietnam. The flavours are unique and addictive — way too complex, I decided, to decode on my own. So when I was offered the chance to review Simply Vietnamese Cooking by Nancie McDermott, I took the challenge.
My first stab, Roast Chicken Cucumber Mint Noodle Bowl, was 100% satisfying. It wasn’t just cooking; it was an immersion into a culinary-clever culture — a one big bowl feast full of surprises for your senses. This is a meal that can be prepared in stages and well in advance, leaving you lots of time to do whatever you do before you enjoy dining.
I solemnly swear to continue to tackle Vietnamese cooking skills because the pleasure factor greatly outweighs the effort.
Roast Chicken Cucumber Mint Noodle Bowl
- 5 oz vermicelli brown rice noodles, cooked
- 2 c shredded lettuce
- 3 c shredded roasted chicken (one whole small chicken)
- 2 c peeled, sliced cucumber
- 1/2 c each mint, cilantro leaves or sprigs
- 2 c bean sprouts
- 1/3 c thinly sliced scallions
- 3/4 c dry-roasted peanuts
- 1 c Pickled Carrots (recipe below)
- Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
- Cucumber Salad (recipe below)
Assemble just before serving. Divide ingredients into 4-5 large bowls, lettuce first, 1 – 1.5 cups of noodles, chicken on one side, with cucumbers, Pickled Carrots and herbs on the other. Garnish with scallions, peanuts and 1/4 cup of Dipping Sauce. Chop and toss your salad to enjoy all the flavours in every bite. Serve Cucumber Salad on the side.
- 1 1/2 c water
- 3/4 c white vinegar
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1 t sea salt
- 3 c shredded carrots
In a small pot, over medium-high heat, combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes until sugar and salt dissolve. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and cool to room temperature.
Add carrots to brine, stir well and let stand for 20-30 minutes. Can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 5 days. Serve by scooping carrots out of brine.
- 2 T chopped garlic
- 4 T each sugar, fresh lime juice
- 1 t finely chopped chili-garlic sauce, fresh hot red chilies or 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
- 6 T each fish sauce, water
Use a mortar and pestle to grind garlic, sugar and chili into a paste, or combine them on a cutting board and use a fork to mash and a spoon to press or a knife to finely chop and mix.
In a small bowl, combine garlic-sugar-chili paste with fish sauce, water and lime juice. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
- 1 lb cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, thinly sliced
- 3 T finely chopped scallions, shallots or red onion
- 1/4 c white vinegar
- 2 T coconut or regular sugar
- 2 T water
- 1 T fish sauce
- 1/4 t each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place cucumber and shallots in a medium-sized bowl.
In a small pot, combine sugar, vinegar, salt and water. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat and stir for 3-4 minutes until sugar and salt dissolve. Add fish sauce and pepper, then transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
Pour cooled brine over cucumbers. Stir well and let stand for 15 minutes. Can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 2 days. Serve by scooping cucumbers out of brine.
Roast Chicken Cucumber Mint Noodle Bowl Print Ready Recipe
- If you have some Asian Peanut Sauce hanging around, it’s also a wonderful condiment for this Roast Chicken Cucumber Mint Noodle Bowl. There is no such thing as too much melding of wonderful flavours.
- Roast Chicken Cucumber Mint Noodle Bowl is a light meal that will leave you feeling svelte but energized.
- You can swap shrimp, meat or your favourite vegetarian protein for the chicken.
- Planning a trip to Vietnam? Here are Vicky’s, Indiana Jo’s and Robert’s itineraries.
Jovina Coughlin says
Just turned chilly here – this is the perfect meal for this time of year.
Jittery Cook says
I’m pretty sure that this bowlful of flavour would cheer us up year round. Thanks for liking!
Hey Holly. Thanks for the great recipe. Ever since I went to Vietnam I have loved Vietnamese food. I try to replicate it when I can but that normally just means throwing grated carrot and coriander into everything! 🙂
If you’re thinking of heading to Vietnam yourself at some point, I’ve got an itinerary which may be useful – I’ll put it in the website link. Cheers!