Vietnamese Noodles with Lemongrass Chicken is always a favorite dish for its big flavors and combination of satisfying textures. Bun Ga Nuong combines freshly seared chicken, cool crisp lettuce, vegetables, rice noodles and fragrant fresh herbs in a delicious spicy sauce.
All the classic flavors of Vietnamese food are combined in this delicious recipe!
A lemongrass marinade gives boneless chicken thighs delicious flavor.
Vermicelli rice noodles, fresh light butter lettuce, carrots, cucumber and fresh herbs make for a healthy bowl recipe.
All drizzled with Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce) and chili oil!
The Chicken Marinade
Lemongrass – this distinct citrus flavor is a signature of many Asian dishes.
It can be purchased by the stalk. Many herb companies sell it in prepared packages in the produce department of grocery stores.
You’ll fine the white parts in about 4-inch sections in plastic packages.
An alternative would be a Lemongrass Stir-In Paste. I like Gourmet Garden’s and they are available fresh in the produce section.
It’s really the star of the Vietnamese lemongrass chicken!
Soy Sauce or Tamari – choose regular or gluten-free. Do not use Dark soy sauce. The flavor is too heavy handed for this recipe.
Fish Sauce – use regular or gluten-free. Fish sauce is available at most stores with the condiments or International food ingredients.
A note about fish sauce if you have not cooked with it before. The smell is strong and may seem overpowering.
Once it mixes with the other flavors you won’t taste it.
Chicken Thighs – we use boneless skinless thighs for this recipe. They’ll be sliced at the end so going boneless is the way to go.
Also chicken thighs have more flavor and stay moist when being cooked over higher temperatures.
The Noodle Bowl
- Butter Lettuce – it’s light and fresh. If not available, shredded iceberg lettuce may also be used.
- Vermicelli Rice Noodles – use thin Maifun rice noodles or rice sticks.
- fresh Cilantro and Mint – these herbs are traditional flavors. Fresh Basil also could be used or substituted for one of these.
- English cucumber – these cucumber are essentially seedless and do not need to be peeled (rinse them). They are very long so only a half an English cucumber is needed. A large regular cucumber can be substituted but should be peeled and seeds removed before cutting.
- Carrots – they will be ‘julienned’ or cut into small sticks.
- Nuoc Cham sauce – a classic Vietnamese Dipping Sauce you can make in about 5 minutes. It’s made using fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, white sugar, crushed red pepper and Thai or serrano chile pepper.
- Chili oil – use sparingly for some extra flavor and a bit of spice!
What are Vermicelli Rice Noodles?
‘Vermicelli’ is a spaghetti-shaped pasta that is very thin. The type made from rice is very popular in many Asian recipes.
These noodles are quickly prepared by adding hot water to soak then draining them. They also can be added to a hot broth for soup. They have a very appealing texture.
Rice noodles are available in different sizes so be sure to select the thin vermicelli size for this recipe.
How to Make it – Step-by-Step
Marinating the Chicken
Because there isn’t a lot of marinade I prefer using a gallon plastic zipper-top bag for this. It’s pliable and easier to submerge the chicken and massage the marinade into the chicken.
A container with lid may also be used.
STEP 1: Combine the marinade ingredients: lemongrass, garlic, 1 tablespoon of oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and honey. Mix to fully combine.
STEP 2: Add the chicken and coat. Seal bag or lid and marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Preparing the Bowls
STEP 1: Add the vermicelli noodles to a large bowl. To cook the noodles, cover with boiling water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Drain well with a strainer.
STEP 2: While the noodles are soaking, heat a large skillet or grill pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
STEP 3: Remove any pieces of lemongrass from the chicken and place in the skillet. Sear 5-7 minutes per side until the chicken reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.
Place aside to rest for 5 minutes. Then slice into 1/2-inch thick strips.
STEP 4: Arrange the lettuce, cut vegetables, fresh herbs, lime and noodles evenly between 4 large bowls.
Add the chicken and drizzle with Nuoc Cham sauce and chili oil before serving.
Alternatively serve the Nuoc Cham in small ramekins with each salad bowl for individual adding.
More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!
- Polynesian Chicken Lap Lap Skillet
- Thai Chicken Meatballs with Dipping Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Oven Baked BBQ Chicken
- Lemon-Garlic Chicken Wings
- Grilled Chicken Thighs with Thai flavors
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Try these Salad Recipes too!
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
- Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Peaches
- Mongolian Beef Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette
- Mexican Cobb Salad
Vietnamese Noodle Bowls with Lemongrass Chicken
- 1 stalk Lemongrass (white portion only) crushed and cut into 1-inch sections for easy removal after marinating
- 4 small Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons Avocado oil or Safflower Oil divided
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce (regular or gluten-free) do not use DARK soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon Fish sauce (regular or gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoon Honey can also use brown sugar, or a sugar substitute
- 1 pound Boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
- 6 ounces Vermicelli rice noodles
- 2 medium Carrots peeled and julienned
- 1/2 English cucumber rinsed and julienned (peeling not necessary)
- 4 cups Butter lettuce or shredded iceberg lettuce
- 2 tablespoons fresh Mint
- 2 tablespoons fresh Cilantro
- 1/2 cup prepared Nuoc Cham sauce
- 1 Lime quartered
- Chili oil for serving
Marinating the Lemongrass Chicken
- In a plastic zipper-close gallon bag combine the lemongrass, garlic cloves, soy sauce, fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and honey. Seal, shake to combine. Add in the chicken. Seal the bag squeezing out the air. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator a minimum of 1 hour up to 24 hours.Alternatively, the ingredient may be combined in a container with a lid. Mix marinade together first before adding the chicken.
Preparing the Noodle Bowl Ingredients
- When ready to assemble, place the noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over them, stir and allow to soak for 5-10 minutes until soft. Drain thoroughly.
- While the noodles are soaking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken for 5-7 minutes per side until slightly charred and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165° F. Remove to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes then slice into 1/2-inch thick strips.
- Divide the noodles between 4 bowls, arrange the lettuce, carrots, cucumber, herbs, and chicken around the noodles. Drizzle with Nuoc Cham and chili oil to serve.