Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli Salad

READY IN: 2hrs 10mins




  • To prepare the Chicken Marinade:
  • In a small saucepan combine sugar and 1/2 cup water. In the microwave or stove-top, heat another 1/3 cup of water; set aside.
  • Heat saucepan with sugar over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Then, stop stirring and allow mixture to boil, untouched, for about 10-12 minutes, until mixture turns a deep golden brown.  Watch carefully so as not to burn.
  • Turn off the heat and pour in the additional hot water.  Do this very quickly and carefully so that you do not burn yourself. Mixture will sputter and bubble up a bit and then settle down.
  • Stir until caramel becomes liquidy. Set mixture aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile prepare a second bowl with shallots, soy sauce, fish sauce and olive oil. When caramel sauce is cool to the touch, add the caramel sauce to the shallot mixture.
  • In marinating dish (or ziplock bag) add chicken and pour marinade over the chicken.
  • Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  • To prepare the noodles:
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add vermicelli and boil per package instructions; about 5 minutes. Drain into a colander and run cold water over the noodles until they are cool to the touch. Set aside to drain while you prepare your remaining ingredients.
  • To prepare the Nuoc Cham:
  • Combine water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, vinegar, garlic, thai chili, shredded cucumber and shredded carrot. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  • To grill the Chicken:
  • Brush a grill pan with vegetable oil and bring to high heat.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Grill for about 3-4 minutes per side or until chicken is completely cooked through.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • To serve:
  • Prepare the noodle bowls by distributing a handful of lettuce, 1/4 portion of noodles, and top with shredded carrot, cucumber, chopped peanuts, mint and cilantro to taste.
  • Top salads with sliced grilled chicken.
  • Separate the Nuoc Cham into 4 portions for serving. Pour sauce over salad and mix immediately prior to eating.
  • Makes 4 noodle bowls.