One of my favorite dishes in Vietnamese restaurants is a cold rice noodle bowl, topped with grilled meats, crispy spring roll, vegetables, and fresh herbs, all tied together with a pungent dipping sauce. This recipe from David Tanis writing in The New York Times, is a healthy, delicious take on this dish that is great for a summer meal. There is grilled chicken marinated in garlic, ginger, lemongrass, brown sugar, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Vegetables include cucumbers, carrots, and mung bean sprouts. There are fresh herbs – cilantro, basil, and mint. To top things off there are crunchy peanuts and two sauces – a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, garlic, chiles, sugar, and lime, and a peanut sauce made with peanut butter, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger. The peanut sauce is great and differentiates Tanis’ dish from traditional Vietnamese rice noodle bowl. This dish is light and fresh, and there is a lot of flavor. The recipe requires a lot of specialty ingredients that can be sourced at an Asian market. There are a lot of individual components (chicken marinade, dipping sauce, peanut sauce) but nothing too difficult. Total time to make was almost two hours. Be careful with the Thai chiles, because they are tiny but pack a lot of heat!
Link to recipe here.