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Rice Vermicelli with Chicken and Nuoc Cham

Rice Vermicelli with Chicken and Nuoc Cham

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Nuoc cham, the Vietnamese condiment that dresses this crunchy noodle salad, is made with lime juice, fish sauce, chiles, and sugar. The addictive mix of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty flavors is also great as a dipping sauce for grilled meats.


  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (about 2)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced crosswise, separated into rings
  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 Fresno chile or red jalapeño, with seeds, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 baby white turnips, trimmed, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves, divided

Recipe Preparation

  • Prepare grill for medium heat. Season chicken with salt and grill, turning often and moving away from direct heat if needed, until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165°, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool slightly, then shred meat, discarding skin and bones. Set aside.

  • Cook shallot in oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until shallot is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes (reserve shallot oil and use to make vinaigrettes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallot rings to a paper towel–lined plate and season with salt. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, place noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let noodles soak until tender but not mushy, 5–10 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

  • Mix chile, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar in a large bowl to combine. Add noodles, turnips, radishes, half of basil, and reserved shredded chicken, and toss to combine. Top with reserved fried shallot rings and remaining basil.

  • Do Ahead: Shallot rings can be fried 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and chill.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,Photos by Christina Holmes

Nutritional Content

4 servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 640 Fat (g) 30 Saturated Fat (g) 4.5 Cholesterol (mg) 65 Carbohydrates (g) 59 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 13 Protein (g) 36 Sodium (mg) 1650

Related Video

Rice Vermicelli With Chicken

Reviews Section

Vietnamese Pork with Vermicelli Noodles and Nuoc Cham Recipe | Grilling

When I first move to the big city, I was a total food hermit, I would hardly ever eat anything outside of my comfort zone. Luckily, I've come out of my shell, but 12 years ago, when my future college roommate forced me to try his native Vietnamese cuisine, the only thing I would order off the menu was barbecue beef, which I enjoyed so much that it's still a mainstay for me at Vietnamese restaurants.

Prowling the food blogs last week, I came across this recipe for a Vietnamese grilled pork that looked very similar to my beloved bbq beef. I tried it out over the weekend and the flavors were spot on, it was so good that a serving for four was devoured by two in no time. As I was chomping my way through the delicious bowl, I was thinking about how the warm pork, mixed with the crisp lettuce and cool noodles would be perfect the meal on a warm summer day, so it's sure to find its way to grill again when the seasons change, if I can even wait that long.

No-Cook Sesame Rice Noodle Salad, For When It’s Too Hot To Cook

There are a lot of great things about the dog days of summer, but turning the oven on is not one. When it’s this hot out, stay cool with a Vietnamese-inspired rice noodle salad that combines store-bought rotisserie chicken with crisp veggies and pantry staples you likely already have on hand. Fast, inexpensive to make and livened up with a fresh and zippy dressing, it’s a new way to think about cold chicken salad.

One trick to keeping this recipe no-cook is using rice vermicelli, super-thin angel hair-like rice noodles. They soften almost instantly with the help of an electric kettle, a secret time saver in the kitchen, making it possible to put this dish on the table in less than 20 minutes without ever turning on the oven or stove.

Nuoc cham is a traditional dressing for this style of salad and is typically made with a base of fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. But because I had limited ingredients on hand, this version’s base is made with soy sauce. You can of course substitute fish sauce (or just add a little bit) to get that funky-in-a-good-way umami kick ― Red Boat is a high-quality, super-delicious brand that’s easy to find in grocery stores or on Amazon.

Once the dressing is made, this salad becomes the perfect choose-your-own-adventure dish. Skip the trip to the store and customize your salad with the fresh raw veggies you already have on hand. Substitute the chicken for shrimp, ground pork, extra veggies or even sliced egg rolls. It can be super simple or extra fancy ― the combo possibilities are endless. Top with sesame seeds, peanuts and any fresh herbs you have, such as cilantro, basil or mint. And if you want a spicy kick, give it a drizzle of sriracha or sambal.

If you can’t eat it all in one sitting, the leftovers keep nicely chilled in the fridge for up to three days.

Cold Sesame Rice Noodle Salad

The Basic Dressing (makes 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons ginger, grated

1. Whisk all the ingredients together vigorously and store in fridge up to 1 week.

Like it spicy? Add 1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce

Creamy? Add 3 teaspoons peanut butter

Umami? Add 1 teaspoon fish sauce

Gluten free? Substitute tamari for soy sauce

No soy? Substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce

The Basic Salad (serves 4)

1 4-ounce package vermicelli rice noodles

1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

1/2 cup cucumbers, julienned or sliced

Toppings: Serve with chopped roasted peanuts, sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha

1. Empty your package of rice noodles into a large bowl. Heat 4 cups water in an electric kettle. After it comes to a boil, pour water onto noodles in bowl, just covering the dried noodles. Stir to combine. Wait 3 minutes, then drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. You want them to still have a bit of texture to them.

(No kettle? Don’t worry about boiling water on the stove. Just get the hottest water possible out of your sink and add a few more minutes soaking time.)

2. Toss cooked noodles with chicken, carrots, cucumbers and 1/3 cup dressing. Toss to combine. Continue adding dressing until reaching desired flavor and serve with any remaining dressing tableside along with your favorite toppings.

The Variations

Add or substitute these vegetables: shredded lettuce or cabbage, radishes, bell peppers or edamame.

Vermicelli Bowls with Filet and Nuoc Cham

Vermicelli Bowls with Filet and Nuoc Cham are a delicious and fresh meal packed with lots of bright flavors!

I love this recipe because it is super craveable (hello noodles!) and has super bright, fresh flavors! It looks so gorgeous on the plate you’d think it took hours to make but this one comes together super quick thanks to quick cookings noodles and steak. You can easily throw this together with just a minimal amount of prep!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through these links I may earn a few pennies. Thanks for keeping this free blog going!

Lemongrass Chicken Rice Vermicelli Bowls

1/4 cup minced shallots
1 large lemongrass stalk, trimmed and minced (about 3 tablespoons)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
zest from 1 lime
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon honey
8 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless OR 4 chicken thighs and freeze half the marinade

Fresh Rice Noodles (the dried ones never work out for me) 2-3 ounces per person.
1 Persian cucumber
1 carrot
red leaf lettuce
fresh herbs (cilantro, mint)
limes for serving

NUOC CHAM (Please note, this does not hold up and you’ll have to make it fresh if eating the next day)
1/2 cup hot water
2-3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
2-3 tablespoons of Vietnamese fish sauce
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 small bird’s eye chili, minced optional

Combine all ingredients except for the chicken. If you want to save the marinade, transfer it to another container BEFORE you add the chicken.

Take a look at the chicken. My boneless, skinless chicken were about the same thickness. You can also cut your chicken to strips or piece to get it to cook more quickly. Combine marinade and chicken and let it sit for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

In the mean time, prepare the nuoc cham. This is a combination of fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar, and chili peppers. I used half a serving of Serious Eats recipe.

Chop the cucumber, carrot into matchsticks. Roughly chop the red leaf lettuce and cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions.

Heat a cast iron pan to medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil, and cook the chicken. You don’t need it on high heat to get the nice searing. Flip occasionally. Check with a meat thermometer that the internal temperature is at least 165F.

While the chicken is resting, put together the bowls. I like putting down a bed of lettuce, sprinkle with herbs, a handful of rice noodles in the center, and putting a pile of carrots, cucumbers along the side. Top off with a few slices of chicken and a few spoonfuls of nuoc cham.

Virtual Cooking Class: Vermicelli Bowls with Grilled Chicken

Take a journey to Vietnam along with our favourite Masterchef alumna Mai Nguyen with this virtual cooking class on ‘Bún Thịt Gà Nướng – Vermicelli Bowls topped with Lemongrass Marinated and Grilled Chicken, served with aromatics and Nuoc Cham. Mai’s online cooking class will walk you through preparing and presenting a beautiful bowl of Rice Noodles and Chicken. Together you’ll marinate the chicken, make a Nuoc Cham dipping sauce, prepare the accompaniments and garnishes and cook your chicken perfectly on the grill before assembling your bowls, just in time for supper.

Ingredients for ‘Bún Thịt Gà Nướng (Chicken Vermicelli Bowl): marinated chicken (or king oyster mushroom for vegan option), scallion oil, daikon and carrot pickle, fresh herbs (lettuce, perilla, rau ram, mint, cilantro, fish mint, basil etc.), cucumber, Nuoc cham, dried rice vermicelli

Ingredients for Marinated Chicken: 6 boneless chicken thighs, shallot, lemongrass, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, neutral oil

Ingredients for Marinated King Oyster Mushroom (vegan option):king oyster mushrooms, shallot, garlic, lemongrass, sugar, vegan sauce (nuoc mam bottle, but nuoc cham), soy sauce, neutral oil

Ingredients for Scallion oil:green onions, neutral vegetable oil

Ingredients for Daikon and Carrot Pickle: daikon, carrot, distilled white vinegar, sugar

Ingredients for Nuoc Cham: fish sauce, sugar, fresh lime or distilled white vinegar, garlic, birds eye chili

Class Fee: $25.00 plus GST (pricing is per device and allows multiple participants to attend using a single device). Your Fee Includes: A 90 minute cooking class plus a recipe pack including info on equipment needed. Our recipes are distributed manually. If you sign up within 24 hours of your class time, you may not receive the recipe in advance. We will attach it in Zoom Chat at the start of your class on request.

Software Requirement: We are using Zoom for our virtual classes. If you aren’t already using Zoom you can download their free app for Windows, Mac, Android or Apple iOS here. Upon purchase, your meeting ID and password will be included in your Event Confirmation email – please be sure to save this information as you will need it to join your class.

If you are experiencing any issues on the day of the class, please email [email protected]

Venue: This is an Online Class on Zoom


We use Zoom for our online classes. If you aren’t already using Zoom you can download their free app for Windows, Mac, Android or Apple iOS here.

Once downloaded Zoom will help you set up your free account then you’re ready to join us. Zoom will prompt you and ask for permission to use your devices camera and audio, please accept the requests. Once logged in click “Join” from the home page and enter your Meeting ID, which will be sent to you by email with your recipes.

Located on the MacEwan University Campus
11050 104 Avenue NW Edmonton AB T5K 2Y9

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Hi, I'm Trang and welcome to RunAwayRice! I'm a recipe developer, home cook, food stylist and blogger with a passion for healthy eating and simple cooking. I take traditional Vietnamese dishes and give them a modern twist! More about me.

About the Recipe

Vietnamese noodle salads—as you’ll find on Vietnamese menus listed as Bun—are made with rice noodles called vermicelli noodles. Not to be confused with bean thread noodles that look very similar. Not pad thai noodles that are rice noodles but thicker. Hence my 4 trips to the store. I used maifun noodles and they are perfect. There are plenty of brands for this variety of noodles and these days you can readily find them in the Asian aisle at the local grocery store or online.

The protein in this recipe is skinless chicken breast. The chicken is chopped into chunks then dusted with curry powder. The chicken is then cooked in Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original that I keep in my pantry for use whenever I need it thanks to its shelf-stable package. Lighter in calories than coconut milk or cream (only 60 calories per cup), almond milk is a great alternative to create the creamy sauce (with more curry powder added in) that coats the chicken and sautéed onions.

This salad is simple in flavors, but do be prepared for some chopping or shredding of the vegetables. I recently picked up this set of three vegetable peelers (so cool that they stick together with a magnet) to create the thin strips and shreds of the fresh carrots, bell pepper and cucumbers. And it’s perfectly fine to prep the shredded veggies the day before. Add shredded lettuce, bean sprouts or other veggies to your noodle bowl if you’d like.

The next layer of freshness is in the herbs. Cilantro, basil and fresh mint leaves are all equally delicious additions on their own or in combination.

The dressing is what pulls this noodle salad all together. Nuoc cham is a rice vinegar and lime-based dressing made with fish sauce and sweetened with sugar. Don’t get all freaked out about fish sauce. A good quality, light fish sauce hardly tastes fishy at all, just avoid the brands that have a bunch of added fructose. And don’t skip the fish sauce or you’ll lose the essence of the salad.

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #foodiecrusheats.

Vegan Vietnamese Grilled “Chicken” Vermicelli Bowl – Bún Thịt Nướng Chay

This recipe for vegan thit nuong is a quick and easy one that is made with soy curls, one of my favourite chicken substitutes around! You can try this marinade with seitan, tofu, or even premade vegan chicken slices! My mom would make bowls like this whenever it was hot and especially after a big family gathering where (particularly if) spring rolls survived the hoards of my family eating them. Layered with so much fresh veg and coated in my favourite nuoc mam cham sauce, the sweet and salty sauce perfectly married these different ingredients together to become a texture symphony of savoury bites with the occasional crispy caramelized edge, crunchy spring rolls, crisp lettuce and cucumber, and chewy, chilled noodles.

It’s never NOT a good time.

The marinade is pretty simple, and can be used for a variety of foods (as mentioned). The base of the umami flavour is the vegan fish sauce, but if you can’t find that, you can use soy sauce instead (but omit the salt I add in the end). You can play pretty fast and loose with the ingredient amounts too, if you understand how you like the balance of sweet and salty. Getting my mom to describe the amounts she used for this was pretty rough (“Use…a spoon of that… maybe two spoons of this” …mom what is a SPOON.) But learning how to cook from my mom is a lesson in understanding cooking fundamentals and flavour. Each household will have a different balance of these ingredients depending on how whoever is preparing it likes it. More crispy sweetness? More sugar. More juiciness? More oil and aromatics. More salt? More fish sauce and salt!

Sugar is essential to create that sweet, caramelized texture, and you don’t realize how crucial the sugar is until when you try making it with less sugar (as I did), it lacks that unique caramelized flavour that I didn’t even realize was part of this dish. The dark soy sauce gives the dish colour and a deep undercurrent of flavour, while you add garlic and onion to anchor the dish.

I baked this recipe, but a lot of times you’ll see this grilled. I remember my mom baking large pans of meat with this marinade and it was pretty epic too. Soy curls are a bit difficult to grill, and to get the caramelized top, you can accelerate by broiling it for 3-5 minutes until the tops are crisp, but I frequently burn things so I tend to just bake until caramelized, stirring to space out the soy curls and introduce them to the hot air in the oven.