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Bun Ga Nuong

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When I lived in Dallas, I ate But Thit Nuong at Green Papaya at least twice a month. More if I could convince my dad to go on a more regular basis. Which really wasn’t all that hard, we both love this dish and their shrimp spring rolls are some of my favorites.

Since moving, I haven’t found a Vietnamese place that makes this dish, and after a wedding weekend of heavy eating and drinking, I decided to just make it myself. It’s such a light, fresh dish and is full of flavors from all the tasty herbs and dressing.

I was a little worried Rob wouldn’t like it because he’s not a big fan of chilled pasta salad, and this is essentially that, just with Asian ingredients. But I was wrong! He absolutely loved it and even said it was one of his favorite things I’ve ever made. SCORE.

I’m so glad I finally got around to making it. It’s been on my list for hmm, probably a year now, and I always thought it would be more time-consuming, but it really wasn’t at all. You can also make everything in advance, making it even easier! I ate the leftovers for the next 3 days until I ate all of it, and it was just as good each time.

Perfect for a take-to-work lunch. What do you think?

Chicken Marinade

  • 3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks of dried lemongrass (each about 4 inches long)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • pepper

Nuoc Cham

  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp (or more) Sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Toppings

  • butter or romaine lettuce
  • rice vermicelli noodles
  • julienned carrots
  • sliced cucumber
  • chopped scallions
  • equal parts basil, cilantro and mint, chopped
  • crushed peanuts

Method

Combine all the marinade ingredients and toss with the chicken. Marinate 2 hours or overnight. Grill chicken for a few minutes per side, making sure you don’t overcook. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for nuoc cham and keep refrigerated. Cook noodles according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.

To plate, place a small amount of lettuce at the bottom of each bowl, top with noodles, then carrots, cucumbers, scallions and chicken and garnish with peanuts and herbs. Pour about 1 Tbsp (or to taste) of the nuoc cham over the top and enjoy.

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