Lemongrass is one of my favourite ingredients, so much so that at My Food Bag my name is Nadia ‘Lemongrass’ Lim! It is used heaps in South East Asian cooking for its fresh fragrance and zest, adding a very unique flavour that is perfect with this chicken noodle salad.
I picked up this Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Salad recipe in Vietnam, and have put my spin on it, adding rice stick noodles and lots of fresh crunchy vegetables.The dressing contains a little chilli, but you can add more or omit if it’s not your favourite.
You might also want to check out my Lemongrass Chicken Skewers for a similar recipe that’s great on the BBQ.
Lemongrass marinade and chicken
- lemongrass 1 large (or 2 smaller) stalks
- ginger 3cm, peeled, chopped
- garlic 2 cloves
- ground turmeric 1 1/2 teaspoons
- brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons
- fish sauce or soy sauce 1 1/2 tablespoons
- oil 2 tablespoons
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast 500-600g, cut into 1cm strips
- coconut milk 1/2 cup
vegetables and noodles
- green beans 100g, thinly sliced
- carrot 1 medium, shredded or cut into thin matchsticks
- Lebanese cucumber 1, cut in half lengthways, deseeded, thinly sliced
- cherry tomatoes 1 punnet, cut in half
- thin rice stick noodles 200g
- coconut milk 1/4 - 1/3 cup
- roasted peanuts 1/3 cup chopped
- red chilli 1, finely chopped (remove seeds if you don't want the heat)
- lemon juice of 1
- fish sauce or soy sauce 2 teaspoons
- brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons
- extra-virgin olive oil 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons
- fresh mint and coriander 1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped
- roasted peanuts chopped
- Remove the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass and discard. Bash with the lemongrass stalk with the back of your knife to bruise it and release its flavour, then finely chop. Add to a mortar and pestle. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric and brown sugar. Bash all ingredients together until it becomes a paste. Mix in fish sauce and oil. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until it becomes a paste.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine chicken with lemongrass marinade in a bowl and leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes on the bench. If you have time, leave chicken to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge (but ensure chicken is at room temperature when ready to cook).
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to the boil. Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables.
- Heat a drizzle of oil in a wok or large fry pan on high heat. Add marinated chicken and cook for about 5 minutes until well browned and just cooked through. Add coconut milk and use a wooden spoon to scrape any pan brownings from the bottom of the pan (there’s lots of flavour here!). Let the coconut milk bubble for a minute or so and reduce down. Turn off the heat.
- Cook noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until just cooked through – be careful not to over-cook the noodles. Drain well and toss with coconut milk while noodles are still hot (this helps prevent them sticking together). Use scissors to snip noodles in a few places to shorten the strands (this makes for easier eating).
- Toss noodles with chicken and all it’s juices and marinade from the pan, beans, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and peanuts. Mix all dressing ingredients together and drizzle over noodles just before serving.
To serve, divide between plates and scatter over lots of fresh herbs. Garnish with extra peanuts.