So my first week at Texas A&M, I was helping a friend from high school move in and his mother took us out to Phở John’s in College Station. I fell in love with the food and the management. What was truly a joy for me was, they would stay open for students who showed up ten minutes before closing. I loved bringing friends to have their first experience with Vietnamese food. This is a simple, healthy, fresh dish that I love. Enjoy.
Vermicelli with Charboiled Chicken
1 lb chicken (white or dark), cut in small pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 cups lettuce of choice, torn in to large pieces
1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
1 cup carrot, julienned
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup rice vermicelli, uncooked
Salt and pepper to taste
Nước chấm | Spicy Sweet Fish Sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
1. In a bowl, mix the nước chấm ingredients and set aside.
2. In another bowl, combine the chicken, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. Set aside to marinate for 15-30 minutes.
2. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the carrots and blanch for about 30 seconds. Remove them to a bowl of cold water, drain, and set aside.
3. Place the rice vermicelli in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let it sit for five minutes or until almost soft. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.
4. Add equal amounts of the carrots, sprouts and lettuce to each serving bowls. Place equal amounts of rice noodles on top of the vegetables.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan over high flame. Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook quickly until cooked through. Place the chicken in the bowls to cover about 1/3 of the noodles. Place the cucumber over another 1/3 of the noodles. Place the cilantro and mint over the remaining 1/3.
6. Sprinkle peanuts over all and serve with nước chấm to be poured over the noodles to taste.