Asian Kitchen: Vietnamese Vermicelli with Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs
Asian Kitchen is a Tablecrafter series on cooking dishes inspired by the different regional cuisines in Asia.
This Vietnamese dish, like every good recipe, begins with fresh ingredients.
When people talk about Vietnamese food, it almost always includes aromatics and herbs, vegetables, meat, and rice (in all its forms). Unsurprisingly, many consider it to be one of the healthiest cuisines all over the world.
Rice flour, water, and salt make up the famous Vietnamese vermicelli-style noodles, called bun. Bun typifies Vietnamese cuisine not only by its freshness and vibrancy, but also with its penchant for being both healthy and filling. If cooked perfectly, vermicelli noodles turn out soft and white, but still retains its bounce.
We’re making today’s dish with incredibly flavorful chicken meatballs, infused with the citrusy zing of lemongrass and aromatics. It’s light, fragrant, nutritionally-balanced, and remarkably satisfying.
Recipe: Vietnamese Vermicelli with Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour (15 min for prep / 15 for cooking / 5 min for assembly)
• 4 cups vermicelli, cooked and drained
• 4 pcs bird’s eye chili, minced
• 2 pcs green chilies, minced
• 1 small cucumber, sliced thinly
• 1 cup bean sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
• 1 sprig cilantro, stems discarded
• 500g ground chicken
• 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
• 2 stalks lemongrass, finely minced
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• 1 tsp fish sauce
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• Vegetable oil, for frying
• ½ cup fish sauce
• ¼ cup lime juice
• 2 tbsp water
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 1 tsp soy sauce
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• ½ small carrot, grated
• 1 pc bird’s eye chili, minced
• 1 pc green chili, minced
Procedure: Vietnamese Vermicelli
- Pour boiling water over the noodles until they are submerged.
- Allow to soak for ten minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Strain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Procedure: Chicken Meatballs
- Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- With slightly damp hands, make ½ inch balls and line them up on a tray.
- Heat a pan with about ½ inch inch of vegetable oil and fry the meatballs until they are golden brown and cooked through, about five to six minutes. Reserve for plating.
- Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Serve with the vermicelli and meatballs.
Procedure: Assembling the Plate
- Divide the noodles into four bowls. Top with the vegetables and meatballs.
- Serve immediately with the dressing.
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