What do you make for dinner when your apartment is hotter than a sweatshop but the thought of eating cereal and milk as a meal erodes your soul? Cold rice noodle bowl to the rescue! Full disclosure here – while this has the semblance of being a cool oven-free dinner, I did in fact turn on both my burner and oven to make this dish. But, once those were turned off and I was sitting pants-less in front of the AC unit – it was cool sailing! Aside from the oven usage – this really is the perfect summer dish. The rice noodles keep things light, the mint, basil, and cilantro add a delicious herby-freshness and who doesn’t love a peanut sauce? All you need to do is cook the chicken and some noodles and it’s din din time.
Rice Noodle Bowl
Adapted from The New York Times
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (I subbed worcestershire sauce)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 8 ounces dried rice vermicelli
- 2 small cucumbers, cut in half moons
- 1 medium carrot, cut in thin matchsticks
- Small handful basil sprigs
- Small handful mint sprigs
- Small handful cilantro sprigs
- 4 tablespoons slivered scallions
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- Lime wedges
For Peanut Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (again I subbed worcestershire sauce)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1-inch chunk ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Pinch red pepper flakes
Puree the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and chili garlic sauce in a small food processor. Place chicken thighs in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Whisk together the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl.
Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Grill or broil the chicken thighs until browned. About 5-6 minutes a side. Let cool and slice into strips. Reserve the pan juices.
In a small bowl, place a nice handful of noodles in the bottom of your bowl. Spoon some of the chicken pan drippings on top of the noodles. Top with cucumbers, carrots, and sliced chicken. Add the basil, mint and cilantro. Drizzle peanut sauce on top of everything. Sprinkle with the scallions and crushed peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.