Curried chicken and rice noodles dressed with a lime and rice vinegar dressing, loads of fresh veggies and leafy green herbs make create a clean and healthy salad perfect for lunch or dinner.
At our house, our food cravings tend to lean in the regions of ethnic. Don’t get me wrong, we love a classic American Sunday dinner of pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy, but when it comes to those dishes that make our mouth water with just a whisper of a mention, you’ll more often find us in other hemispheres of eating.
This Vietnamese noodle salad is one of those recipes that has been hanging around as a favorite staple in our kitchen for years. Literally years. I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve made it. Correction: How many times my husband has made it.
That’s probably why it took me 4 trips (FOUR TRIPS!) to the store in one afternoon — and back, and back, and back — to get just the right noodles.
My man. He’s particular about his noodles. And his curry chicken. Yet one more reason of the many that make me love him.
If you’re a novice when it comes to Vietnamese eating, this is just the dish to get you into the swing of the fresh, flavorful and healthy flavors for an uncomplicated noodle bowl.
This year I’m partnering with Almond Breeze to create and share recipes using almond milk. I’ve shared several new recipes using almond milk that lean toward the savory side here and here, and these dreamy creamy popsicles that Smudge can’t get enough of.
Today we’re creating another creamy almond milk accent for our low-carb, noodle salad with curry and chicken.
About the Recipe
Vietnamese noodle salads—as you’ll find on Vietnamese menus listed as Bun—are made with rice noodles called vermicelli noodles. Not to be confused with bean thread noodles that look very similar. Not pad thai noodles that are rice noodles but thicker. Hence my 4 trips to the store. I used maifun noodles and they are perfect. There are plenty of brands for this variety of noodles and these days you can readily find them in the Asian aisle at the local grocery store or online.
The protein in this recipe is skinless chicken breast. The chicken is chopped into chunks then dusted with curry powder. The chicken is then cooked in Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original that I keep in my pantry for use whenever I need it thanks to its shelf-stable package. Lighter in calories than coconut milk or cream (only 60 calories per cup), almond milk is a great alternative to create the creamy sauce (with more curry powder added in) that coats the chicken and sautéed onions.
This salad is simple in flavors, but do be prepared for some chopping or shredding of the vegetables. I recently picked up this set of three vegetable peelers (so cool that they stick together with a magnet) to create the thin strips and shreds of the fresh carrots, bell pepper and cucumbers. And it’s perfectly fine to prep the shredded veggies the day before. Add shredded lettuce, bean sprouts or other veggies to your noodle bowl if you’d like.
The next layer of freshness is in the herbs. Cilantro, basil and fresh mint leaves are all equally delicious additions on their own or in combination.
The dressing is what pulls this noodle salad all together. Nuoc cham is a rice vinegar and lime-based dressing made with fish sauce and sweetened with sugar. Don’t get all freaked out about fish sauce. A good quality, light fish sauce hardly tastes fishy at all, just avoid the brands that have a bunch of added fructose. And don’t skip the fish sauce or you’ll lose the essence of the salad.
Vietnamese Curry Chicken and Rice Noodle Salad Bowl
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons curry powder divided
- 2 tablespoons canola oil divided
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and pressed
- 1 yellow onion peeled and sliced into rings
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 to 8 ounce package rice noodles such as vermicelli
- 1 cucumber seeded and sliced thinly or shredded
- 1 carrot peeled and shredded
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and sliced thinly
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- For the Nuac Cham Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 3-4 limes juiced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons grated carrot
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
Dust the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon of curry powder and toss to coat and set aside. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add the 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant then add the onion. Cook until the onions are soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan, and add the remaining canola oil. Brown the chicken pieces for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked on all sides.
Mix the almond milk, remaining 2 tablespoons of curry powder and brown sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Add to the pan with the chicken with the onions and stir to coat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half or until it coats the chicken pieces.
While the chicken is cooking, place the rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water and let sit for about 5 minutes or until they've softened. Drain and set aside.
To assemble the salad bowls, add a handful of noodles to the bowl and top with a scoop of curry chicken and onions. Dress with the sliced vegetables, fresh herbs and peanuts. Drizzle with the Nuac Cham dipping sauce and serve.
For the Nuac Cham Dipping Sauce
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Serve at room temperature.
Have a great day, and make something good.
This post is part of a partnered series with Blue DiamondAlmond Breeze Almondmilk. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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