Jersey City has some great Vietnamese restaurants, but I thought it was about time to try my hand at one of my favorite dishes, bun ga nuong. So a few months ago I started scouring the web to try to find something that looked pretty authentic and doable–although I love certain Asian dishes, cooking with their flavors can be a bit problematic for me since I didn’t grow up with them. But this came out fantastic! The following is a slightly tweaked version (basically sans seafood) of Chef Viet Tran’s recipe, who comes from New York City’s and Philadelphia’s Le Colonial Restaurants. It’s supposed to be for 4 people, but this dish is so good my husband and I end up eating it between the two of us!
- 4 boneless chicken breasts (2 whole breasts split to make 4 pieces)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups lettuce, shredded
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup unsalted, chopped or roughly crushed roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup rice vermicelli
- 4 ounces water
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 2 ounces fish sauce
- 1 ounce sugar
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
First, marinate the chicken breasts in the garlic, shallots, salt, pepper and vegetable oil for at least an hour. Sometimes I do this the day before.
When the chicken is just about done marinating, mix the dressing ingredients together (water, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil). Set aside.
Next, prepare the vermicelli according to the package directions. Strain in colander and set to the side.
Now grill or broil the chicken on both sides until done. Cut into bite sized pieces.
In each bowl, divide lettuce and cucumbers. Add the vermicelli and then arrange the chicken on top. Pour about 2 ounces of dressing in each bowl and then sprinkle with peanuts.