I've become completely addicted to eating Vermicelli bun bowls "Bun Ga' Nuong" [Charbroiled Chicken] being my favorite on the menu at any Vietnamese restaurant we're dining in...it's the perfect trifecta, lean protein, rice noodles...and a salad packed with lots of yummy veggies. I crave this dish almost every time I finish a good work out or a long run...and with the hub's addiction for pho' I find the bun bowl is a perfect summer companion....the bun bowl is served at room temp- no hot soup for me during the summer months. I asked one of our favorite places we frequent down at Alki how to make the sauce...after making bets with the hub what I thought it was...
I wasn't too far off. So, I decided I'd give it a shot and try making it myself. Here's how I did it....
[photo courtesy Tom Hagert Lakeview Local]
You want to use Mai Fun Vietnamese rice stix noodles, in my opinion your best bet is to visit a local Asian specialty market to get your noodles and sauces....you know where you find labels nearly impossible to read- these are the goodies that recreate the yummy flavors the restaurants do...the noodles are super duper thin, thinner than angel hair pasta. First step: while your cutting your veggies is to soak the Mai Fun noodles in a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes, then drain your soaked noodles and place them in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Drain the boiled noodles and set aside.
VEGGIES: Couple handfuls of julienned romaine lettuce [or any lettuce you prefer] a handful of julienned carrots, a handful of cucumber [skin the cucumber and julienne only the seedless portions] and handful of bean sprouts- I actually prefer mine without the sprouts, but hub likes em' so I did this time. And a handful of skinned julienned jicama [in the restaurants the jicama and carrots are actually pickled- but I have no clue how to "pickle" veggies...maybe next time?!]
Place all you veggies in a large bowl...bigger the bowl the better...the portion of this dish is BIG- maybe that's why I love it! But it's all good healthy stuff!
CHICKEN: Marinade each boneless, skinless breast in some poultry seasoning [I used Montreal Chicken seasoning- I think it's Grill Mates brand] and a couple dashes [tablespoons] of this magic sauce:
Mae Ploy...sweet chili garlic sauce [note to self; do not taste test this yummy sauce before a 5 mile run! I was burping garlic for the first three miles!]
Grill the chicken breasts per your fancy....we used our new barbecue, but a George Foreman or any other grill/broiler method would suffice.
Above is hub's bowl...place a large heap of cooled rice noodles over the veggies then place [in hub's case] a gigantic chicken breast sliced on top...
- 1/4 Cup Fish Sauce- 3 Crab brand or any vietnamese brand
- 2/3 hot water
- 1/4 cup sugar [or less]
- juice from half a squeezed lime
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of garlic chili paste [I used garlic chili sauce-rooster brand, and it worked just fine]
Whisk all ingredients together and serve a ramekin size to each person. [This sauce can be stored in air tight container for up to a month in the fridge.]
pour your sauce over your yummy bun bowl and mix it all together and enjoy.
Running: It's going great. I ran 10 miles on Saturday in 01:27:00 I'm feeling pretty good about staying on target for hitting my goal w/ Bellingham...woo hoo only like 30 something days till the race. Ran speed intervals again last night with the West Seattle Runner group. We did 800m warm up & 2x800 at 3:25 pace & 4 x 1000m at 4:25 pace then another 2 x 800m again at 3:25 pace, I ran to practice and back home totaling about 7 miles. I'm really looking forward to my cousin Molly coming home next week from India, she wants to train for the Seattle marathon in November. It will be really nice to have someone to run my long run with.
Happy hump day...I'm off to the gym for an easy treadmill run and to sit in the sauna! Then plan on honing in on at least one of about five painting projects I have started! My studio looks like a tornado went through it :)