Vermicelli Bowls are one my favorite things to order at pho restaurants. The next time you are at a “pho” restaurant, look for these vermicelli bowls on the menu. You would be surprised how many pho places serve vietnamese dishes OTHER than pho — yes they do exist!
These bowls were super easy to make: I marinated the chicken while I prepped the other ingredients, then immediately started pickling the vegetables, which only takes ~15 minutes for a good, sweet pickle. I do highly recommend starting the marinate 10-20 minutes before you plan on cooking though, because it significantly affects the flavor of the chicken and prevents the protein from drying out on the griddle. I also used soba noodles, since I ran out of vermicelli noodles when I did a test run of the recipe a few days earlier — oops! Both were great, but the vermicelli soaked up the flavors of the dish, while the soba noodles remained somewhat dry, so I do recommend going out of your way for the vermicelli.
- ~ 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package noodles, vermicelli or soba
- cilantro for topping
Marinade & Dressing:
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (I used one I bought from Japan, but 1/2 cup Sriracha and 1 Tbs sesame oil would be a similar substitute)
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 4-5 tsp mirin
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- lemon juice
- salt (a pinch)
Whisk ingredients together. Pour half over the chicken breasts and let marinade for 30 minutes or longer. Place the other half in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon. (thickened and reduced by about half).
- 1 cucumber, cut into 1 cm rounds
- 1-2 carrots, matchsticks
- 1/2 daikon radish (depending on size), matchsticks
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 red chili, sliced or 1 tsp red chili flakes
- salt (generous pinch)
Heat vinegar, sugar, chili, and salt over medium/low heat until just simmering. Pour over chopped vegetables and ensure that they are submerged in the pickling liquid. Let sit at room temp for ~15-20 minutes.
Cook noodles (either vermicelli or soba) in boiling water according to package directions. Grill chicken on a griddle pan or BBQ until opaque throughout. This should take a few minutes per side. Once off the griddle, let the chicken breasts rest for ~5 minutes. Assemble the bowls with the noodles, pickled vegetables (removed from picking liquid), sliced chicken breasts, chopped cilantro, and a generous drizzle of the thickened sauce.