This Vietnamese Noodle Salad, or Bun Ga Nuong, is my favorite summer salad and I am not one to brag, but I was told that my version killed any 5-star restaurant version (if there even is one!). And it totally does! I had a friend in college inspire and teach me some tricks about making fish sauce dressing, and her mother taught me some secrets too. This salad has so many complex flavors that zing on your tongue like nothing you’ve ever tasted. Use the proper type of rice stick noodles too, it makes a difference. There is a lot of prep to this salad, I won’t lie. Cutting up all of the ingredients can be daunting, but so worth it. Cut up extra so you have it for the next salad because you will want MORE!
This salad HAS to have fresh mint, fresh Thai basil, good quality cilantro (go to an Asian grocery store I’m not kidding), and fresh lemongrass, among other key ingredients. All of these flavors come together in this salad, and man is it insanely tasty. I marinated shrimp and chicken in a fish sauce with lemongrass, garlic, chili paste, Thai basil, and yes a bit of brown sugar. YUM! Dress this salad up with fresh radishes, shaved carrots, cucumbers, and tons of mint, cilantro, and Thai basil. WOW!
This easy Fish Sauce Marinade only needs to soak in the shrimp for 10 minutes, but give the chicken a little longer – more like 30-45 minutes to lock in all of the tangy and sweet flavors. I highly recommend the fish sauce that I linked in the previous sentence. I was told to never buy anything else by a very trusted source (see my opening paragraph). Lemongrass is easy to find in most Asian grocery stores. I buy a few bunches of it, chop it into 3-4″ slices (lengthwise), and freeze it in a baggie to use in soups, salads, and marinades.
Let these marinade and then skewer them up to grill.
These grilled up perfectly, skewered on the grill with this rack that I bought at a thrift store that keeps the meat up off of the grill. What an ingenious toy! (Click here to buy one because they will change your grilling game)
Look at these puppies! They are not the star of this salad but they play a very important part. I’ll bet that the shrimps get partly eaten before you get this salad assembled.
Song for the Prep: Star by Beck
Because yes please more Beck please! He is a star, and so is this salad. Enjoy this while you prep all of these lovely veggies and herbs and sauces!
Grilled Shrimp and Chicken Vietnamese Noodle Salad
- July 4, 2021
- 1 hr 30 min
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- 1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 2 T chili paste
- 4 T fish sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 Thai basil leaves, chopped
- 4 T dark brown sugar
- 3 T avocado oil (or veg oil)
- 1 pounds uncooked shrimp
- 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 8 oz rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 head red or green leaf lettuce
- 2 c shredded carrots
- 2 c mung bean sprouts
- 2 English cucumbers, sliced thin
- 2 c radishes, sliced thin
- 1 c fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 c fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped
- 1 c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/4 c water
- 1/4 c fish sauce
- 2 T lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 T rice wine vinegar
- 1 T dark brown sugar
- 1/2 stem lemongrass, chopped thinly
- 1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
- Step 1
- MARINADE – Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour 1/3 of the marinade on top of the shrimp, and the remaining 2/3 onto the chicken. Marinade chicken for at least 45 minutes, and the shrimp for 10 minutes.
- Step 2
- SALAD – Cook rice noodles for 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Place in middle of plate, surrounded by lettuce and vegetables. Top with grilled shrimp, chicken, and dressing. Garnish with mint, Thai basil, and cilantro. Serve with chili sauce for those who like it spicy.
- Step 3
- DRESSING – Put all ingredients into a bowl or jar and let sit for 1/2 hour before serving. Keep in refrigerator for up to a week.