Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Bowl
Hi friends! Lately I’ve been in the mood for all kinds of bold Vietnamese flavors. I was recently thinking about an hors d’oeuvre that I’ve made a dozen times with lemongrass chicken meatballs. I serve them in mini lettuce cups with a zesty carrot and cilantro sauce. I thought, why not turn one of my favorite simple light bites into a lunch( or dinner too) that’s a little bit more filling. This is where the idea for a rice noodle bowl came to mind!
Rice noodles are just about one of the easiest things to make and they’re filling too. Who doesn’t love a bowl full of noodles? I thought I would start out with a bed of butter lettuce and build my bowl from there with some quick pickled watermelon and daikon radishes.
The combination of silky rice noodles, juicy meatballs, tangy radishes, and crunchy lettuce all work so well together here! I recommend always keeping some toasted sesame seeds and cilantro and mint on hand for a garnish.
Vietnamese-Inspired Noodle Bowl
This noodle bowl has it all. Between the crunchy carrot and cucumber, silky rice noodles, tangy radishes, sweet umami sauce and fresh cilantro, your taste buds won’t be disappointed.
- Prep Time: 35m
- Cook Time: 10m
- Total Time: 45m
- Serves: 5
- Category: Asian
Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom 5 inches only) smashed with rolling pin, then minced
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 lemongrass stalk, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons coarsely grated carrot
- 4 teaspoons golden brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced green Thai chile or serrano chile with seeds
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 cup radish
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup cooked rice noodles
- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
- Fresh Mint and Cilantro for garnish
- Chill chicken in freezer while making lemongrass paste. Combine lemongrass, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining ingredients in processor; pulse until paste forms. Add chicken; pulse to blend. Shape into 24 balls (each about 1 tablespoonful). Place on rimmed baking sheet. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
- Cut bottom 3 inches from lemongrass. Smash with rolling pin, then mince. Measure 1 tablespoon and place in small bowl (reserve the rest for another use). Add lime juice, fish sauce, cilantro, carrot, sugar, and chile to bowl; whisk until sugar dissolves.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs; brown until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer to 1 side of large platter.
- Arrange lettuce leaves in a bowl. Top with rice noodles, meatballs, pickled radish, sauce, fresh cilantro, mint and sesame seeds.
The best part about this rice noodle bowl is that I don’t feel too full afterward. This is also something you can make ahead of time. Pickle your radishes, make your sauce, sauté your meatballs and cook your rice noodles and then combine all of the ingredients together whenever you’re ready. I would actually recommend making the sauce for this noodle bowl ahead of time so all of the flavors can come together. Yes, this sauce gets better and better every day! Follow me on Instagram and I will posting a video of this entire recipe! @pamflavors and @flirtingwithflavors!!!
Like always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this recipe and any tips you have for making it even better. I also wanted to give a friendly reminder that I have another cabaret show coming up on March 19 with a special guest to be announced soon! Get your tickets here!
Cookbook author and entertaining expert, Pamela Morgan is the owner of NYC based Flirting with Flavors, where she offers exclusive cooking parties, inspirational seminars and special events. She is highly regarded as a special event planner, culinary consultant, cookbook author, and is a food & entertaining editor for Hamptons’s Cottages and Gardens. Pamela sees food as a flirtation: sexy, provocative, and a little mysterious. Her desire is to teach you how to flirt your way into a full on passion for cooking and entertaining! Visit her web site for recipes, entertaining inspiration and much more.