- 5 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut lengthwise into 12 strips in all
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lime juice (from about 2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 pound vermicelli
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into thin slices
- 2/3 cup fresh mint, basil, or cilantro leaves, or any combination of the three
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
How to make this recipe
Heat the broiler or light the grill. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 2 cloves of the garlic, and the oil. Add the chicken, toss, and then thread each strip onto a wooden skewer. Broil or grill the chicken until just done, about 2 minutes per side.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 clove garlic with the red-pepper flakes, vinegar, lime juice, and water. Set this <em>nuoc cham</em> aside.
In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the vermicelli until just done, about 9 minutes. Add the bean sprouts during the last minute of cooking. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain thoroughly.
Put the pasta and bean sprouts on a platter and top with the cucumber, herbs, and chicken skewers. Pour the <em>nuoc cham</em> over all and sprinkle with the peanuts.
Asian fish sauce is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.
The high acidity, citrus and mineral flavors, and slight sweetness of a German riesling are the perfect foils for the sweet and savory taste of this dish. Try a young kabinett from the Mosel region.