I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and told myself that I'll whiff up something similar for dinner.
I found a similar recipe and asked my husband to buy the herbs on his way home. The recipe required very little cooking, rather more chopping and slicing insteand ad.
I was extremely pleased with the end result and my husband thoroughly enjoyed his dinner. He even had two bowls of the noodle salad.
Vietnamese Lemon Grass Grilled Chicken and Rice Noodle Salad
2 golden shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped
80 ml (1/3 cup) fish sauce
450 gm chicken breast
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
55 gm (¼ cup) white sugar
70 ml lime juice
60 ml (¼ cup) rice vinegar
250 gm fresh rice sheet noodles
1 iceberg lettuce, cut into thin wedges
2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into julienne
1 carrot, cut into julienne
50 gm bean sprouts
1½ cups (loosely packed) coriander leaves
1½ cups (loosely packed) Vietnamese mint leaves
Roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1) Combine shallot, 3 cloves of garlic and lemongrass in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound to a coarse paste. Add 1 tbsp fish sauce, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and pound to combine. Place chicken and lemongrass paste in a non-reactive bowl, toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 1 hour.
2) Combine remaining garlic and fish sauce, chilli, sugar, lime juice and vinegar and stir until sugar dissolves. Set dressing aside.
3) Place rice noodles in a heat-proof bowl, pour over boiling water and stir using chopsticks to separate noodles. Drain, refresh in cold water, then drain again.
4) Heat a chargrill pan over medium heat. Grill chicken breast until lightly brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and slice thinly.
5) Combine noodles, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts and herbs in a large bowl. Add sliced chicken breast to the noodle salad, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine, divide among bowls, scatter with peanuts and serve immediately.