This is a semi-homemade dish that you can make at home on any day of the week since it's fairly easy to compose. The main component is the fresh rice noodle sheet, Banh Uot Tuoi, which is widely sold at your local Vietnamese market. I've "fusion-ed" this dish by adding the Japanese panko chicken and making this a more substantial dinner or lunch entree. Traditionally this dish is more of a breakfast dish and the variety of toppings for the noodles are many, including grilled pork, grilled chicken, sour pork, fried shrimp cake, fried mung bean cake and the list goes on. Staying true to the spirit of Vietnamese food, you must have a large serving of the Vietnamese dipping sauce. And don't forget to serve hot chili paste on the side only, so the kids can enjoy as well. So why not make this dish for your week night dinner this week?
RECIPE for 4 servings
1 lb package fresh rice noodle sheets
4 pieces of chicken breast, skinless boneless
1 roll of Vietnamese pork bologna, Gio Lua, large julienned
2 large eggs, mix with 1 tbs of water for making egg wash
2 cups of panko
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt, and a dash or more
1/2 tsp pepper, and a dash or more
1/2 lb of bean sprouts, steam in microwave for 2 mins
1 handful of fresh mints and cilantro, chopped
1 large cucumber, julienned with skin on
Crisp fried shallots, store-bought
2 cups of Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nuoc Mam Pha
Making panko chicken:
1. Place chicken in between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and flatten with a meat pounder, to 1/4 inch
2. Season chicken with dashes of salt and pepper to both sides
3. Make 3 dinner plates of: a) flour mix, with salt and pepper b) egg wash c) panko
4. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with a) flour mixture, then dip both sides into the b) egg mixture and c) dredge both sides in panko.
5. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 chicken breasts on medium heat for 2 to 3 mins on each side, until cooked through.
6. Let cool and cut chicken into 1-inch wide pieces
Assembling the plate:
On a large dinner plate, place the noodle at the bottom and top with all the veggies, then at the very top, the crispy shallots, julienned pork roll and the crispy panko chicken.
Serve with plenty of Vietnamese dipping sauce.