Cold Noodle Salad with Basil Chicken
Cold Noodle Salad with Basil Chicken is an quick and versatile recipe packed with Asian-influenced flavors.
In the past few months, I have cooked more for others than for myself. I have seriously missed cooking + sharing new recipes here but I hope that’s going to change slowly. Also, it would be selfish not to share this Cold Noodle Salad with Basil Chicken before Summer ends. It’s not an entirely new recipe; a riff off from last year’s Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken Noodle but in some sense it’s simpler, more versatile but equally delicious!
Just as the title suggests, this is a pretty straight forward recipe : basil chicken skewers are piled a bed of cold noodles, which are doused in Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce). You can top everything with kimchi, pickled veggies, fresh herbs or bean sprouts for some crunch.
Basil Chicken is kinda like Asian-kebab, packed with flavors from Thai basil, Thai chilies, splash of soy sauce and sesame oil. You can grill, pan-fry, or bake basil chicken skewers but since it’s Summer, I opted to grill + I think everything tastes extra delicious with grill marks on them, no? Kebabs in general have a special place in my heart because they can be made ahead of time or stored in the freezer for later use. If cold noodle isn’t your jam, basil chicken can be eaten as a sandwich, with salad, as an appetizer, or with rice.
Let’s quickly talk Nuoc Cham because Cold Noodle Salad with Basil Chicken is incomplete without it. It’s essentially an Vietnamese dipping sauce that is irresistibly sweet, sour, and salty. I highly suggest making a batch of Nuoc Cham and keeping it in your fridge. I use this recipe for Nuoc Cham but you can certainly adjust the seasoning per your liking. Nuoc Cham is great as a salad dressing, with lettuce wrap, or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.
For noodles, I am partial to rice noodle vermicelli but honestly, any noodle of your choice will work. Rice noodle vermicelli cooks really fast and soaks up all the Nuoc Cham goodness + it’s naturally gluten-free if you are into that.
For toppings, I used papaya kimchi and fresh Thai basil but feel free to use regular kimchi, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, or fresh herbs like mint or cilantro.
I hope you will give Cold Noodle Salad with Basil Chicken a try very soon. It’s a perfect recipe for Summer-time grilling, quick weeknight meal (and hello leftover next day), for entertaining, or make a large batch for future uses.
Cold Noodle Salad with Basil Chicken
Yield: about 15 basil chicken mini-skewers/patties
For Basil Chicken
1.5 pound ground chicken breast
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1.5 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1.5 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
large handful of Thai basil, finely chopped
2 red Thai chili, finely chopped (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
canola oil for brushing the grill pan
Rice vermicelli noodles, as needed
Toppings such as fresh Thai basil, kimchi, bean sprouts
- Soak skewers in a glass with water and keep aside.
- In a medium bowl, add ground chicken and mix in minced ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce/tamari, sesame oil. Add in Thai basil and chili pepper and season with salt and pepper.
- Using a lightly oiled hand, take about 4 tablespoons of chicken and gently form into cylindrical shape around the skewers. Alternatively, you can form into patties instead of skewers. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Heat a grill over medium high heat and lightly coat with with oil. Add basil chicken skewers/patties on the grill for 12-14 minutes of each side. Flip the skewers as needed. Depending on the thickness of skewers and heat, timing may vary.
- In the meantime, cook rice vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions and keep aside.
- Prepare the Nuoc Cham and toppings.
- When ready to serve, put rice vermicelli noodles on a bowl and generously ladle Nuoc Cham over it. Add basil chicken skewers and toppings of your choice.
For baking, preheat the oven at 400F and arrange the skewers on a baking rack and bake for 30-35 minutes. Make sure to rotate the skewers at 15 minutes mark..
Basil chicken can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and can be reheated as needed. For longer storage, use a freezer-friendly container and freeze until needed. Frozen basil chicken can be thawed prior and reheated in the oven, pan or a microwave.
Until next time friends. Don’t forget to tag me @foodpleasurehealth if you try this recipe or simply send me your comments/feedback below. You can also pin this recipe for later.