Vietnamese Noodles with Lemongrass Chicken

 This Vietnamese lemongrass marinade is exceptional – you’ll absolutely love it! This is one of my siganture recipes – it’s as delicious as it is healthy, ideal for making ahead, for midweek meals and a cheap (impressive) meal idea for large groups. DON’T BE DAUNTED by the list of ingredients – the ingredients for the marinade and sauce are largely the same!



  • 600 – 800g / 1.2 – 1.6lb chicken thigh fillets , skinless and boneless or breast (or pork, beef or any seafood)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass , white part only, bruised them sliced into pieces easy to pick out later (Note 1)
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped or minced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (all purpose or light, NOT dark soy)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (Note 3)
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1 red birds eye chilli , finely chopped (Note 4)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice


  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 200 g / 7 oz vermicelli noodles , dried
  • 2 carrots , julienned
  • 2 cucumbers , julienned (optional: remove seeds)
  • 5 cups iceberg lettuce , finely sliced
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Handful of cilantro/coriander
  • Sliced red chilli (for garnish – optional)
  • Lime wedges (to serve – optional but recommended)



  • Combine Chicken and Marinade ingredients and set aside for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours. (Note 4)
  • Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a fry pan over medium heat (or heat the BBQ). Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off large bits of lemongrass (small bits should fall off during cooking).
  • Place chicken in the pan and cook each side until dark golden brown and chicken is just cooked through – about 6 to 8 minutes in total.
  • Remove from pan, shaking off any remaining bits of visible lemongrass and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Then slice into thin pieces.


  • Combine the Nuoc Cham ingredients and mix well to dissolve the sugar. Adjust to your taste (spiciness, lime, sweetness) and set aside for at least 20 minutes.


  • Soak the vermicelli noodles in hot water for 3 minutes (or according to packet instructions), then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the noodles from sticking together.
  • Individual servings: Place noodles in bowl. Top with vegetables and herbs, and sliced chicken pieces. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of Nuoc Cham Sauce (be generous, ~ 4 tbsp per serving) and serve with lime wedges.
  • DIY (my preferred way): Place chicken, vegetables, herbs, noodles and sauce in separate bowls / piled on platters. Then let everyone make their own bowls!

 Recipe Notes:

1. Lemongrass – to prepare, peel the tough outer layers off to reveal the softer white part on the bottom ~1/3 of the lemongrass. Bruise using the back of the knife (see video). Don’t slice too finely or finely chop, you want the pieces large enough so you can just brush them off (lemongrass is kind of tough, it has to be very finely chopped / cooked for a long time to eat).You could sub with 1 tbsp lemongrass paste.2. Fish sauce is a key ingredient in a lot of Asian cooking. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste fishy when combined with other ingredients! It’s an incredible flavour enhancer that has more depth than salt or soy sauce and is very cheap to buy at supermarkets or Asian grocery stores (even better value!).3. Chilli –This can be substituted with any spicy chilli or even chilli paste. Adjust to your taste.4. CUSTOMISE:

  • Make this kid friendly by just serving the chilli on the side.
  • To make it GLUTEN FREE, ensure you use GF tamari.
  • Sub the vegetables with other vegetables of choice eg. capsicum/bell peppers, snow peas (finely sliced)

5. Freezing: Pop the chicken in the fridge as soon as it’s in the marinade. Then let it defrost in the fridge – it will marinate during this time.6. DIY Noodle Bowl Spread: Pile all the components on a large platter or separate bowls and let guests serve themselves. That’s how I typically serve this.7. Nutrition per serving.


Serving: 653gCalories: 540kcal (27%)Carbohydrates: 65.2g (22%)Protein: 39.9g (80%)Fat: 13.6g (21%)Saturated Fat: 2.6g (16%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 75mg (25%)Sodium: 1963mg (85%)Fiber: 3.9g (16%)Sugar: 16.9g (19%)

Keywords: lemongrass chicken, vietnamese noodles