My name is Kazu and I’m a noodleholic. I could seriously eat them every day and I’m always looking for ways to incorporate them into meals because they are such crowd pleasers. Best of all, Asian noodles are often gluten free and quick cooking, and the fresh rice noodles I use in these Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowls are both.
These bowls are so fresh and citrusy my whole family loves them. They have a great South East Asian flavor from both the lemongrass used in the chicken marinade, and the nuoc cham sauce, which is bright and vibrant. And with chicken, veggies, herbs, and noodles all bathed in a delicious sauce, what’s not to love?
I know you’ll love this combination of flavors but if you don’t have exactly the same ingredients, don’t let that stop you. Have some rotisserie chicken or leftover steak hanging out in the fridge? Put it to good use here by swapping it for the lemongrass chicken! And if you don’t have the veggies listed, improvise. Some crunchy fresh texture is what we want. So a couple of substitutions that work include radishes, celery, or snap peas. And if you don’t have mint or cilantro, basil, culantro, or parsley will work in a pinch.
The key to my Lemongrass Chicken Noodle bowls is the marinade. Just a few pantry ingredients like oyster sauce and fish sauce make for really juicy and delicious chicken. And the lemongrass adds so much intense citrus flavor. I always have a tub of frozen minced lemongrass on hand, and if you do too, just scoop out a couple of tablespoons to throw into the marinade. If you are using fresh lemongrass however, you will need to peel the outer leaves, discard the top, and mince the bottom bulb part of the stalk.
Once the lemongrass is prepped, the marinade comes together very quickly. I prefer using chicken thighs for this, and marinating them overnight. But feel free to substitute chicken breasts if you like. By marinating them, the chicken really has the chance to soak up the delicious flavors and cook up tender and juicy. Plus that divides the prep between two days. Zip top bags are really convenient for marinating, and mess free. If I am marinating overnight, in the morning, I flip the bag over to make sure all of the chicken soaks. And make sure to squeeze out all of the air from the bag.
Let’s Get Cooking!
I like to use the broiler when I make these Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowls. The chicken cooks super quickly, and gets tasty little charred bits on it. Just don’t forget it’s in there. Otherwise you will have burnt chicken and an enormously smoky kitchen. Use a timer if you know you might walk away and totally forget you have chicken broiling in the oven. (Not that I would EVER do such a thing…) Broil on both sides until cooked through, let cool, and then slice into bite size strips.
This Noodle Cooks Up Quick
While the chicken is cooking, get the noodles and other fillings prepped. You can use any kind of rice noodle for this dish (fresh, frozen, or dried), but I think the thinner ones are best because the toppings are light and fresh, which call out for an equally light noodle. The noodle I’m using today is often used in pho and is found in the refrigerated or freezer section. If they are frozen, leave them in the fridge to defrost overnight or leave out for an hour on the kitchen counter. These fresh noodles need just a couple of minutes in boiling water to cook. Then rinse under cool water and set aside in a colander to drain.
Now it’s time to prep the veggies and herbs. First julienne the carrots and the cucumbers. This is best done with a sharp knife. (Become a subscriber and get my tutorial on how to properly sharpen your knives!) Julienned veggies will look really pretty in your bowl!
Nuoc Cham adds delicious zesty flavor to everything it touches. It’s so easy to make too. Squeeze some limes, mince some garlic, chop up a small chili, and then stir it all up with the remaining ingredients. Love this zesty sauce as much as I do? Try it here, here, and here!)
Assemble The Bowls!
Now that the chicken is cooked, noodles are softened, the nuoc cham is ready, and the veggies have been prepped, it’s time to put it all together. You can divide up the noodles and top all of the bowls yourself or let everyone make their own bowls, so they get exactly what they want. These noodle bowls are fun to assemble and even more fun to eat!
My lemongrass chicken noodle bowls are so fresh and delicious and easy that I know you are going to love them. If you make this recipe, leave a comment below and tag @funkyasiankitchen in your beautiful instagram pics. Show us the goods!
Bright, refreshing, herby noodle bowl!
- 1 ½ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves peeled, top portion discarded, and minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
Nuoc Cham Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 or 2 small chiles chopped (optional)
- 12 oz thin fresh rice noodles
- ½ head of romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise, and then sliced
- 2 handfuls of bean sprouts, about 2 cups
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 european cucumber, seeded, and julienned
- ½ red onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
- Handful of cilantro leaves
- Handful of mint leaves
- Lime wedges
- Sliced red chiles
- Fried Shallots
- Chili Sauce (such as sriracha)
Make the Nuoc Cham:
- Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, water, garlic, and chile if using. Mix until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
Marinate and cook chicken:
- Combine lemongrass, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, oyster sauce, light brown sugar, and oil. Stir together.
- Put the chicken in a bowl or a plastic zipping bag and pour the marinade on top. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Heat the broiler on high and place the oven rack about 6 inches from the top.
- Take the chicken and lay it on a baking tray. (You can line the tray with foil to help with cleanup). Place the chicken on the rack and cook for 7-8 mins.
- As different broilers cook at varying strengths, keep an eye on your chicken and either lower the heat or move the chicken further away from the heating element if you see the chicken starting to char too quickly.
- Flip the chicken and continue to cook for an additional 7-8 mins. Let cool slightly and then cut into bite sized strips
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and stir with tongs or chopsticks and cook for 1-2 minutes until chewy and soft. Then drain in a colander under running water to cool. Set aside to drain off all water.
- Assemble the bowls: Divide the noodles and place into large bowls. Top with the chicken and add a little lettuce, beansprouts, carrots, cucumber, and red onion to the bowls. Garnish with the cilantro, mint, and a wedge of lime, and a sprinkle of red chiles. Serve with the sauce on the side for people to help themselves.
* You can use any type of rice noodle or mung bean noodle you have on hand. Follow the package instructions for cooking time.
Keywords: noodles, bowls, lemongrass chicken, nuoc cham,