I look up from chopping the carrots and relaxed my furrowed eyebrows. I didn’t realize how intently focused I had been on my task. Cutting thin matchstick carrots can be a challenge too. This wasn’t my kitchen. The bread knife in my hand felt awfully odd and the glass cutting board was so loud.
Still dressed in my “old man” blue and yellow striped pajamas with the LALA land soundtrack softly playing from my laptop, I could tell it was going to be a lazy day. A long week at work and I was ready to take a break.
The Skype call on my laptop rang cutting off the music. My parents were calling in from Hong Kong, excited to hear about our first week at work. In our usual mix of Cantonese and English we started to fill them in about our new internship.
What is it like working with a boss? What happens if I don’t know what to do?
I felt like it was the first day of school again when I nervously clung to them in my blue and white checkered uniform and oversize pink backpack.
And let me just say, thank goodness for parents.
After talking to them, I felt so much more relaxed. I could finally sit back to enjoy this delicious bowl of noodles. On the menu was a lazy Saturday Summer lemongrass chicken noodle salad of charred pineapples, low-calorie shiritaki noodles; bright crunchy vegetables, freshly toasted peanuts and a handful of fresh basil.
This chicken marinade is from our lemongrass pork rice paper roll recipe we made for a friend awhile back. The inspiration originates from a local Vietnamese chain not far from home. One of my staples to order is their delicious Vietnamese Pork Noodle Salad. The food was just so good that there was always a line of hungry customers waiting in anticipation for a seat during lunch time.
I took a picture of this and sent it to Raena (my youngest sister). She must’ve really liked it because our gorgeous recipe inspired her recreate a rendition of this dish for dinner a few nights later. Since she just graduated from high school my determined parents have assigned her to dinner duty as a way “to prepare her” for college.
My parents never fail to prepare us for anything.I still can’t stop smiling as I look at the picture my sister sent of my dad enjoying his own bowl of fresh rice noodles that she had made. It was such a beautiful picture.
I dedicate this gorgeous noodle salad to my amazing parents, especially my Dad.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads in the world, especially to my daddy!
FYI: If you think this is too complicated, it isn’t. Even my sister who complains she can’t cook chicken or any kind of meat breezed through it. My dad even gave it a thumbs up!Ingredients – serves 1-2
- 1 packet Shirataki Noodles (Or any noodles of choice)
- 1 large chicken breast (200g)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp lemongrass paste
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari/coconut aminos
- 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1.5 tsp honey
Nuoc Cham Sauce: (adapted from hungryhuy)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1.5 tbsp honey/agave
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Chili flakes
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
- 1/4 cup carrots, shredded
- 1/4 cup cucumber, finely sliced
- Lots of Fresh Mint, Basil
- Roasted Peanuts
How to Make:
- 1 hour before: Mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Rub the chicken in the marinade and set aside in fridge.
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients together for your sauce and set aside.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. Spray a little oil. Once sizzling hot, lay your marinated chicken breast. Sear for 5-7 minutes on each side till brown and just cooked through. Pour over the remaining marinade to baste the chicken.
The time – will depend on the thickness of your chicken so adjust time accordingly. Add a little water if your chicken is sticking to the pan. Be careful not to over-cook. An easy way to check is by cutting through the thickest part of the chicken (there should be no pink).
- Take your chicken out and let it rest for 5 minutes, before slicing.
- In the same pan, turn the heat down to medium. Add your pineapples. Let it sear on each side for 2 minutes until it has soaked up all the chicken flavors and is slightly charred. (The residue sauce will also give it a nice brown color as well).
- Put the shirataki noodles into a strainer. Rinse with cold water and drain well.
- Serve with chicken, other vegetables, sauce and shirataki noodles.