July 28 Bun with Chicken Meatballs
July 29 falafel plate in the food court at Scarborough Town Centre. For reals.
July 30 tacos fashioned out of the leftover chicken balls, guacamole
I've been having serious cravings for Vietnamese food and Kate, my vietnamese lunch buddy has been out of town for what feels like forever. I decided to make one of my favourite things at home but I wasn't feeling like doing the bbq pork and wanted something a bit easier. The Kid loves meatballs so a vietnamese flavoured meatball, preferrably out of chicken sounded like a good plan and then it would be like a version of Bun Ga Nuong. I made the meatballs earlier in the day just to make sure they would be tasty and they were , thanks to a recipe I found on the Food and Wine website. I already posted the meatballs on my other blog, The Yum Yum Factor so you will find the recipe over there.
Cold rice vermicelli, some carrot, cucumber, lots of cilantro and mint, chopped dry roasted peanuts and a bit of radish doused with nuoc chom and we were happy little clams.
The next day I sent the leftovers to camp in the Kid's lunch and on Sunday I crumbled them up and cooked them with a bit of tomatillo salsa for tacos. Three meals out of one recipe is always a good thing.
Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli with Chicken Meatballs
(Bun Ga Nuong more or less)
1 batch of vietnamese chicken meatballs (for the two of us, we ate about 1/3 of the recipe)
thin rice vermicelli (1/3 of the package for the two of us)
handful of cilantro, chopped
handful of mint, chopped
1/4 cup of dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely julienned (blanch for 30 seconds in boiling water and then rinse in cold if possible)
1/4 cucumber, julienned
1 radish, sliced as thin as possible
(chopped romaine lettuce and bean sprouts - I didn't use them today but I normally would and so should you)
3 tbls lime juice
1 tbls rice vinegar
2 tbls sugar
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tbls fish sauce
(optional some finely julianned carrot and some hot chili pepper or a tiny bit of chili sauce)
Mix the lime juice, rice vinegar, sugar and water and stir until dissolved. Taste it and make sure it's not too sweet and if it is, you might want to add a bit more lime juice or vinegar. If it tastes like a nice balance of sweet and sour, add the fish sauce and the garlic.
If you want some heat, you can add either a bit of finely minced hot chili pepper or a tiny bit of chili sauce. I like to add the carrot just because it looks pretty.
Let it sit for at least a half an hour. I like to make mine in the morning so it sits in a glass jar in the fridge all day.
make nuoc cham and meatballs earlier in the day if you want and just gently reheat the meatballs - they should be just warm, not piping hot.
assemble all of your elements
Put your vermicelli in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Depending on how fine your noodles are, it will take anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes to soften it up. I would taste it after 3 minutes and if it seems like it's nicely al dente, drain it right away and rinse with cold water until it's cool and drain. Set aside.
Put the cold rice noodles in a deep bowl. Add the vegetables, the mint and cilantro and the meatballs to the top of the noodles. I would normally put down some chopped up romaine lettuce and bean sprouts as my first layer under the noodles but I didn't have any and it was raining out but it's a nice addition.
Pour some nuoc chom over everything (again, it's up to you how much. I like lots of sauce and Little Shack, for instance, doesn't like any on his noodles and prefers to dip his meat into a side bowl of nuoc cham). Lastly, sprinkle some chopped peanuts over the whole shebang, grab some chopsticks and dig in.