From: Chef Patrick McDonnell, McDonnell, Kinder & Associates. Yield: 8 servings.
1 Tbsp. peanut oil, refined
2 lemongrass chicken breasts (recipe follows)
1 cup Viet Broth (recipe follows)
½ cup rice noodles (vermicelli size), cooked al dente
¼ cup cucumber, julienned
¼ cup carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp. shallots, fried until crispy
1 Tbsp. peanuts, roasted
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. cilantro oil
5 cups chicken stock
¼ cup garlic, freshly peeled and minced
¼ cup ginger, freshly peeled and minced
1 cup mirin
1 cup coconut milk, canned, unsweetened
5 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 Tbsp. lime zest, freshly grated
½ cup fresh lime juice
1¼ tsp. soy sauce
½ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup fish sauce
4 cups cilantro leaves, fresh
3 ice cubes
2 tsp. kosher salt, fine
4 cups peanut oil, refined
Lemongrass Marinated Chicken:
1 cup lemongrass, fresh, minced
1 cup scallions, finely sliced
2 tsp. ginger, freshly peeled and minced
2 tsp. Thai red chili, fresh, sliced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
¾ cup coconut milk, canned, unsweetened
¾ cup mirin
½ cup water
4 chicken breasts, boned and skinless
For each bowl: Heat oil in sauté pan until hot. Sear chicken breast strips until done, or brush skewers with oil and grill (see instructions).
Place noodles in bowl. Top with cucumber, bell peppers and carrots. Pour hot broth over. Garnish top with crispy shallots. Serve chicken skewers on the side. Accompany with roasted peanuts, fresh mint and cilantro peanut oil. Serve.
For Viet Broth: Set saucepan on stove over medium heat. Set up blender. Add all ingredients to saucepan and bring to a full boil; stir to combine. Remove from heat. In a blender, carefully puree liquid until smooth. Strain through fine strainer. Transfer sauce to a container. Chill to 40°F and hold in refrigerator. Heat to boiling point before using.
For cilantro oil: Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a clean, clear plastic container. Rinse cilantro thoroughly under cold running water to remove any grit. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Combine cilantro, ice cubes and salt in a blender jar. Cover and puree at high speed until mixture reaches a pesto texture. Turn speed down, open top and slowly pour in oil; continue to blend until smooth. Let mixture sit for an hour at room temperature so oil extracts cilantro flavor and green pigment. Pour cilantro oil through cheesecloth-lined strainer into container. Gather cheesecloth and squeeze any remaining oil through strainer. Keep at room temperature and use as needed.
For lemongrass marinated chicken: Put all ingredients except chicken into blender and puree on high until very smooth. Strain liquid through a fine strainer. Discard pulp and transfer strained liquid into a clean storage container. Place chicken in container and marinate. Let chicken marinate for 24 hours under refrigeration before use. Slice and place chicken on tray or on skewers on tray. Saute or grill.