Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Easy - You got this!
🛒 Buy Duncan’s chicken lettuce wrap cooking kit here!
Watch me make this recipe on my YouTube channel here!
Fix your family a traditional Vietnamese spread in under 20 minutes with this simple but satisfying dinner. Time is often of the essence on a school night, so quick and easy recipes like this one will put you and the kids in a great mood afterwards.
Quick doesn’t need to mean boring and flavourless, particularly when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine. With just five essential ingredients to drive flavour, chicken thighs can become a regular in the dinner rotation. Fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar and garlic is all it takes to transform chicken thighs, and when paired with my Vietnamese fish sauce dipping sauce, it’ll take your family to flavour town. The final element that defines these lettuce wraps and ultimately creates the complete meal is the fine rice vermicelli cakes with spring onion oil, which serve as a flavoursome accompaniment to traditional Vietnamese cuisine.
Fine rice vermicelli cakes are a nest of rice vermicelli noodles that have been dehydrated. They are a quick alternative to boiling rice vermicelli noodles which can typically take up to 10 minutes. Dehydrated fine rice vermicelli cakes take only 90 seconds to rehydrate when steeped in boiling water. They have a soft but slightly chewy texture but are ideal for providing sustenance and absorbing flavour. When dressed with spring onion oil these fine rice vermicelli cakes become fragrant, savoury and simply irresistible. Refer to my cooking kit to know what to look for the next time you are browsing at your local Asian grocer.
Spring onion oil is an essential Vietnamese dressing that I grew up to love. Even those not sold on the raw and peppery notes of raw onion can be converted. The addition of salt adds flavour while the sugar accentuates the natural sweetness of spring onions, and when wilted under cooking oil at smoking point, its peppery notes are softened.
If time is against you, Vietnamese fish sauce chicken lettuce wraps are the perfect family meal that will not only save you time in the kitchen but also deliver your family a meal that’s rich in flavour. Essentially, it’s another great recipe to introduce the kids to Vietnamese cuisine and a spread for the entire family to enjoy as they build their own lettuce wraps. So, do yourself a favour and reduce your cooking time on a school night without sacrificing flavour.
Fish sauce chicken
1 kg boneless chicken thighs cut into large strips (skin on or skinless)
3 tablespoons of premium Son fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 chilli, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon Red Boat anchovy salt (optional)
Fine rice vermicelli cakes with spring onion oil
½ bunch spring onions, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
30ml neutral cooking oil
200g fine rice vermicelli cakes
1-1.5L boiling water
250g rice flour
175ml neutral cooking oil
½ iceberg lettuce (cups) or cos lettuce, washed (twin pack)
1 bunch of mint, washed
1 bunch of Thai basil, washed
1 bunch of coriander, washed (optional)
1 continental cucumber or 2 Lebanese cucumbers
Special kitchen equipment
Small pot or milk pan
Fish sauce chicken
In a medium bowl, marinate chicken with all ingredients for at least 10 minutes.
Duncan’s tip: Add Red Boat anchovy salt for extra umami flavour.
Place rice flour into a medium bowl and dredge the marinated chicken lightly in rice flour.
In a large frying pan, heat cooking oil on medium heat and shallow fry chicken for 4-5 minutes each side or until golden, then remove and place on a cooling rack.
NB: Alternatively place on baking paper and bake in oven (fan-forced) for 12-14 mins at 220C or air fry at 200C for 12-14mins, flipping half-way.
Spring onion oil
In a small bowl add salt and sugar to finely chopped spring onions and mix well.
In a small pot or milk pan bring 30ml cooking oil to smoking point.
Carefully pour oil onto the spring onions then mix well.
Duncan’s tip: Place bowl in the sink while pouring in the hot oil to reduce splatter
Fine rice vermicelli cakes
Place fine rice vermicelli into a large bowl
Pour 1-1.5L of boiling water into the bowl to cover.
Allow to sit for 60-90 seconds then drain well and run under cold water then drain well.
Duncan’s tip: Cold water prevents rice vermicelli from getting soggy and sticking together.
Layer the fine rice vermicelli cakes onto a medium plate and garnish each one with a teaspoon of spring onion oil, then set aside. Garnish the chicken with any left over spring onion oil
On a lettuce cup, place a piece of fine rice vermicelli cake, a few mint and basil leaves, a slice of cucumber, a piece of chicken and wrap well. Dip into fish sauce dipping sauce and enjoy!