1 2-inch piece daikon radish, peeled and julienned
NUOC CHAM SAUCE
Juice 3 limes
3 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 fresh red Thai chile pepper, minced (not seeded)
1/2 lb brown rice vermicelli noodles (8 oz)
2 cups leaf lettuce, thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
2 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 English cucumber, julienned
1/2 cup each cilantro and mint leaves
4 tbsp crushed unsalted raw peanuts
6 lime wedges, optional
Prepare chicken: Coarsely chop bottom 6 inches of lemongrass stalks, discarding tops. In a food processor, pulse lemongrass, honey, tamari, oil, lime juice, garlic and pepper until smooth. Place chicken in a large zip-top bag and pour lemongrass mixture into bag, turning chicken to coat. Seal, pressing out excess air, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight, turning bag occasionally.
In a large bowl of cold water, soak vermicelli until softened, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare carrot and daikon: In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, honey and salt and whisk until honey is dissolved. Add carrot and daikon, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until carrot softens.
Prepare sauce: In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, honey, vinegar, fish sauce and pepper until honey is dissolved. Set aside.
Preheat grill to medium-high and lightly oil grate with additional oil, or set a nonstick grill pan on medium-high. Remove chicken from bag, discarding marinade, and grill for 8 minutes, turning once, until fully cooked and white throughout. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Slice into 1/2-inch strips and cover to keep warm.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Drain vermicelli and immerse into boiling water. Cook until al dente, about 1 minute, stirring and gently separating noodles as they cook. Drain and rinse under cold water.
To assemble salad, drain carrot-daikon mixture, discarding liquid. Divide vermicelli among 4 large plates or bowls. Top with chicken, carrot-daikon mixture, lettuce, bean sprouts, scallions, cucumber, cilantro, mint and peanuts, dividing evenly. Serve with small bowls of sauce on the side for dipping and, if desired, lime wedges.
Grain salads are fast and fantastic grab-and-go options for lunch or dinner. Toss your leftover cooked grains in your favorite homemade vinegar-based dressing. Pair with a protein of your choice, add grated veggies and fresh herbs, and top with avocado and toasted nuts and seeds. To get a jump start on the week’s meals, premake three portions of your favorite grain salad recipe using three 1-liter Mason jars. Preassemble this CBLT (coconut bacon, romaine lettuce and cherry tomato) grain salad for lunches or a quick dinner.
This easy skewered chicken with an Asian-inspired cashew sauce will become a staple in your household throughout the summer – you can marinate the chicken the night before and just throw it on the grill when you get home. Try it with a side of brown rice or quinoa sprinkled with chopped cilantro.