Page 1

Spicy Nuac Nam Chicken

Spicy Nuac Nam Chicken

with salted cucumber and rice noodles-

By Steve Smee

Owner/executive Chef, Ten Foot Henry Calgary

MOST CHEFS WOULD AGREE THAT, upon returning home after a long kitchen shift, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about preparing a meal for the family. Unfortunately for me, my wife, Aja, doesn’t cook. Why should she? “I married a chef!” she likes to say. Luckily, though, her favourite dishes of mine are the simplest, freshest meals that I can pull together quickly while we catch up on the day. And hardly a week goes by without Aja asking for this easy go-to dish, built from leftover chicken. It always makes an appearance when we have houseguests. Its vibrant flavour profile suits any season or occasion and pleases diners of any age. — S.S.



  • 8 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 400 g (12 oz) rice noodles
  • 50 ml (¼ cup) grapeseed oil
  • 125 ml (½ cup) thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 50 ml (¼ cup) chopped, peeled ginger
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced (or 1 tbsp of sambal oelek)
  • ½ roast chicken (brown and white meat), pulled off bone
  • 50 ml (¼ cup) rice vinegar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) Thai fish sauce (preferably Three Crabs brand)
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 4 baby bok choy, blanched (or 2 large handfuls of spinach, spring salad mix or sliced romaine)
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, picked
  • 250 ml (1 cup) basil, picked
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • Flaky sea salt

METHODIn a large mixing bowl combine cucumber slices and salt and set aside. Steep rice noodles in 2 litres (2 quarts) boiling water to desired doneness (5 to 10 minutes), drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Heat grapeseed oil in a wok or large skillet on low heat, add lemongrass, ginger, shallot and chili, and sweat until the lemongrass softens—about 5 minutes. Add the pulled chicken, raise heat to medium high and sauté until ingredients begin to colour. Deglaze with rice vinegar, add fish sauce and (optional) sugar. Cook, stirring, until liquid is reduced by half, then taste and adjust seasoning. Drain liquid from the cucumbers in the bowl. Add the bok choy (or other greens), rice noodles and herbs to the bowl, and toss. Follow with the hot chicken mixture and lime juice. Toss again and finish with sea salt.
[vc_text_separator title=”C H E F ’ S T I P ” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-cutlery” i_color=”custom” i_size=”sm” color=”custom” style=”double” add_icon=”true” i_custom_color=”#8c0000″ accent_color=”#8c0000″]

“ A glass of dry riesling really makes the dish sing.”