Putting the Summer Color in Fall Food


Fall has hardly begun and I’m already missing the bright vegetables and grilled meats from the summer.

I’ve been on a Vietnamese food kick lately, and despite the rain outside, I’m not craving pho. Instead, I’m craving a grilled five-spice chicken dish that I made over the summer.

Simple and healthy, this noodle bowl backed full of herbs is ideal for when you find yourself getting sick of soups and stews. Cold weather comfort food has it’s place, but sometimes it’s nice to revisit the sunshine.


2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 teaspoons sugar
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves
1 package thin rice noodles
1 cup shredded carrots
2/3 cups fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup fish sauce
6 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno chili

1. Make the chili-lime sauce: mix 1/2 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Stir in rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, and chili. Set aside.

2. Heat a grill to medium (350 to 450 degrees). Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, oil, five-spice powder, and remaining sugar in a shallow dish. Turn chicken in marinade and let stand 20 minutes.

3. Heat a large pot of water to boiling.

4. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Grill chicken, covered, turning once, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

5. Add noodles to pot of boiling water and turn off heat. Let stand until soft, 5 to 10 minutes; drain.

6. Divide noodles among dinner bowls. Thickly slice chicken, set on noodles, and top with carrots, herbs, and peanuts. Serve with chili-lime sauce.

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