Pho-Inspired Cold Noodle Salad

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Marinated Chicken:

4 chicken thighs

1/2 cup hoisin sauce 

1/4 cup fish sauce 

2 tablespoons rice wine 

1 tablespoon sugar 

1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped 

Fish Sauce Salad Dressing:

2 knobs palm sugar, grated

3 tablespoons fish sauce 

2 limes, juiced 

2 tablespoons white sugar 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 

1 tablespoon grated lemongrass

1 tablespoon chopped peanuts 

1/2 cup pho broth or chicken or vegetable stock 

Noodle Salad:

7 ounces rice noodles

2 cups shredded Napa cabbage 

1 carrot, shredded 

1 cup mung bean sprouts 

1 cup mixed Asian herbs such as Vietnamese mint, cilantro, culantro, or sawtooth coriander (see Cook's Note)


  1. For the marinated chicken: In a nonreactive bowl, combine the chicken, hoisin, fish sauce, rice wine, sugar and serrano. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
  2. For the fish sauce salad dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, white sugar, mint, cilantro, lemongrass and peanuts. Whisk the broth in. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. For the noodle salad: Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Remove the chicken from marinade and place on the grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest while composing the salad.
  4. Blanch the rice noodles in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Top the noodles with the shredded cabbage and carrot, the bean sprouts and the mixed herbs. Slice the chicken and arrange on top of the salad. Serve with dressing on the side.

Cook’s Note

Asian herbs can be found at most Asian grocery stores, but any mix of fresh herbs will work here.