Peanut-Free Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad Recipe

Spoon on some nuoc cham onto vietnamese chicken and rice vermicelli noodles

Peanut-Free Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad is a delicious salad entree that is refreshing to eat on hot days. My kitchen is sunny and warm in the afternoons, so this is a great recipe to prep ahead during the cooler hours and just reheat the proteins before serving.

This post was updated on 2/21/2024.

Disclaimer: Please check that all ingredients are suitable for your allergies and be sure to ask your medical care team regarding any allergy related questions (I do not share medical advice). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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What is a Vietnamese Bun Rice Noodle Bowl?

Vietnamese Bun rice noodle bowl is an entree salad topped with chopped fresh vegetables, grilled chicken or other meats, topped with herbs and peanuts, and served with nuoc cham, a fish based sweet and sour sauce. Everything about the recipe is allergy friendly except for the potential cross-contamination of peanuts in a kitchen that is not our own nut-free kitchen.

I’m not an expert at making bun, my Vietnamese-inspired Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad Recipe is great for busy days and warm evenings. It’s a simple recipe using ingredients that you can easily find in well-stocked supermarkets. I hope you will try and love this recipe.

When “Just Leave the Peanuts Out” Sometimes Is Not Enough

Why share a peanut-free recipe when it’s possible to just leave the peanuts out? Managing a peanut allergy, or any food allergy, is more complicated than just leaving the allergenic ingredient out. We also check to see if there are any potential allergen advisories. It’s also helpful to consider potential cross-reactivity due to ingredients with a similar protein. And we need to be careful to avoid accidental cross-contact of allergens while cooking and serving.

Back when I first shared this recipe, some restaurants would agree to leave the peanuts out. But my son had minor allergy symptoms after eating. While we didn’t need to use epi and go to the hospital, he still felt bad and I worried. I suspect his food might have been prepared at the same time peanuts were handled and there was some inadvertant cross-contact.

I always feel the safest when we eat at Monster Pho: Nut Free Vietnamese Restaurant in SF Bay Area. But also over time, the peanut patch treatment helped a lot and it seems like there’s more food allergy awareness. It’s important to let whoever is preparing food for you know about your allergies.

Spoon on some nuoc cham onto vietnamese chicken and rice vermicelli noodles

Easy Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe with Prep Ahead Options

Entree salads are usually easy with prepare ahead options and perfect when the weather heats up.

  • When I make Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad Recipe I could prep all the ingredients the night before or in the morning.
  • When we come home I arrange all the ingredients while I cook the chicken and the rice noodles.
  • Dinner on the table in 15 minutes when the other steps are prepped.
  • And then everyone can assemble their own Vietnamese chicken and rice vermicelli salads according to their preferences.
  • Or they can take the ingredients and make fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls using the Vietnamese chicken and other ingredients for this recipe.

I like to use chicken tenders because it’s the tender juicy part of the chicken breast and ready to cook. I like to lightly score the chicken tender through the thickest part so that the chicken can soak in the marinade.

How Do You Grill Chicken?

I love the taste of grilled chicken. However, I’m not the grillmaster in our home (my hubby is). So when I’m in a hurry to get dinner on the table on weeknights, I don’t wait for him to come home to grill. If you grill, do it, I’m sure the chicken will be amazing but I can’t tell you how.

I “grilled” my first batch using our tiny Foreman Grill for 3-4 minutes and the chicken tasted awesome, juicy, cooked through, with a yummy amount of browning but it was messy to clean up.

I broiled the second batch in the oven on a foil lined baking dish. The Vietnamese chicken tenders tasted great but lacked the “grilled” taste but clean up was a breeze. Trade offs.

Ingredients for Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli Noodle Salad are ready for assembly
Ingredients for Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli Noodle Salad are ready for assembly family style.

Assembling a Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad

Usually bun is served in a large bowl with pieces of grilled meat, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, and mint beautifully arranged on a layer of rice vermicelli noodles, with a layer of lettuce at the bottom and one drizzles in some nuoc cham, a sweet, sour, and tiny bit spicy sauce to taste.

I didn’t make any pickled carrots or daikon because I see my kids avoid or pick them out, so I used bagged shredded carrots instead.

I usually serve this salad entree buffet style with the different ingredients in separate bowls so everyone in the family can make it according to their preferences (more or less veggies, meat or noodles, etc.). Everyone is happy, less work for me. Win-win!

Allergy Aware Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad Recipe

I marinate the chicken with coconut amino and fish sauce, if either of the sauces are allergens you avoid, you can try soy sauce or other alternatives to flavor the chicken.

The sauce recipe is based upon my nuoc cham recipe and contains fish sauce. If you avoid fish, you can substitute with other Asian inspired salad dressings but it won’t taste quite the same without the fish sauce.

This recipe is free from peanuts, tree nuts (except coconut), soy, egg, dairy, shellfish, and sesame.

If you need additional help finding ingredients, be sure to check what’s in my cupboard.

Spoon on some nuoc cham onto vietnamese chicken and rice vermicelli noodles
5 from 5 votes

Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad Recipe

Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad is a perfect salad entree. Bun is a Vietnamese entree salad with rice vermicelli, vegetables, grilled chicken or other meats, topped with peanuts, and served with nuoc cham, a fish based sweet and sour sauce.

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Vietnamese Chicken
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 219 kcal
Author Sharon Wong


  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut amino
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 4 oz rice noodle bahn pho, small
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart chopped
  • 1 English cucumber sliced
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • cilantro or mint garnish

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice juice of ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • ¼ cup hot water


  1. Combine 2 cloves of finely minced garlic with 2 tablespoons of coconut amino and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce in a large bowl.
  2. Lightly score the chicken tender 2 to 3 times per piece and add to the bowl of marinade, stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 15-30 minutes.
  3. Chop romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces, set aside.
  4. Slice English cucumber into bite sized pieces, set aside.
  5. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions (boil water, add rice noodle and cook at medium heat for 4-5 minutes until tender, drain and rinse) and set aside.
  6. Combine sauce ingredients, set aside.
  7. Broil or grill the chicken: takes about 3-5 minutes on a foreman grill and 3-4 minutes each side in a broiler.

  8. Serve salad bar style, assemble with lettuce (1 cup) on the bottom, rice noodles (1 cup), arrange cucumber, carrots, and chicken on top of the noodles, tear up some cilantro or mint leaves as garnish, and drizzle 2 tablespoons (or to taste) sauce over the salad.

Recipe Notes

Prep ahead option: marinate the chicken and prepare the vegetables, herbs, and sauce ahead of time. Cook the rice noodles and chicken right before serving and eating.

#AsianSaladFeast with

My blogger friends and I are teaming up to share our favorite Asian salads, you can check them all out below or look for them on social media using the hashtag #AsianSaladFeast.

I love opportunities to work with other bloggers and we’ve teamed up to share our favorite Asian salads to celebrate spring, healthy eating, and in anticipation of the weather warming up in the months ahead. Please note that not all of the recipes are nut free but you are all Allergy Aware Asian Fare experts now so I hope you will enjoy adapting these salads to suit your own dietary needs.

Tofu Salad with Iceberg Lettuce and Sweet Corn by Kimchimari

Thai Larb Salad by Wok & Skillet

Gado Gado Salad by Brunch-n-Bites

Paleo Asian Coleslaw by What Great Grandma Ate

Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad by Nut Free Wok

Salad with Spiced Grated Coconut Topping (Urap Sayur) by What to Cook Today

Authentic Thai Fish Salad by Healthy World Cuisine

Thai Seafood Salad (Yum Talay) by A Taste of Joy and Love

Crunchy Thai Eggplant Salad by Grits & Chopsticks

Springtime Sushi Bowl by The Sasha Diaries

Burmese Ginger Salad (Gin Thoke) by Love is in My Tummy

Shabu Shabu Cold Noodle Salad by Chopstick Chronicles

Japanese Potato Salad by V for Veggy

Broccolini Sesame Dressing by Daily Cooking Quest

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About Sharon Wong 277 Articles
Welcome to Nut Free Wok, a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare. I hope that you will find my food allergy mom experiences helpful and enjoyable to read as I write about recipes, cooking techniques, Asian ingredients, and food allergy related awareness and advocacy issues. My professional experiences include education, teaching, and a little bit of science and computers. Thank you for visiting! ~Sharon Wong, M.Ed.


  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. I’ve been making it once a week since I live Vietnamese Bun but don’t want to go out to eat during the pandemic. Thank you!

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