Vietnamese Inspired Chicken and Rice Bowls

by Ian Wickman


Vietnamese Inspired Chicken and Rice Bowls

Bright, fresh, Vietnamese flavors for the chicken and sauce over broth cooked rice. Sprinkled with fresh herbs, vegetables, and sesame all come together in this super simple weeknight meal. Great for made aheads (aka left overs) as well.
Keyword chicken and rice bowls
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Ian Wickman



  • 1/4 cup tamari (regular soy is fine if you're not worried about gluten!)
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar (I prefer seasoned rice vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 each lime (zest and juice)
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


  • 2 cups cooked rice (I prefer cooking with broth for extra flavor)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro


  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (you can use other cuts if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other high heat oil)

Garnish Toppings

  • 1 cup snap peas, chopped
  • 1 each ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 cup carrot ribbons (can use spiralized, thin slices, or fine dice if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 batch Pickled Onions
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (I used roasted black sesame seeds but whatever will work!)


For the Sauce

  • Combine tamari (or soy sauce), rice vinegar, fish sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, lime zest, lime juice, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, fresh cilantro, and optionally chili garlic sauce in pint mason jar.
  • Close lid tightly and shake to combine until sugar is dissolved.
  • Can be made ahead and refrigerated.

For rice

  • Cook rice according to your instructions optionally substitute vegetable or chicken broth for the water, I like the flavor boost.
  • When the rice is done cooking remove from heat and optionally stir in garlic and cilantro.

Garnish Prep

  • Take the stem and string off the snap peas then chop into 1/4 inch bits.
  • Pit and dice the avocado.
  • To make the carrot ribbons I cut each carrot in half then place the flat side down on the cutting board and use my peeler to peel off the ribbons.
  • Chop the cilantro for garnish.

For the Chicken

  • Trim each chicken breast of fat and connective tissue and cut in half breadth wise (instead of length wise).
  • Pound each piece of breast until it's fairly uniform, maybe 1/2 inch thick or less.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.
  • Add chicken pieces to pan so they are in a single layer (may need multiple batches of cooking).
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook until lightly browned then flip and cook through, about 1-2 minutes per side depending on thickness.
  • Once the chicken is cooked set aside on a plate, this is good if you need to cook in batches as well.
  • With the skillet you used for chicken still over medium high heat, pour in the sauce from the mason jar.
  • Cook until reduced by about half and has thickened up and is likely starting to bubble, this will take a few minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken pieces back to the pan and turn to coat and rewarm slightly.
  • Once the chicken is warmed and coated with the sauce you can transfer to a cutting board and slice.
  • Build your bowls with the cooked rice as a base, add your sliced chicken, and whichever ingredients you choose! Top with spoonfuls of the delicious sauce from the pan!


There are all kinds of weeknight meals in a bowl, these Vietnamese inspired chicken and rice bowls are bright and fresh and basically you can use whatever vegetables you have around!

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