Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad is one light and fresh bite of deliciousness filled with fresh herbs, veggies and a zesty dressing you will want to drizzle on everything.
Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad
You are just going to love this Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad because the texture of the crunchy vegetables, aldente noodles, bite of the shrimp with this killer lip smacking dressing is going to keep calling you back for seconds or maybe thirds.
We are not kidding. This secretly healthy salad is completely addictive. We love Asian flavors that combine the spicy, the tart, the savory and delicate sweetness to each bite. The balance is perfect.
Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad is a great make ahead salad. You know you are going to be needing a go to dish to pass for the spring and summers parties and festivities. The secret can be all ours but this one comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Are you a Chili Head?
Can we see a sign of hands of how many chili heads we have in the audience? For some, the thoughts of any chili what so ever gets them sending chills up their spine, their eyes are watering. Try one of our Summertime Non-alcoholic Fruity Drink Recipes to cool the heat. No worries, you do not have to add any at all if you do not like them. You can add or adjust the heat level to your liking and that is the best part of this recipe.
Our dear friend Abbe (who makes the most awesome African Bobotie Recipe) was asking for a Vietnamese recipe after watching our video of the Asian market finds... Abbe cannot look at or be in the same room as a chili. Skip the chilies Abbe, this Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad recipe is for you.
Chilis to Help with Weight Loss
Have you heard that chili peppers can help with weight loss? I don’t think there is really any truth in the fact that it increases your metabolism, heats you up and helps you burn fat faster. However, you will notice that the more chilis you put in the dish, the less you can eat. Maybe that is because your mouth is on fire or maybe it sends signals up to your brain, hey that hurts stop doing it. Well, whatever the case, you may have noticed that most Asian countries that have not been influenced by Western Diets are usually slender and fit. Is it because they eat chilis, probably not, but eating less because your mouth is on fire might do the trick.
Rice vermicelli is a very fine noodle made of ground rice. It's sold in Asian markets or whole food stores and is generally gluten-free. However, if you are celiac, then you need to confirm that your noodles were made is a gluten-free facility and it states that on the package. Rice vermicelli noodles are so thin that they don't really need to be cooked. To soften your noodles, simply pour hot water over them in a bowl and soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain your noodles and then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Another refreshing recipe using almost the very same ingredients as this recipe is our Summer Rolls with Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce. We hope you give it a try.
Zesty Vietnamese Dressing
In that 10-15 minute, you can sauté your shrimp and cut up your veggies and herbs and make your zesty dressing you will want to slather on everything.
We have found that using a food processor is useless when it comes to making this dressing. The lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves are very fibrous. If you have a powerful Vitamix or similar food processor, it may work. We went old school and chopped up herbs finely, added a little salt and ground in a mortar and pestle until we had a fine paste.
Ingredient Exchanges and Substitution
Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad is delicious with almost any vegetable you have in your crisper. We just happened to have carrots, snap peas and mung beans but use any crisp vegetables you desire. If you like an added layer of texture, fry up shallots or toast peanuts to sprinkle on top.
If you want to make this recipe low carb/keto swap up the rice vermicelli noodles with thinly sliced napa cabbage and use a sugar substitute. You can make this recipe vegan by exchanging the shrimp with grilled tofu and exchanging the fish sauce with a little tamari steeped with shiitake mushrooms.
Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad is fabulous all on it’s own or try this recipe topped with a few our Turmeric Pork Skewers with a Thai Basil Dipping Sauce.
Please check out our Vietnamese Recipe Section for more recipe inspiration.
Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli Salad
- 6 oz Rice Vermicelli noodles
- Boiling water
enough to cover noodles in a bowl
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 20 Shrimp
large or about 5-6 large per person (peeled and deveined)
- Salt and white pepper
- 1 cup Carrots
julienne sliced or grated
- 1 cup Snap peas
cut on an angle
- 1.5 cup Bean Sprouts
(sprouted Mung beans) fresh
- ⅓ cup Thai Holy Basil
roughly chopped (can exchange with regular basil)
- ⅓ cup Cilantro (coriander)- handful – roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Mint
fresh finely chopped (optional)
- 4 cloves Garlic
peeled and minced
- 3 Thai bird chili
or chili of choice seeds removed and chopped (4 Thai chilies is quite spicy. Adjust for your heat level as desired or try another mild chili or skip if you do not like spicy) 1 chili – mild 2 chili – medium 3 chili or more extra spicy
- 2 stalks Lemongrass
white ends only chopped finely or 2 tbsp lemongrass paste.
- 4 Kaffir Lime leaves chopped finely (or can exchange with 2 heaping teaspoons lime zest)
- 1 inch Galangal knob peeled and grated (or can exchange with fresh ginger)
- ⅛ cup Fish sauce (there are gluten free options on the market if you need this)
- ¼ cup Lime juice
(plus lime wedges for serving)
- 2 tbsp Sugar
or sugar alternative- 2 tablespoon (We used coconut palm sugar ) adjust to your sweetness preferences
- 2 tbsp Water
- In a large bowl, add your rice vermicelli noodles and boiling water and let sit for about 10-15 minutes, just until aldente. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a wok add your cooking oil and shrimp and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Prepare your salad dressing – If you have a powerful food processor, add your garlic, chili (to desired heat level), lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar or sugar alternative to taste and water and process on high until all the ingredients are incorporated and minced extra fine.
- If you do not have a powerful food processor- go old school and crack out the mortar and pestle. Add your garlic, chili, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and a pinch of salt. Crush ingredients to a fine paste. Add your fish sauce, lime juice, sugar or sugar alternative and water and mix well.
- In a large bowl, combine your prepared rice vermicelli noodles, your cooked shrimp, your prepared carrots, snap peas and mung beans (or thinly sliced vegetables of choice), chopped fresh Thai Holy Basil (or regular basil), cilantro and mint if desired.
- Drizzle with your prepared Vietnamese Dressing and toss well. Garnish with lime wedges. Enjoy!
- *** If you like another layer of texture- try topping with fried shallots or roasted peanuts.