This Vietnamese Style Shrimp Salad takes its inspiration from a Bahn Mi sandwich. While it has all the flavor of this famous street food, what is lacking is the bread or “bahn”. This colorful, crisp salad topped with spicy shrimp and crunchy peanuts is the perfect remedy for those of us who feel like we have over indulged lately.
I believe you will enjoy this Vietnamese style salad. The flavors are toned down from what you would get if you visited this interesting country but if you would like a more pronounced flavor, this is certainly a recipe that you can make your own. If you don’t want the shrimp to be dressed in the sriracha mayo, make extra salad dressing, adding a little sriracha for spice, and toss whole the salad in it. Want extra veggies…cucumbers, radishes, etc. can be added. If you don’t care for cilantro, substitute basil or mint. Serve this dish along with toasted sesame rice crackers or fried shrimp crisps and you have a tasty lunch or light dinner.
Vietnamese Style Shrimp Salad
Recipe serves 2, adjust accordingly
- 3/4 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 – 2 tsp. sriracha or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 scallion, sliced thin
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 4 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 4 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 1/2 c. carrot, julienned
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1. c. shredded red cabbage
- 4 c. lettuce of your choice
- 1/4 c. chopped roasted peanuts, garnish
In a large salad bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, tamari, ginger and garlic. Set aside half of the dressing. To the remaining dressing, add the carrot, bell pepper and cabbage, toss and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the shrimp and cook until pink and done, about 1 or 2 minutes, depending on size. Drain and place in a bowl of cold water to cool. When cool, drain and pat dry. In a bowl, add the mayonnaise, sriracha, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add the shrimp, scallions and cilantro and mix well.
When ready to serve, add the lettuce to the bowl with the marinated vegetables and toss well. Taste and add some the reserved dressing, as necessary. Place salad on each plate, top with shrimp and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.
If you’ve never tried Vietnamese food but enjoy other Asian dishes, my salad or bahn mi sandwich are a good introduction to similar dishes you might encounter during travels to that area of the world.
The delicious tastes of sweet, sour, spicy and salty found in Vietnam’s food are flavors that are also found in nearby Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and China. Many foods were also influenced by the French during their stay in Vietnam. Whether enjoyed at a street side vendor or in a restaurant in Vietnam, many of their famous dishes are easily replicated in your home kitchen. Traditional ingredients from your own market such as lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, basil, mint, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilies all add to flavors that I believe make each of these Vietnamese recipes ones that you will enjoy.