Vietnamese Style Shrimp Salad

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.

Asian Shrimp Salad Inspired By A Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich
Vietnamese Shrimp Salad Inspired By The Famous Bahn Mi Sandwich

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.

Bahn Mi Sandwich
Bahn Mi Sandwich

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.

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209 thoughts on “Vietnamese Style Shrimp Salad

  1. Karen I enjoy lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, basil, mint, fish sauce (I try not to breathe), soy sauce and chilies and know I would enjoy these Vietnamese recipes. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. That salad looks as fresh as any bahn mi sandwich I’ve ever seen. The addition of the peanuts must add a delightful crunch.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment, Maureen. I do believe the nuts add to both the flavor and texture of the salad, I’m glad you like the idea.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, I’m glad to hear that you like and want to make the salad. I hope you will enjoy it as much as my husband and I did. Thank you for the nice compliment.

    1. Hi Jenny, I’m happy to know that I’ve given you inspiration for a dish that is delicious but still healthy for those of us who may have overindulged during the holidays. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

    1. Thank you for your compliment, Jovina. What is nice about this salad is that many of the ingredients can also be used in lots of other Asian style dishes. 🙂

  3. I am not exactly a mayo fan, but in this case I will definitely enjoy it! This looks so GOOD, Karen.

    1. Hi Angie, I don’t make a lot of mayo based dishes but it does work well in this salad. Of course the dressing for the greens could also be tossed with the shrimp for a lighter salad. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Penny. I’m with you about wishing we had a Vietnamese restaurant in our area but since we don’t, I’m trying new dishes at home.

  4. I have heard Vietnamese food is delicious, but I’ve jever had the chance to try it. Your salad definitely looks mouthwatering, but I fear some of the ingredients might be difficult to get hold of here. Enjoy! 👍

    1. Hi Fatima, I do hope you can find most of the ingredients…you can substitute another hot sauce for the sriracha if you can’t find it.

    1. Hi Deb, Since you like shrimp, I’m sure you will enjoy this salad…it does make for a flavorful dinner. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Susan. Do try a bahn mi when you get a chance, there are many different and flavorful versions that I’m sure you will enjoy.

  5. I’m very fussy about my salads and only eat 2 basic types … romaine and coleslaw. This version looks great … colourful, crunchy and tasty. The shrimp reminds me of bang bang shrimp with the creamy spiciness.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Gary. Go right ahead and add head cheese to it…the options are many with what you could add this salad. 😀

  6. The salad looks beautiful Karen– and I especially would love to have that bahn mi sandwich on my table right now! (We have a favorite Bahn Mi place up in San Francisco–I like to sit at the counter and watch them make all the dishes…). fun post Karen!! xox

    1. Thank you Rhonda, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and salad recipe. You are lucky to have a bahn mi shop near you…San Francisco has wonderful food. 🙂

  7. Great idea to deconstruct the sandwich! You save a few calories and carbs that way — something most of us can stand to avoid. Or at least I can! This looks great — so flavorful. Thanks!

    1. Hi John, Yes we are trying to undo the effects of holiday eating in our house. Taking the ingredients in a bahn mi and turning them into a salad ended up making for a nice meal. Thank you for your compliment, I’m glad you liked my idea.

  8. Mmmmm! This looks and sounds so yummy, Karen. I’m looking forward to tasting all of these flavors in a salad. Thank you so much, Karen! ♡

    1. Hi Kathryn, Leaving out the bahn part certainly did cut down on the carbs but really didn’t change the flavors…I’m glad you like the idea.

    1. Hi Karen, I do hope you will enjoy the salad, thank you for your nice compliment. Miss seeing you on your blog but do understand. Take care of yourself.

    1. I so appreciate your kind words Judy, they are very much appreciated. I’m sure you are a good cook but I think we can all use some inspiration sometimes. 😀

  9. I love Vietnamese food which to me is the most sophisticated of SE Asian cuisines. Exciting, vibrant, elegant! Vietnamese prawn salad is one everyone makes here: it is a delight! Have not used it for a French-style banh mi roll, but rice vermicelli is always part of it locally. Since I do not use mayonnaise methinks a classic nuoc cham dressing suffices , , , an alternative to the cabbage are whole cupfuls of herbs: coriander [cilantro], mint and parsley above all . . . huge fun!!!

    1. Hi Eha, I do wish I could visit your area for all the wonderful ethnic foods that are available to you. Absolutely, this salad is easily adapted to individual tastes. Thank you for the suggestions.

  10. The shrimp salad looks so fresh and the flavors sounds delectable, Karen. I have a son that lives here with me that loves,loves Sriracha, and this would be perfect for him.
    Also your spaghetti squash with sausage ragu looks wonderful! Even though I bake a lot, I actually do watch my carbs, and have kept my weight down for the past 17 years by doing so.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Kitty…I hope your son enjoys the salad. I also appreciate your liking my recipe for the spaghetti sauce.

  11. This looks very interesting, Karen. Thanks so much…I have to try it. We recently had a Vietnamese restaurant open a few blocks aways and I’m excited to try it.


    1. Hi Jane, I do hope that you will enjoy the salad as much as we did. How nice to have a Vietnamese restaurant within walking distance, own town doesn’t have any.

  12. That looks very yummy, love anything with seafood. I will be away until March will catch up again then, off to RSA for a bit of sun! Diane

    1. Hi Tricia, My husband can’t get enough of sriracha. I hope you enjoy the salad as much as he did if you get a chance to try it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Judy, While I really do enjoy a bahn mi, the salad made for a lighter and just as flavorful meal. I’m glad you like the idea, thank you.

  13. Who would have thought a fusion of Vietnamese and French would be so famously delicious (I bet even the French didn’t think of it as they were occupying Vietnam!)! Your take on the traditional sandwich is quite wonderful, we are all trying to cut back. I love Vietnamese lettuce wraps but my hubby sadly doesn’t feel the same way, he thinks it is too fussy and hates to play with his food. So I developed the same into a salad, much the way that you have done. He loves it. Who knew it would be so easy. I’m going to have to give your salad a try, it won’t need much alteration for the diet we are doing right now which makes it perfect!

    1. Hi Eva, Yes…I think a lot of us are trying to cut back anyway we can after the holiday food we all enjoyed. It sounds like our husband’s are similar as his thoughts are the same about lettuce wraps. He really did enjoy this salad, I hope the two of you will as well. 😀

    1. Hi Daryl, Oh you are going to love all the easily accessible food ingredients that will now be available to you. I’m glad you like the recipe…thank you.

  14. Karen this looks delicious. A Banh Mi is something I have almost every week i love them so much. I love the crunchy peanuts too!

  15. Way to go, Karen! The salad looks incredibly delicious! We have a Vietnamese restaurant nearby, but I’d definitely rather go to the country, esp. after seeing your post. Great flavors and I love bahn mi sandwiches. Thanks for this post!

    1. I appreciate your kind words Pam, they are very much appreciated. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post about my Vietnamese salad inspired by a bahn mi. 😀

  16. Fabulous salad!!! Love adding seafood, especially shrimp, to make healthy salads. The flavors here are great and cilantro…no problem. Love it!

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment MJ, it is much appreciated. I’m glad you like the salad as is…I know that you are one of the people that does enjoy cilantro. 🙂

    1. Hi Sandra, Doubling the salad would work nicely. If the dressing was kept separately, it would be nice to enjoy even the next day. Thank you for your nice compliment, it do appreciate it.

    1. Hi Jeff, I do hope you use that bottle of sriracha…it really does add lots of spice and flavor to so many recipes. I’m happy to know you like the salad, thanks.

    1. Hi Anna and Liz, I’m glad you like the looks of the shrimp salad and I hope you enjoy it if you get the opportunity to prepare it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  17. Your beautiful salad reminded me how much I love banh mi and most of all, that I’ve always wanted to make it and never did. I’m sure my baguette stuffed with your salad would taste much better than what I had here from the Vietnamese shop!

    1. Hi Jo, I do hope you are feeling better, the flu really does take a lot out of a person…especially your appreciate. The salad is a simple one to make, I’m glad you like it. Take care. 🙂

  18. That’s fantastic looking Bahn Mi. I don’t do much Vietnamese cooking, as my neighbourhood in Winnipeg has a half dozen or more really good Vietnamese restaurants all within walking distance.

    1. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment, Donald. You are so lucky to have several Vietnamese restaurants within walking distance. We do have even one in our town.

  19. I love this kind of food, but rarely make it. It’s funny because I usually have most of the ingredients. In fact, I actually have lemongrass believe it or not in the freezer from some lemongrass plants I had on my deck.

    All the ingredients in this recipe are things that I love, so I know this must be delish!

    1. Hi Doreen, Since you already have most of the ingredients, I do hope you will give this salad a try. I know my husband and I certainly did enjoy it and it is so easy to prepare.

    1. Hi Fida, I’m glad that you like Vietnamese food and do hope you will enjoy the recipe if you get a chance to prepare it. Thank you for your compliment.

  20. What an ingenious idea, Karen! I love a good Bahn Mi sandwich, so it just stands to reason that I would be all about this salad. I love a good salad in the winter, too! This one definitely needs to end up on our list soon…I know Laura would be a huge fan of it! 🙂

    1. I appreciate your very nice compliment, David. I’m happy you like my salad idea. I do hope you both enjoy it if you get a chance to make it.

    1. Hi Laura, Yes…adding a little sriracha to the dressing and using it for the shrimp as well as the greens will definitely work. I’m glad you like the salad and appreciate your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Inger, I think there are a lot of us who overindulged during the holidays. This salad is filling and has lots of flavor so I don’t think you will feel deprived at all. I’m glad you like the recipe.

  21. Karen, what a wonderful combination of tastes and textures! And I do love cilantro. I have a natural tendency to make a sandwich out of everything because I love bread so much, but I’m trying to cut back a bit on my bread intake.

    1. Hi Jean, You sound like my husband when it comes to bread but he didn’t miss it at all when we had this salad. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  22. Karen you must be on the same page as me. Lately I have really been trying to incorporate “Asian” into our diet. Lot’s of veggies, just enough protein and loaded with flavor!! This sounds and LOOKS amazing! ♥

  23. Hi Karen – what a great recipe. I don’t have any Vietnamese dishes in my repertoire and can’t wait to try this one. Glad it’s a little toned down, so I can start slow. LOL. Looks delicious. My new sister-in-law is Cambodian, so I’m learning some great Asian cooking tips from her. Have a great week!!!

    1. Hi Allie, I do hope you will enjoy my Vietnamese shrimp salad. Once you have the ingredients, I think you will be wanting to try other recipes. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  24. the colors in this simply can’t be bettered! i think it’s great fun to turn a sandwich into a salad, and the banh mi is the perfect specimen. 🙂

  25. What a beautifully colourful and crisp salad! Love Asian flavours so this is right up my alley!

  26. I love the flavors of a bahn mi sandwich, but often they have more bread than I want. You’ll laugh, but when I make them at home it’s as a collard green wrap with a slice of bread in the middle. 😉 I love the idea of re-imagining it as a salad!

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