Shrimp Vermicelli Bowl
with cucumber, mint, and carrots
If you've ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant, you've seen this refreshing noodle bowl on the menu. Our homemade version is super easy and capitalizes on the crunch of fresh vegetables. For a lighter option, try green papaya (which is part of the paleo option) instead of rice noodles.
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 2 Tbsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- Fish sauce - 2 Tbsp ((Red Boat brand has the fewest additives))
- Lime juice - 2 Tbsp
- Hot sauce (opt) - to taste
- Nuoc nam - 3/4 cup ((Ingredients listed separately))
- Shrimp - 1 lb, shelled and deveined
- Green lettuce, small - 1 head, chopped
- Mint - 1/2 cup, sliced
- Carrots - 1/2 lb, grated
- Cucumbers - 3/4 lb, chopped
- Rice vermicelli noodles - 1/2 lb ((Look for these in the ethnic aisle. If you can't find specifically vermicelli, buy any rice noodle))
- Cooking oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Peanuts - 1/2 cup, crushed
- Make nuoc nam (the traditional sweet, sour, and salty Vietnamese sauce) - If not made from yesterday, boil water (or heat in microwave for ~2 minutes) and stir in sweetener. Mix with remainder of sauce ingredients and season to taste with hot sauce. Adjust taste as needed - use fish sauce for more savory, more lime juice for tartness, more sweetener for sweetness. If you doubled, remember to set aside half. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Shrimp - Defrost, drain, and dry on paper towels.
- Lettuce / Mint / Carrots - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Cucumbers - Prep as directed.
- Boil noodles according to package instructions. The best way to keep them from sticking after cooking is to run them in cold water and then leave soaked in cold water. Drain right before serving
- Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and then shrimp to heated oil. Toss and saute until cooked through, ~5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Let everyone assemble their own bowls of noodles and top them with shrimp, lettuce, cucumbers, mint, carrots, and crushed peanuts. Divide sauce by serving amounts.
Made this after a weekend that left me craving veggies. This was really easy to add vegetables to and the flavor was great.0 Helpful
A light, refreshing meal! Per comments below, I halved the mint and sauteed some garlic and jalapeno with the (salted and peppered) shrimp and added some nuoc nam at the end -- delicious. Unlike other reviewers, I felt that it did make enough for 4 servings, but didn't leave us with that heavy "full" feeling that some meals do. If you want to feel fuller, I suggest adding more noodles, shrimp and/or peanuts.0 Helpful
Loved this dish. Made the palo version with Papaya "noodles". While I liked it quite a bit, I think I will love it come summer time.0 Helpful
Delicious with Siracha! Might try it with tofu or chicken next time to make it a cheaper dish.0 Helpful
I am so enthusiastic about this one! I've never made anything like this before, and it was simple and delicious! And easy to pack up leftovers for lunch. :)0 Helpful
This is another one that I will be adding to my lunch menu on a regular basis. I loved the nuoc nam so much I drank the leftover right out of the bowl.0 Helpful