Lemongrass Shrimp Kebabs
with radish and carrot salad
For our first Vietnamese meal stop, we're enjoying some lemongrass kebabs (shrimp or veggies). This classic herb is a huge part of Vietnamese cooking. If you can't find it, no worries, but do keep an eye out for it because you'll want to include this in future meals.
Smarts: Nuoc nam is a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce. It keeps a long time, so make a big batch for marinades and dressings for salads and veggies.
- Water - 1 cup
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
- Fish sauce - 1/4 cup ((Red Boat brand has the fewest additives))
- Lime juice - 1/4 cup
- Hot sauce (opt) - to taste
- Lemongrass - 2 stalks, chopped ((If you can't find it, just skip it))
- Shrimp - 1 lb, peeled and deveined
- Homemade nuoc nam - 3 Tbsp ((Ingredients listed separately))
- Skewers - 8 to 16 ((8 flat skewers or 16 of the round ones))
- Cooking oil - for brushing on pan / grates
- Daikon radish (enough for 3 meals) - 1 1/4 lbs, grated ((If you can't find this, sub turnip, kohlrabi, or jicama))
- Carrots (enough for 3 meals) - 1 1/4 lbs, grated
- Green lettuce - 1/2 head, chopped
- Cilantro - 1/4 bunch, chopped
- Cherry tomatoes - 1/2 pint, halved
- Homemade nuoc nam - 1/4 cup ((Ingredients listed separately))
- Make nuoc nam - This makes enough for the entire week - you’ll be using a lot of this sauce! Combine sweetener and water and boil (or heat in a microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until water is bubbling). 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. Remember to set aside portion for other days. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Lemongrass - Chop.
- Shrimp - Rinse and pat dry. Marinate in nuoc nam and chopped lemongrass for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Skewers - Soak in water. This is an optional step as the kebabs will cook relatively quickly.
- Daikon radish / Carrots / Green lettuce / Cilantro - Prep as directed. The radish and carrots are enough for Tuesday and Wednesday’s meals too - set aside 2/3rds. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Cherry tomatoes - Halve.
- Assemble skewers - Thread skewers through shrimp. If using round skewers, use two / kebab to make it easier to flip. Lightly salt and pepper.
- For outdoor grill: Preheat grill to 500F (260C) degrees to get the grates nice and hot. Brush grill grates with some cooking oil and then add shrimp kebabs over direct heat. Grill on each side for 3 to 4 minutes with the grill cover closed.
- Stovetop: Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Brush pan with some cooking oil and then grill shrimp kebabs on each side for ~4 minutes.
- Toss tonight’s portion of daikon radish and carrots (reserve rest for later this week) with green lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and nuoc nam. Enjoy with shrimp.
Nuac nam is so good! I added brown rice to make this more filling, and just put the raw veggies on top. Made it easier by buying lemongrass paste and stir frying shrimp instead of putting on skewers. Skipped the radish.0 Helpful
Change the shrimp for tilapia0 Helpful
Loved this! I added a little bit of honey & tamarind to the sauce. The grill time for the shrimp was perfect. I can't wait to make it again.0 Helpful
good for lunch0 Helpful
This was extremely light and flavorful! Very quick to throw together. If you're planning on pan frying rather than grilling the shrimp, you can skip the skewer step and save even more time.0 Helpful
Shrimp was good. Overall I found it way too light for a dinner. It would be good for a light lunch.0 Helpful