Spicy Vietnamese Salad with Garlicky Shrimp
A tangy and spicy Vietnamese salad recipe that’s loaded with flavor and topped with plenty of fresh vegetables plus lots of garlicky shrimp!
This is a salad, but don’t let it fool you. It makes a great meal and packs a wallop of flavor. There’s rice noodles, spinach, carrots, cilantro, and a flavorful dressing. I like to add avocado – I’m pretty sure avocado is not a traditional Vietnamese ingredient but I personally think it fits in just fine with the rest of them. And to top it off, shrimp sauteed in lots of garlic. I used to live in the Twin Cities and there were a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants to choose from. But, a few years ago I returned to my rural roots. Vietnamese restaurants are a little hard to come by in rural Minnesota. Finding some pho would mean a four hour round trip these days. Luckily, creating some of the staples that you’d find in your favorite Vietnamese restaurants is totally do-able at home.
The first thing you want to do is prepare the toppings. This includes chopping 2 cups of fresh spinach and 1 cup of cilantro. Cut an avocado in half and then cut into slices. There are a few options when it comes to the carrot. You can grate them using something like a cheese grater or with a food processor. If you can julienne carrots with a knife then you are more talented than I. Every time I attempt to julienne a carrot, I nearly lose a finger. So, the cheese grater is usually the choice for me. I like to boil the noodles at this point as well, drain them, and set them aside. Simply cook 1 package of vermicelli rice sticks and drain. The noodles in this salad are served cold so it’s OK if they sit and cool while you finish the salad.
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