One of my favourite summer salads. Yes, it’s winter here in Sydney. But the weekend was so glorious, it was like summer. So this is what I made for lunch. (PS This is a fab recipe for sharing with friends!)
Winter in Sydney swings from being warm enough to run around in shorts and play with your dog at the beach, and cold enough to wear ugg boots and maybe, just maybe, turn on the heater.
So the food I make ranges from hearty winter stews to fresh summer salads. I grill outdoors all year round, I make soups in summer and salads in winter.
I love it! It keeps me on my toes!
I actually made this because my mother asked me for a recipe. She rarely does, normally it’s the other way round. “Mum, I need your Teriyaki recipe! I want to share it on my blog!” “Mum, I really want to include a karaage chicken in my Wings cookbook. Can you create one for me? Baked though, not fried. But it has to taste fried!”
So when she asked me for my Vietnamese noodle salad recipe, I hopped right to it. After all, even when you’re 30-something, you still do as you’re told, right?
I have a chicken version but she was specifically after a prawn (shrimp) version so that’s the one I’m sharing with you today. If you prefer to use chicken, feel free to do so.
This salad is a mash up of classic Vietnamese salads like Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Cabbage) and Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (seriously, if you haven’t tried this before, it’s a must!). I use a salad dressing recipe by Bill Granger who is a great Australian chef. It’s the one he uses for his Vietnamese Chicken Salad which is on the menu of one of his restaurants.
I really like serving up salads like this laid out with each of the components separately so people can help themselves and with the dressing on the side. But you can toss it all together if you want. Might be safer if you have a shrimp-pig at the table. 😉
- 12 - 15 medium shrimp (prawns), shelled and deveined (about 5 - 7 oz / 150 - 200g, excluding shells)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 large garlic clove, very finely chopped
- 1 tsp very finely chopped red chili, adjust to taste (I use birds eye which is spicy)
- 2.5oz / 75g dried rice vermicelli noodles (Note 1)
- 3 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 cup carrot, cut into fine matchsticks
- 1½ cups cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1½ cups beansprouts
- ¼ cup coriander leaves, lightly packed
- ¼ cup mint leaves (ordinary or Vietnamese), lightly packed
- Combine the Garlic Shrimp ingredients in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Combine the Dressing ingredients in a small jar, give it a shake then set aside for 10 minutes.
- Heat a skillet / fry pan over high heat. Add the shrimp, scraping in the olive oil and garlic from the sides of the bowl. Cook for 2 minutes, or until browned and the shrimp is just cooked through. (Note 2)
- Remove the prawns from the skillet onto a plate.
- Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to the packet directions. I like to just soak them in hot tap water for a few minutes, this ensures they don't overcook. Then drain the noodles.
- Arrange the noodles and remaining Salad ingredients on a large plate (like the photo) or toss together in a bowl. Top with prawns (warm or at room temperature). Drizzle over the Dressing (or toss through), or you can serve the Dressing on the side.
- Serve immediately.
2. How to tell if prawns are cooked: raw prawns hang almost straight, perfectly cooked prawns curl into a "C" shape and overcooked prawns form a tight "O" shape.
3. This salad is also fantastic with chicken. Just omit the Garlic Shrimp completely and replace with cooked, diced or shredded chicken.
Nutrition per serving assuming this serves 3 people. The sodium looks very high because of the amount of dressing made. You need that much dressing to pour it all over the salad, but I’d guess around 1/4 ends up pooled at the bottom of the plate at the end.