Vietnamese food is definitely in my top 3 favorite cuisines. I love pho (beef noodle soup) and banh mi sandwiches the best. Another favorite is summer rolls. I almost always order them when we are at a Vietnamese restaurant– I love the freshness and the delicious peanut sauce that generally comes with them.
Summer rolls are a fun make at home dinner, similar to make your own tacos, really. But it can get to be a bit of a process with the soaking of the rice paper wrappers and such. I’ve been looking for an alternative way to serve all of the flavors of a summer roll without the production, and this salad recipe is perfect.
You can easily add or omit any ingredients as you see fit, and this recipe makes a ton of food, so you can easily feed a crowd. The original recipe uses bean thread noodles, which is what I also used, but next time, I’ll definitely use rice noodles, which are what you use in summer rolls. I hope you give this recipe a try!
8 ounces bean thread or rice noodles (uncooked)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 shallots or 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined and tails removed
3/4 cup fish sauce
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons ginger, grated or finely minced
2 small red chiles, diced
2 tablespoons honey
1 medium cucumber, julienned
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
Lime wedges, for serving
Cook the rice or bean thread noodles according to the package directions and then drain and rinse in a colander with cold water to stop the cooking process. In a pan heat coconut oil over medium-high heat and add shallots or onion. Cook until shallots are starting to get golden brown. Remove them from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Add shrimp to the pan and cook until cooked through, roughly 3-4 minutes. Then remove the shrimp from the pan.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, red chili pepper and honey.
To assemble the salad: In a large bowl add cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts and noodles, toss to combine. Add all of the herbs, shallots and peanuts, and top with shrimp. Squeeze lime wedges over the salad. Pour the dressing over the salad when ready to eat, otherwise noodles will get soggy. Serve with additional lime wedges.