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Betsy's Cold Vietnamese Shrimp and Noodle Salad

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Serves 4

2 ounces (60g) thin mung bean vermicelli noodles 1 pound large prawns in the shell
1 fresh or dried red bird’s eye chili, sliced into thin rings
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5-9 limes)
5 tablespoons Red Boat Fish Sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic                                                
1 tablespoon untoasted sesame oil
1 small green papaya (about 1 lb.), peeled, halved and julienned      
1 European cucumber (about 1 lb.), peeled, halved and julienned    
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves                                
6 tablespoons finely chopped scallions                                    
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts


  1. In a large stockpot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and swirl in the hot water. Cook for 1 minute

  2. or until just tender. Drain thoroughly in a colander and rinse under cold water to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and chill.

  3. Bring 1 quart of water to a simmer in the bottom of a steamer. Arrange the shrimp on the steaming rack. Place a rack over the simmering water, cover and steam just until the shrimp are pink and cooked through about 2 minutes.

  4. Prepare the dressing. In a medium bowl, soak the red chilies in the lime juice for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar.

  5. Pour the dressing over the noodles, add the green papaya, cucumber, herbs, and scallions and toss. Add the shrimp and top with chopped peanuts, serve at room temperature.


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