Vietnamese Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad Recipe

Enjoy this light entrée salad in place of a hot dish during the summer, featuring a handful of fresh herbs, rice noodles, and tender shrimp.

Photo by Andrea Chesman

With no oil in the dressing, this salad is extremely light — perfect for hot weather. Rice noodles vary in terms of best cooking methods. Follow the instructions on the package if they differ from the ones provided below. This recipe is adapted from my book 101 One-Dish Dinners, available in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Store.

Yield: 4 servings.


  • 1 pound rice vermicelli
  • 2/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound medium uncooked shrimp, deveined
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
  • 1 scallion (white and tender green parts), chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add rice vermicelli. Leave in the water for 3 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain well.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and garlic in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  3. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and lemon, reduce the heat, and poach the shrimp in barely simmering water until pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, discard the lemon, and set aside.
  4. Place the rice noodles in a large mixing bowl and pour in half the dressing. Toss well. Add the shrimp, carrot, cucumber, scallion, and peanuts; toss again.
  5. If eating immediately, toss in the cilantro, mint, and basil, and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table. Alternatively, hold the salad and dressing for up to 1 day in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Add the herbs and toss before serving.

Learn to create cool, healthy, seasonal salads with these additional tips and recipes:

Andrea Chesman cooks, writes, and teaches in Vermont, where she lives on a 1-acre homestead. She’s the author of many cookbooks, including Serving Up the Harvest and The Fat Kitchen. Her book 101 One-Dish Dinners is available below.



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