Vietnamese Garlic Prawn Noodle Salad

Yayyy, it's Friday!

Unlike most weekends lately, we have ZERO obligations or planned events. Hallelujah! I wish that translated to family playtime for two full days, but it doesn't. I still have to work and clean and cook. But the piles of work and dirty house is pretty normal around here, so I'm just feeling SUPER thankful for a little extra time to play catch-up.

Lucky for us the weather cools down to the mid-90's. Knowing my water-loving family, we will probably be spending at least one afternoon at the river or lake and firing up the grill since it's guaranteed to make Octavian happy (but I'm not making any plans or anything). 

Not in the mood to bbq this weekend, but looking for a cool and refreshing salad to cool off with? I have the perfect Vietnamese noodle salad for you. Easy to prepare ahead of time, grab a big bowl and build your salad- cold glass noodles, bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, fresh mint and cilantro, and of course, SHRIMP! Garlic shrimp. Drizzle with a slightly sweet and spicy homemade Vietnamese dressing (seriously, so super easy to make), and you have the perfect summer salad. 

Ingredients

For the Shrimp:
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the dressing:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
salt, to taste

For the Salad:
Vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package instructions, mung bean or rice noodles both work well (I usually cut a few minutes off cooking time for the noodles to prevent overcooking)
4 cups lettuce (iceberg, romaine, cabbage), finely chopped
1 cup carrots, julienned
2 cups cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 cups bean sprouts
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup peanuts

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, olive oil, minced garlic and salt. Mix well and set aside to marinate for approximately 10 minutes in the refrigerator.

  2. As the shrimp sets, prepare the dressing. Combine dressing ingredients in jar, give it a good shake and set aside until salad is prepared.

  3. Prepare your noodles, being careful not to overcook. I like to cook my noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain and run under ice cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.

  4. When ready, prepare the shrimp. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot add the shrimp, making sure to scrape in any extra garlic and oil remaining in the bowl. Cook the shrimp, approximately 2 minutes each side, or until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Remove shrimp from the skillet and transfer to a plate.

  5. With everything chopped and ready, build your salad. You can arrange them neatly on a large plate or toss them together in a bowl. Divide the garlic shrimp between plates, sprinkle on some peanuts and drizzle with dressing.

  6. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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