Savory lemongrass grilled shrimp, crispy egg rolls on mounds of springy rice vermicelli and fresh greens–This is a favorite dish among those dining out mainly because it’s perceived as complicated with all of the different ingredients. Yes, this dish requires a lot of ingredients and component recipes but it’s truly simple and consists of some very basic Viet recipes: Rice Vermicelli, Carrot and Radish Pickles, Scallion Oil, and Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce It’s the perfect dish to make at home for several reasons. First, if you made egg rolls, chances are you have a lot leftover. This is a great dish to make to get rid of the leftovers. Nobody wants to waste food and I love repurposing leftovers to make other tasty meals. The time-consuming part of making the egg rolls is already done. This Grilled Shrimp recipe is the easiest ever and can be made in minutes. If you don’t want to fuss with the skewers, just toss everything in a pan. It doesn’t get simpler than that! My final reason for wanting to make this dish at home is the restaurants never give you enough greens and herbs. I typically double the veggies in this recipe and my bowl looks more like a big salad than a noodle bowl but this is how I enjoy it. In fact, I highly recommend that you try this dish as a salad. Cut the rice vermicelli into shorter strands. Add everything into a large bowl and then toss together. Serve the “dressing”, the fish sauce dipping sauce on the side so everyone can add as much as they like.
for the Grilled Shrimp
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced lemongrass
2 tsp vegetable oil
for the Grilled Shrimp, Egg Rolls and Rice Vermicelli
2 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
4 cups cooked rice vermicelli
1 cup bean sprouts
1 bunch cilantro, washed and plucked
1/2 bunch mint, washed and plucked
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
8 Egg Rolls/Spring Rolls
4 Grilled Shrimp skewers (see above)
1/4 cup Carrot and Radish Pickles
1/4 cup Scallion Oil
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (to taste)
In a large bowl, add shrimp, salt, ground black pepper, garlic, and lemongrass and mix together. Marinate shrimp for 15 minutes.
Place shrimp on bamboo skewers by piercing the head of the shrimp and then the tail so the body lays flat on the skewer. Place approximately 4 shrimp per skewer.
Heat a grill pan over Medium High heat. Brush the pan with a generous amount of vegetable oil.
Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp over and cook and on the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To assemble the dish, take a large bowl or plate and add 1/2 cup of shredded green leaf lettuce.
Layer 1 cup of rice vermicelli on top of the lettuce.
Warm egg rolls in toaster oven. Cut 2 egg rolls in half and add to the dish.
Add 4 pieces of grilled shrimp. (You can remove the shrimp or serve on the skewer. It’s up to you.)
Add a handful of bean sprouts
Add a few sprigs of cilantro and mint.
Add a generous amount of cucumber slices
Top the dish with the pickles.
Drizzle shrimp with Scallion Oil.
Sprinkle peanuts on top.
Serve with fish sauce dipping sauce on the side and allow each person to add as much as he/she prefers.
Yields: 4 servings