Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vietnamese Noodles with Shrimp

Vietnamese Noodles with Shrimp Recipe

When I relocated to the west coast after college, I had no idea what Vietnamese food was.  Lucky for me, I landed a job downtown in the financial district and had the great fortune of working with a Vietnamese colleague.  He would take a group of us each week to his favorite Pho restaurant.  Pho, pronounced fuh, means "noodle" in Vietnamese. Back then I would devour a steak noodle bowl, but now I prefer this seafood version. Like most Vietnamese dishes, it is savory, sweet, spicy and tangy all at once.

Vietnamese Noodles with Shrimp

1 lb large shrimp or black tiger prawns
- for the marinade-
2 T finely chopped lemon grass (*)
3T chopped garlic
1/2 t Sriracha (**)
3 T fish sauce (**)
2 t sugar or stevia
3 T olive oil
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T fresh ground pepper
1/4 c finely chopped green onions
1/3 c fresh mint leaves coarsely chopped
- for the sauce-
1 Serrano pepper, cut into rings
3/4 c warm water
3/4 T minced garlic
3 T fish sauce
3 T fresh lime juice
- for the salad -
1/2 lb noodles (vermicelli or rice noodles (**))
1 c each fresh mint, basil and cilantro coarsely 1 1/2"matchsticks
1 c fresh mung bean sprouts, rinsed
2 green onions thinly sliced
3 T chopped dry roasted peanuts

Prepare the shrimp
peel the shrimp, remove the tails and cut each in half width wise
prepare the marinade by mixing all marinade ingredients in a bowl
add the shrimp to the marinade, mix, cover and refrigerate

Prepare the sauce
combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside

Cook the noodles per package instructions, drain and rinse

Prepare the salad ingredients

Cook the shrimp
In a wok or frying pan over med-high heat, add the shrimp and marinade and cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp start to turn pink, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

To assemble
Divide noodles among 4 plates, layer the herbs, cucumber, sprouts and then shrimp.  Sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.  Serve with sauce and Sriracha on the side.

(*) Trim the root of the lemon grass and then peel off the outer leaves. You will be left with an edible center stalk.  If you cannot find lemongrass, exclude it.
(**) Found in the Asian section of your grocery store.

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