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Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Vermicelli Bowls

Bún Tôm Nướng Xã

Vermicelli noodle bowls are a popular Vietnamese dish that can be customized to your individual taste.

In this recipe, bowls of vermicelli rice noodles are topped with grilled Colossal Tiger Shrimp, that have been marinated in fragrant lemongrass. The bowls are then garnished with a variety of fresh herbs and colorful toppings.

Perhaps the most important component of this classic Vietnamese dish is the Nước Chấm. Directly translated, Nước Chấm means "dipping sauce", but it is used many ways and is a staple throughout Vietnamese cuisine. Here we are using the salty, sweet, spicy and tangy sauce as a dressing for the noodle bowls.

Ingredients

Shrimp Marinade

  • 3 tbsp Finely Chopped Lemongrass
  • ¼ tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seed Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Nước Chấm

  • ½ Cup of Water
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 Garlic Cloves-minced
  • 1-2 Birds Eye/Thai Chillies Seeded and Minced to taste

To Prepare Fresh Lemongrass:

Lemongrass is a fragrant lemon scented herb found in many Asian cuisines. It has a distinct citrus/ginger flavor that greatly enhances the tender colossal shrimp. It can be found fresh, frozen, dried or as a paste.

  • Remove the tough leaves of the stalk to reveal the softer whitish/pale yellow center.
  • Using a sharp knife,cut off the root and fibrous upper third of the stalk.
  • Gently bruise the lemongrass to release the aromatic oils by using the back or side of the knife to gently smash the stalks before finely mincing.

Any unused lemongrass can be easily frozen for the future use.

Assemble the Bowls:

  1. Combine marinade ingredients and shrimp. Tightly cover and refrigerate at least an hour; overnight is the best.
  2. Make the nước chấm by combining sauce ingredients and mix well. You may need to adjust by adding more lime juice or diluting with water to taste. The sauce should be a balance of salty, sour, spacy and sweet. Put in an airtight container and refrigerate while shrimps marinate; as the sauce sits, the flavors will meld together.
  3. Grill the pre-marinated shrimp for approximately 3 minutes per side until they are firm, opaque and cooked through. You may also use a grill pan sauté pan or broiler.
  4. Assemble the bowls by placing the grilled shrimps and toppings of your choice on a bed of vermicelli noodles.
  5. Dress each bowl with nước chấm.
Topping suggestions:

  • Fresh Mint
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Matchstick Cut Carrot
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Fried Shallots
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Chrused Toasted Peanuts

Recipe & Photography created by @wanderingchopstix