Vermicelli noodle bowls are quintessential to Vietnamese cuisine. They can be prepared many ways, including with chicken, pork, beef, tofu or shrimp. This at-home recipe tutorial teaches you how to make Vietnamese-style vermicelli noodle bowls with shrimp and fresh vegetables in 45 minutes. Finish the dish with a side of my nuoc cham sauce!
Even though the Bay Area only gets summer weather 1 week out of the year, I still like eating cold foods during the spring and summer seasons. Mostly out of habit. Growing up, I loved vermicelli bowls pretty much all year round but especially during the summer! I’ve had almost every variation of Vietnamese noodle bowls but I would say one of my favorites is with seafood like ca hoi nuong, salmon vermicelli bowls, or this shrimp vermicelli bowl. To me, meat tends to weigh you down while seafood makes you full without the heaviness.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Lemongrass shrimp
- Shrimp – The shrimp is the core part of this vermicelli bowl. You can use any kind of shrimp for this recipe.
- Vegetable oil – You can use any kind of neutral oil for this recipe like vegetable oil, walnut oil, or grapeseed oil.
- Garlic – Adds flavor to the shrimp and makes it taste so good!
- Brown sugar – Adds sweetness to this recipe. You can use either light or dark brown sugar.
- Fish sauce – Fish sauce adds umami flavor to this dish. You can use any kind of fish sauce for this recipe.
- Lemongrass – Adds a slightly sour taste to this recipe. If you can’t find lemongrass, I would leave it out.
- Vermicelli noodles – Vermicelli noodles are one of the core ingredients to this dish. If you can’t find vermicelli, any kind of thin, rice noodle should work. It however won’t have the same taste and texture of vermicelli noodles.
- Carrot, mint, lettuce, and cucumber – You can add pretty much add any kind of topping you want. These are the traditional ones I used. I would recommend having lettuce at least and adding whatever else you want.
- Vietnamese dipping sauce – Get the recipe for my Vietnamese dipping sauce here.
Making my shrimp vermicelli bowl
The Vietnamese noodle bowl is so easy to make! First prep your toppings. Boil your vermicelli noodles. Slice your carrot and cucumber. Make your Vietnamese dipping sauce. Set everything aside. Next cook your lemongrass shrimp. Add vegetable oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add in the garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce, and lemongrass. Stir for 10-15 seconds until the sugar melts. Add in the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. The center should be opaque and the outside is orange. Season with pepper to taste and set aside.
Now it’s time to assemble your vermicelli bowls! Add vermicelli, carrots, mint leaves, lettuce, and cucumbers to a bowl. Top with the lemongrass shrimp. Drizzle Vietnamese dipping sauce over the top. Each person should assemble their vermicelli bowl this way. Enjoy!
How to cook vermicelli noodles
Cooking vermicelli noodles is so easy! First boil a pot of water. Add the vermicelli noodles and cook for 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Taste the noodles to check for doneness. Pour the noodles out into a colander. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and to rinse off excess starch.
Tips on how to make the perfect shrimp vermicelli bowl
- Prep your toppings ahead of time – I like to prep my vermicelli, vegetables, and Vietnamese dipping sauce ahead of time because I want them to be ready once my shrimp is done. The shrimp takes less than 10 minutes to cook.
- Smack the lemongrass with the back of a knife to release the flavor – This is the best way to release the oils of the lemongrass. Do this before you mince the lemongrass. Be careful not to cut yourself!
- Customize your toppings – You can use almost any vegetable for these vermicelli bowls. Use any kind of lettuce you want. Leave out the mint if you don’t like it; I used to hate mint so I didn’t eat it until recently. Don’t use carrots if you don’t like them.
How do you eat vermicelli noodle bowls with shrimp?
Vietnamese noodle salad bowls should be eaten like a salad. I like to drizzle nuoc cham over the top, mix everything together, and eat! You can also drizzle nuoc cham over the noodle bowl as you eat. Drizzle some over the top, eat a couple bites, and then repeat this process as you enjoy the dish!
How do you store this shrimp vermicelli bowl?
I recommend storing each component separately. That means store the shrimp, vegetables, noodles, and sauce all in separate storage containers. When you are ready to serve, put your noodle bowls together, and then serve. Storing each component separately allows them to stay fresh for longer.
Did you make this dish?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
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Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowls with Shrimp
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 stalk lemongrass minced
- 1 package vermicelli noodles
- 1 carrot julienned
- 20 mint leaves
- 1 head lettuce
- 1 cucumber julienned
- First prep your toppings. Boil your vermicelli noodles, slice your vegetables, and make your Vietnamese dipping sauce. Set everything aside.
- Add vegetable oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add in the garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce, and lemongrass. Stir for 10-15 seconds. Add in the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the center is opaque and the outside is orange. Season with pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Get out 4 medium bowls. Add vermicelli noodles, carrots, mint leaves, lettuce, and cucumbers to a bowl. If you would like a little less or more of an ingredient, feel free to make adjustments! Add the shrimp on top and drizzle with the dipping sauce.
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