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 vermicelli bowls, but I would say one of my favorites is with seafood like ca hoi nuong 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
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!
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.
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Lemongrass Shrimp Vermicelli Bowl
- 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.