Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Noodle Bowl
There are days when all I want to do for dinner is throw together a big bowl of something, plop down in front of a good movie and slowly enjoy the rest of the day. I tend to do that most often when my husband is out of town or playing music late. It can be a big salad of farro and roasted veggie with a little salmon on top, fried rice with an egg on top, or a simple kale caesar salad with a tartine.
I often go for Middle Eastern or Asian seasonings and inspiration. Sometimes not. There are no rule, just a little balance of veggies, starch and protein. And always extra veggies and sauce or spices.
On the day that food stylist Nathan Carrabba got together and make that sunchoke soup and tartine I posted recently, we also made and shot this incredibly satisfying Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Noodle Bowl (Bun Tom Heo Nuong). He is my partner in crime in anything Asian and pickled. We both love all the flavors of Vietnamese and Thai cooking in particular.
After a long and fun day shooting, nothing made me happier than diving in this lovely bowl bursting with fresh and comforting flavors.
Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Noodle Bowl (Bun Tom Heo Nuong)
5 ounces uncooked rice vermicelli noodles
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
5 teaspoons fish sauce (such as Three Crabs)
1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
1 tsp nam prik pao (Thai chili paste)
4 cups shredded romaine or green leaf lettuce
1.5 cups diagonally cut slices seeded hot house cucumber
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup torn Thai basil leaves
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/3 cup (1/4-inch) slices green onions
1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
(optional) (we realized after we wrapped up this shot that we had forgotten them!)
4 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Pickled carrots (optional)
Fried Shallots (optional)
Cook rice vermicelli noodles according to package
directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again. Combine 1/2 cup
lukewarm water and granulated sugar in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar
dissolves. Add lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, and chiles; set aside.
Mix 2 Tbsp fish sauce and 1 Tbsp brown sugar together. Add
shrimp; toss to coat.
Thread shrimp onto bamboo skewers. Heat a grill over
medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and swirl to coat. Add half of
shrimp; cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are seared.
Remove from grill.
Arrange about 1 cup lettuce in each of 4 large bowls, and
top each serving with about 1 cup noodles, cucumber, herbs, and 2 tablespoons
chopped peanuts. Divide the shrimp evenly among servings, and serve each with
1/4 cup sauce. Serve with pickled carrots and fried shallots.