This Vietnamese-inspired shrimp salad is perfect if you're looking for something different to bring to a summer potluck or a light dish for warm-weather entertaining at home. This recipe calls for Asian hot chile sauce. The different styles and brands of sauce have varying heat levels, so taste as you go. Recipe adapted from The Summer Shack Cookbook by Jasper White (W.W. Norton, 2007).

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2011


Recipe Summary

30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pick over shrimp, discarding any pieces of shell. Cover and keep chilled until ready to toss the salad.

  • Slice cabbage into chiffonade (very thin strips), about 1 to 2 inches long, to get 5 to 6 cups. Slice 12 cilantro sprigs (stems and leaves) very thin; reserve remaining sprigs for garnish. Separate and wash lettuce leaves. Keep everything chilled until ready to toss the salad.

  • Mix vinegar, peanut oil, fish sauce, chile sauce, sugar and ginger in a small bowl. Keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate if making ahead; let cold dressing come to room temperature before tossing with the salad.

  • Just before serving, toss the reserved shrimp, cabbage, sliced cilantro, carrot and 6 tablespoons chopped peanuts with the dressing in a large bowl. Arrange the reserved lettuce leaves on a serving platter or in a large, shallow serving bowl. Mound the salad on the lettuce and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons peanuts and 8 cilantro sprigs.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the shrimp, salad and dressing in separate containers for up to 1 day. Bring dressing to room temperature before tossing with shrimp and salad.

Tip: Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized, so to get the size you want, order by the count per pound. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can't find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America--it's more likely to be sustainably caught.

Notes: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian-food section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce (1,190 mg sodium per tablespoon) in our analyses.

Sambal oelek, a spicy blend of chiles, brown sugar and salt, and Sriracha, a Thai chile sauce, can be found in the Asian section of many large supermarkets and at Asian markets

Nutrition Facts

235 calories; protein 18.9g 38% DV; carbohydrates 10.2g 3% DV; dietary fiber 2.3g 9% DV; sugars 5.2g; fat 13.7g 21% DV; saturated fat 2.1g 10% DV; cholesterol 114.8mg 38% DV; vitamin a iu 3393.9IU 68% DV; vitamin c 20.3mg 34% DV; folate 35.7mcg 9% DV; calcium 102.7mg 10% DV; iron 1.9mg 10% DV; magnesium 26.9mg 10% DV; potassium 339.3mg 10% DV; sodium 635.3mg 25% DV; thiaminmg 4% DV; added sugar 3g.

Reviews (4)

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4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Easy and really delicious. I didn't have the lettuce and I added some more veggies - thinly sliced cucumber and red pepper. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious and so healthy I love this recipe. I follow it pretty much to a T. Only changes are: I don't buy Maine shrimp I use medium shrimp that I chop into thirds after cooking I use Napa or bok choy (I don't recommend regular cabbage green or red because it's too hard and bitter) and I usually shred several carrots. The flavor of the dressing is so delicious. I can imagine leaving out the shrimp and using this as a side dish a Vietnamese cole slaw. Definitely a company-worthy dish as well. I will say that it can be a little time consuming but it's simple and the end result is worth it. I should also mention that I am not a great cook but can easily pull off this dish. Pros: Great flavor healthy easy to prepare Cons: Can be a tad time consuming slicing and dicing Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Wonderful and Unusual! We prepared this using warm grilled jumbo shrimp rubbed with Rub with Love Seafood flavor. Leftover salad was even better the next day for lunch! When I this again I may prepare without the shrimp for an unusual side salad. Or you could add chunks of rare Ahi Tuna cooked lobster or chicken! Pros: Ease of Preparation Simple Ingredients Read More
Rating: 4 stars
"Maine" shrimp salad - not I'm a Maine girl. Those aren't Maine shrimps. But the recipe is very good. Use any fresh shrimp and cook carefully so that the fish isn't rubbery. Pros: Delicious ingredients Cons: Shrimp in picture are not Maine shrimp Read More