Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp

Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp

Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp - all of the bright, herbacious flavors of a Bánh Mì sandwich (or a vietnamese bún bowl) in a refreshing salad bowl featuring the season’s best produce and plump lemongrass shrimp.

–Emily Stoffel, The Pig & Quill

Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp paired with Cambria Julia's Vineyard Rosé

If the farmers’ market is any indication, spring has sprung. Bunches of feathery-topped carrots and jewel-toned radishes. Scarlet beets with their tall, ruffled fronds. Onions big and small. And herbs as far as the eye can see, their perfume the surest indicator of the season.

This is quite possibly my favorite time of year. Everything in bloom, the incessant rain finally feeling purposeful and even generous in its intent.

This Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp makes the most of those very ingredients, marrying quick pickled veggies with crisp, quenching romaine, intoxicating mint and plump shrimp bathed in a salty-sweet marinade generously studded with garlic and lemongrass. Over the top: a light, creamy dressing with lime juice, cilantro and savory fish sauce, which imparts a distinct, almost caramelized saltiness that’s not discernibly fishy.

Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp paired with Cambria Julia's Vineyard Rosé

Despite its numerous components, the prep on this Bánh Mì Salad is surprisingly easy. Marinate both the shrimp and the veggies about an hour before you plan to serve the salad. Then, just before serving, chop your romaine into crisp ribbons, peel and slice a couple of avocados and whirl up the dressing. (You can even use the same food processor rendered for the shrimp marinade -- just give it a quick rinse.) The shrimp grill up, indoors or out, in no more than 2-3 mins, and then it’s as simple as pouring the wine. A Cambria Wines Julia’s Vineyard Rose of Pinot Noir is the perfect complement for the fresh, light flavors woven throughout this bowl.

And if you can enjoy the whole thing outside, illuminated by the slanting rays of the lengthening spring sun, so much the better.

Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp paired with Cambria Julia's Vineyard Rosé

Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp

Bánh Mì Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp - all of the bright, herbacious flavors of a Bánh Mì sandwich (or a vietnamese bún bowl) in a refreshing salad bowl featuring the season’s best produce and plump lemongrass shrimp.

Cook time: 15 mins (does not account for up to 1 hr marinating time)

Serves: 4

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Quick Pickled Bánh Mì Veggies (see recipe, below)
  • Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp (see recipe, below)
  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing (see recipe, below)
  • Fresh mint, cilantro, lime and sesame seeds, for serving
  1. Divide lettuce, cucumber, avocado + pickled veggies among four bowls. Top with shrimp and dressing. Generously garnish with mint, cilantro, lime wedges and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

 

Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp

  • 1 lb large (20/25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 T (about 10”) fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 2 T coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 T sesame oil
  1. Combine everything but shrimp in a small food processor and pulse until combined. (Alternatively, chop garlic and lemongrass very finely and stir ingredients together.) Rinse food processor and set aside to use for dressing. Combine shrimp and lemongrass mixture in a medium bowl and marinate for 45 mins to an hour.
  2. Just before serving, heat a grill pan over a medium-high flame. Add shrimp and grill until just cooked through, pink but still bouncy, about 60-90 secs per side.

 

Quick Pickled Bánh Mì Veggies

  • 1 small daikon or watermelon radish, peeled and thinly sliced and diced into wedges (see images)
  • 2 large carrots, finely julienned or spiralized (I love this compact tool for spiralizing)
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  1. Combine daikon and radishes in a small bowl. Add carrots to another small bowl.
  2. Combine vinegar, white sugar and salt in a microwave safe container or and heat just until sugar and salt are mostly dissolved, about 30 seconds.
  3. Divide vinegar mixture between two bowls of veggies; toss and allow to sit 30 mins.

 

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T light cooking oil, such as avocado
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • large handful cilantro
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor.

Cambria Julia's Vineyard Rosé