When I went home for my brother’s graduation, we ate at one of my childhood favorite restaurants – a local hole in the wall Vietnamese place.
It’s been open as long as I remember – we always ate there after coming home from a trip since it was near the airport, light (usually we needed to detox after vacation meals), quick, and cheap.
When in in laws visited Connecticut earlier in the spring, his mother taught me how to make the pickled daikon and carrots. (My grandmother also made this a lot in the Philippines).
If my mother in law were a doctor, she could be a neurosurgeon – she handles the knife and food with such precision and is the most meticulous cook I’ve ever met. She washed every vegetable a minimum of three time and hand cut all the slits on the radish and carrots to make that pretty star shape.
I like to think I have petty good motor skills from my days of woodcut printmaking, but I like to eat my carrots and daikon efficiently, so I cut them in boring circles. I do love the star shape for the photos though!
This lemongrass bowl is adapted from RecipeTinEats – although it seems like a lot of ingredients, it’s quite easy to make and the pickled daikon and the nuoc mam cham can be made ahead of time and stored forever in the fridge.
Just for fun, there’s a lemongrass pork recipe by B which was posted 5 years ago (you can also see how terrible my photos were back then, although this batch of photos is a bit grainy since it was so dark)! How time flies – we were just dating back then.
Enjoy the noodle bowls! They’re perfect for the summer heat.
Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Noodle Bowl
1-1.5 lbs of seafoon, pork, chicken (I used shrimp)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp seame oil
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped and smashed into large pieces
1/2 tbsp oil
1 pack vermicelli noodles , dried
1/2 lettuce , finely sliced
mint leaves, cilantro leaves
lime wedges, to serve
Nuoc Mam Cham – fish sauce (see recipe below)
Pickled Daikon (see recipe below)
Combine Meat and Marinade ingredients and set aside for at least 1 hour.
Cook vermicelli noodles according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the noodles from sticking together.
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a fry pan over medium heat, place the marinated shrimp and cook each side until pink (a few min each side). Remove and set on a bowl.
To serve: Place noodles in bowl. Then either top or lightly toss through the vegetables and herbs, and top with shrimp pieces. Drizzle with Nuoc Cham Sauce and serve with lime wedges and pickled daikon and carrots
Nuoc Mam Cham Sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
4 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
1 red birdseye chilli , finely chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
Combine Nuoc Mam Cham ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust to your taste for desired spiciness, lime, sweetness – I like mine rather sweet. My mother in law saves them in glass jars to ear when ready.
Vietnamese Picked Daikon and Carrots
2.5 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chop the carrots and daikon into desired size and shape. Wash carrots and daikon in salt water then rinse and pat dry.
Boil water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Let it cool to room temperature. Add the carrots and daikon. Let it marinate for at least an hour. Serve with any Asian dish as a side or topping. My mother in law saves them in glass jars to ear when ready. Enjoy!