This rice noodle salad is perfect for lunch or dinner. Fresh, vibrant flavors and easy to make.
Makes 2 generous portions, or 3 standard portions.
Pat dry the shrimp to remove any moisture. Mix the shrimp with the salt, and set aside.
Heat a large pan with 2 - 3 tbsp of oil on medium-high heat. When the oil it hot, pan fry the shrimp. Cook each side for about 2 - 3 minutes, until there's some caramelization on each side. Cook in two batches to avoid over-crowding the pan.
Toss the cooked shrimp with the fresh lime juice in a bowl. Then keep it in the fridge until needed, OR cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Mix the 1 tbsp water with the cornstarch. Mix it into a slurry and set aside.
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan, EXCEPT for the cornstarch slurry and the sliced red chili peppers. Heat over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the sauce to a boil.
Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and add the red chili peppers as well.
Cook the sauce for another 1 - 2 minutes, until it reaches a thick, sauce-like consistency. Taste and season with extra salt or fish sauce if needed.
Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Rinse and keep it in the fridge to chill.
When you're ready to serve the salad, wash and prepare the vegetables.
Add one half of the garlic lime sauce to the shrimp and toss to combine. Set aside the rest of the sauce.
Divide the shredded lettuce into three bowls or lunch boxes.
Top with rice noodles, and drizzle the remaining garlic lime sauce over the rice noodles in the three bowls. Divide the shrimp between the three bowls as well.
Add the cucumber, carrots and cilantro. Sprinkle with spring onions and chopped peanuts. Serve.
Note on shrimp - we prefer shrimp with the tail on. But you're welcome to remove the tails if you prefer.
Note on spice level - de-seed the Thai red chili peppers to reduce the heat. Sambal oelek is less spicy than Thai red chili. You can leave it out altogether if you prefer it mild.
You can serve this recipe cold or warm. If you like it warm, gently warm the shrimp with the garlic lime sauce and serve with freshly cooked rice noodles.