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Salads

This Vietnamese Shrimp Salad is the Bold Lunch You’ve Been Waiting For

A sweet and spicy marinade, plenty of leafy greens and all kinds of crunch make this salad a can’t-miss meal.

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A plate of Vietnamese Shrimp Salad, featuring a bed of leafy greens, the satisfying crunch of carrots, cucumbers and almonds, a sweet-but-spicy dressing and a sprinkling of fresh herbs, just might be the perfect lunch. It’s no basic salad – while the ingredients might be relatively simple, every bite packs a punch of wonderfully bold flavor. And that’s what you’ll find in our version of a Vietnamese Shrimp Salad, too.

We’ve taken this familiar dish and tweaked it to make it wholly healthful and lower in carbs by skipping the noodles. Oh, and you’re definitely going to want to use our shrimp marinade beyond this salad recipe alone! You can easily incorporate it into some of our favorite shrimp recipes to change things up.

Plenty of flavor, plenty of nutrients

In every forkful of our Vietnamese Shrimp Salad, you’ll get nutrient-dense ingredients that are great for all-around health. The chunks of English cucumbers, for example, offer 62 percent of your recommended daily total of vitamin K, plus 14 percent of your vitamin C needs. And this green veggie is also rich in magnesium, manganese and potassium. Carrots, on the other hand, deliver significant servings of vitamins A and K, along with biotin, potassium and vitamin B6. And you’ll get about 13 percent of your daily vitamin C in the bean sprouts, too.

The shrimp, which is infused with flavor in a homemade marinade, is also great for you. Its protein satisfies hunger, while its vitamins and minerals – like selenium, vitamin B12, iron and niacin – help boost your energy levels. Even the ingredients that make up the marinade, like the Thai chili, garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar, deliver health-forward benefits that take this salad to the next level in deliciousness and nutrition.

And in addition to all of the health benefits that come rolled into every ingredient of this bold salad, there’s one more perk. It’s Paleo-friendly and low-carb, making it a delicious keto option. Put this Vietnamese Shrimp Salad on your to-make list for this week, because it’s a midday meal that’ll brighten up your entire day.

Paleo Vietnamese Shrimp Salad

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small Thai chili, seeded and minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Salad

  • 5 oz green-leaf lettuce (or mesclun), chopped
  • 1½ tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • ½ English cucumber, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted

Preparation

  1. Cut away the leaves of the lemongrass and peel away the tough outer layers. Hit the remaining stalk with a rolling pin or press it with the side of a chef’s knife to bruise it. Place the bruised stalk in a bowl and stir in the remaining marinade ingredients and shrimp. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease a large baking sheet with avocado oil. Remove the shrimp from the marinade (discarding the remaining marinade) and spread shrimp in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  3. While the shrimp is baking, make the dressing: Combine the garlic, chili, ginger, and oil in a small, unheated skillet. Turn heat to low and cook until mixture sizzles. Let cook for 1 minute then transfer the mixture to a bowl. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Add the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  4. Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, mint, basil, cucumber, and carrots. Toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Divide salad among 4 bowls. Top with sprouts, almonds, and the cooked shrimp. Serve immediately with additional dressing on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Paleo Magazine