Healthy and Delicious Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad

Hey there, my fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I’m super excited to share with you one of my all-time favorite dishes – the Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli, also known as Bun Tom Xao.

As a chef with a deep passion for Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I can tell you that this dish is a true representation of the vibrant and bold flavors that these cultures are famous for. Imagine succulent shrimp infused with fragrant lemongrass, stir-fried to perfection and served on top of a bed of vermicelli noodles and crispy vegetables. The flavors truly dance together in your mouth!

This dish is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a casual home-cooked meal or an impressive dinner party. It’s light, fresh, and healthy – but without skimping on flavor. Plus, it’s super easy to make with just a few ingredients that are readily available at your local grocery store or Asian market.

Trust me when I say that once you try this salad vermicelli bun, you’ll be hooked for life. So let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli - Bun Tom Xao
Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli – Bun Tom Xao

Are you looking for a light and refreshing dish that is both healthy and delicious? Look no further than this Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli, also known as Bun Tom Xao.

One of the things that makes this dish so irresistible is the fragrant lemongrass. It adds an earthy aroma and delicious flavor to the tender shrimp. Couple that with the crunch of bean sprouts, peanuts, and iceberg lettuce, and you have the perfect balance of textures in every bite.

The vermicelli noodles provide a neutral base for all the flavors to come together, and they also make this a substantial meal that will keep you feeling full for hours. And don’t forget about the savory fish sauce that ties everything together. It’s a staple in Vietnamese cuisine and adds a depth of flavor that will keep you coming back for more.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider how versatile this recipe is. You can substitute the shrimp with grilled pork or chicken tofu, or even opt for beef in place of shrimp to make it more hearty. You can also mix up the herbs and veggies to suit your taste preferences. The possibilities are endless!

This dish is perfect for a warm summer day or anytime you’re craving something light but filling. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make! In just 30 minutes or less, you can have a fresh and flavorful meal on the table without breaking a sweat.

Overall, this Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli is sure to become your new go-to recipe when you’re in need of something healthy, delicious, and easy to make.

Ingredient List

 Delicious, colorful and flavorful!
Delicious, colorful and flavorful!

Let’s take a look at the key players in this vibrant Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli – Bun Tom Xao recipe. You will need:

  • 6 oz Rice vermicelli noodles
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks Lemongrass, grated
  • 4 tbsp Peanut oil
  • 2 Red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb Shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 Iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups Bean sprouts
  • ½ Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Nuoc Nam (fish sauce)
  • ¼ cup Peanuts, chopped
  • Handful of Cilantro and basil sprigs for garnish

Note that you can easily find all these ingredients in an Asian grocery store or online. In case you want to make some substitutions, feel free to adjust the recipe according to your taste buds or availability of ingredients. Let’s dive in!

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect for hot summer days
Perfect for hot summer days

Now that you have the list of ingredients ready, let’s dive into the steps to make this mouthwatering Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad. Trust me, it will be worth every step!

Step 1: Preparing the Shrimp

Begin by cleaning and deveining two pounds of shrimp. I prefer to use medium-sized shrimps as they cook evenly and are easy to bite into when mixed with vermicelli.

Step 2: Marinating with Lemongrass

Take 2 stalks of lemongrass and slice off the hard part at the bottom; remove the tough outer layer, then slice each stalk thinly. Combine sliced lemongrass with 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of fish sauce in a bowl. Stir thoroughly to make sure that all ingredients get mixed well.

Step 3: Cooking Shrimp and Onions

Take a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in it; swirl it to coat the bottom nicely. Add shrimp and stir-fry them for about one minute until the color changes into orange or pinkish-orange, depending on the type of shrimp you use.

Add thinly sliced onions {half a cup} to the skillet and cook them for another minute until they become slightly translucent.

Step 4: Making Salad Dressing

Mix together ¾ cup water, ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup fish sauce, and ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice. Place in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sugar fully dissolves, then remove from heat and pour into a bowl until ready to use.

Step 5: Assembling Salad

Now that everything’s cooked, here comes the fun part – assembling! Take a large bowl and start with one lettuce leaf, top it with vermicelli noodles and add boiled shrimps. Then add some bean sprouts, red pepper slices, sliced cucumbers, and half-stalk of chopped lemongrass.

Step 6: Tossing and Serving

Pour the salad dressing over the salad mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated. Keep going until the noodles are coated without turning to mush.

Step 7: Garnish with Fresh Herbs

Garnish each serving of Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with a basil sprig, cilantro, roasted [peanuts], a wedge of lime, and additional sliced red chili peppers if you like it spicy. Enjoy each bite with flavors that will burst in your mouth.

Now that you have followed all these steps carefully and successfully made this sumptuous and healthy dish, enjoy it with others – or savor it alone, knowing that you can make authentic Vietnamese cuisine

Substitutions and Variations

 Vibrant and refreshing, a great blend of flavors
Vibrant and refreshing, a great blend of flavors

Hey there foodies! Ready for some fun options to switch things up in your cooking game? Let’s take a look at some possible substitutions and variations you can use for this Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli, or Bun Tom Xao as we call it.

Firstly, let’s talk about the protein element of this dish. As delicious as shrimp can be, you could easily substitute it for something else like chicken or tofu. To spice things up, use grilled pork or beef instead for that amazing flavor.

Taking a gluten-free approach to this dish? Easily swap the rice vermicelli with another gluten-free noodle option such as sweet potato noodles or kelp noodles. No more missing out on enjoying an amazing noodle salad!

Sesame oil could also be used instead of peanut oil if there are allergies or preferences to adjust for. Adding in some sliced cucumbers, carrots, and/or jalapeno peppers could give the dish more freshness and crunch – who doesn’t love that?

For anyone looking to add in some heat, more red pepper flakes can be added on top or chopped fresh Thai chili peppers could be used instead. Want even more herbs? Throw in some mint leaves along with the basil and cilantro.

One of my favorite things about Vietnamese cuisine is that it allows for creativity and flare; this dish is no exception. Have fun experimenting – whether it’s with these ideas or some you come up with yourself. Just remember, the beauty of Bun Tom Xao is its versatility and ability to cater to your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 Bursting with the freshness of herbs and vegetables
Bursting with the freshness of herbs and vegetables

Now that you’ve prepared this delicious and nutritious Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli, it’s time to think about how to serve it and what to pair it with.

This dish is traditionally served cold, which makes it perfect for a hot summer day. You can prepare the salad in advance and keep it chilled until you’re ready to serve. I like to present this dish in individual bowls, garnished with some fresh herbs such as cilantro and basil sprigs. You can also add some peanuts or crispy fried shallots as toppings for an extra crunch.

As for the pairing options, there are plenty of choices that complement the flavors of this salad. You can serve it with some refreshing Vietnamese spring rolls or egg rolls on the side for a complete meal. Another great option is to pair it with some grilled shrimp or pork, such as Nem Nuong or Thit Bo, for a Vietnamese BBQ-style feast.

If you prefer a noodle dish, you can also serve this salad with some Vietnamese beef noodle (Bun Bo Xao) or lemongrass pork noodle (Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio). The vermicelli noodles make a versatile base that pairs well with various meats and vegetables.

Finally, don’t forget to wash down this flavorful salad with a cold beverage such as iced tea or beer. This dish pairs perfectly with crisp and light beers such as pilsners or lagers.

Now that you know how to serve and pair this delicious Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli, it’s time to gather your friends and family together for a tasty meal!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect balance of sweet, salty, and sour flavors
The perfect balance of sweet, salty, and sour flavors

You’ll be happy to know that this Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli can be made ahead of time and stored for later!


If you’re planning to serve this dish later, simply prepare the rice vermicelli noodles, lemongrass shrimp and vegetables like bean sprouts, onions, iceberg lettuce and cilantro. Store them separately in airtight containers in your refrigerator until you’re ready to combine them. This will help keep everything fresh until it’s time to toss the ingredients together.


If you have any leftover Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, I recommend storing the lemongrass shrimp separately from the vegetables and noodles as they can get soggy when mixed together for too long.


One thing that sets this dish apart is its versatility. It tastes just as amazing cold or at room temperature as it does warm. If you do wish to reheat it, place the lemongrass shrimp in a dry pan or microwave-safe bowl and heat for a few seconds before combining with the rest of the ingredients.

Tip: Before serving, dress the salad with nuoc nam (fish sauce) and sprinkle some peanuts on top for some added crunch and flavor.

Don’t let leftovers go to waste. With this Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli recipe, you can enjoy an amazing meal even after it’s been prepared ahead of time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 An easy, quick and nutritious meal
An easy, quick and nutritious meal

I know that when you’re making Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli (Bun Tom Xao), you want to make sure it comes out tasting like the authentic dish served at your favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Here I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you make the perfect dish every time.

Firstly, for maximum flavor, let everything marinate for at least an hour. The lemongrass shrimp will have a chance to soak up all the wonderful aromatics from the marinade, which will heighten its taste when it is cooked.

Another important tip is to not overcrowd your pan when cooking. Make sure there’s plenty of space for the shrimp to cook evenly without being cramped together. This will ensure they cook thoroughly and give them that nice golden color.

When it comes to chopping lemongrass, it can be tough work, but using a food processor can be very useful. With the blades whizzing through the stalks, you can slice through them quickly and finely without any fuss or hassle.

Adding fresh herbs such as cilantro and basil as a garnish might seem like a small detail, but it can add a lot of flavor and freshness to the dish. Sprinkle a few leaves on top of your salad before serving as they can brighten up even the simplest of flavors.

Finally, don’t forget about using quality ingredients such as fresh shrimp and vegetables, which are essential in creating an authentic Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli (Bun Tom Xao). By choosing seasonal produce, you’ll take the recipe up another level.

By following these tips, you’ll have perfectly cooked shrimp and vermicelli noodles that are balanced in flavor – salty, sweet, sour and spicy – just like they do at your favorite Vietnamese eatery. Be sure to take the time and put in the effort into preparing this dish because I promise it’s worth it!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are ready to take your taste buds on a journey to Vietnam, then this Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli – Bun Tom Xao Recipe is the way to go. Not only is it a delicious and nutritious meal, but it is also packed with authentic Vietnamese flavors that will leave you craving for more.

With its easy-to-follow instructions and versatile nature, this dish can be tailored to fit your dietary preferences and restrictions. Whether you prefer beef, chicken, shrimp or tofu, the recipe allows for various substitutions and variations that will suit your needs.

In addition, this recipe provides an incredible opportunity to explore the wonderful world of Vietnamese cuisine. From the use of ingredients like nuoc nam, bean sprouts, basil sprig and peanuts to the cooking techniques like stir-frying and grilling, there is so much to learn and discover when it comes to this vibrant and flavorful cuisine.

So why not give this recipe a try? Whip up a batch of Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli – Bun Tom Xao Recipe today and experience the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnam right in your own kitchen. It’s time to spice things up and let your taste buds do the talking!

Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli - Bun Tom Xao

Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Salad with Vermicelli - Bun Tom Xao Recipe

A warm weather favorite in Vietnamese restaurants. Very cooling!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 897.7 kcal


For the Shrimp

  • 6 ounces shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups onions, cut into slivers
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the Salad

  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, sprigs
  • 1/2 cup basil sprig
  • 4 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 1 -1 1/2 cup nuoc nam (Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Spicy Fish Sauce))


  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot; stir in vermicelli.
  • Cook until just tender and drain in colander.
  • Flatten lemongrass with cleaver and mince white part; discard rest.
  • Heat oil in wok; add garlic, lemongrass, and red pepper flakes.
  • Cook until lemongrass is slightly wilted.
  • Add onions and stir-fry until onions are tender.
  • Mix fish sauce with sugar and add to wok with shrimp; stir-fry 3-4 minutes more or until shrimp is cooked.
  • For each salad place 1 cup of lettuce in bottom of bowl.
  • Top with 3/4 cup of bean sprouts.
  • Place half the cooked noodles over vegetables in bowl.
  • Top noodles with lemongrass shrimp and onions.
  • Garnish with peanuts.
  • Serve with a plate of cilantro sprigs and basil sprigs.
  • Also serve a bowl of Nuoc Mam, recipe#25375, about 1/2-3/4 cup per salad.
  • Place"Tuong Ot Sriracha" (Viet hot sauce) or sambal oeleck on the table as condiments.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 712gCalories: 897.7kcalCarbohydrates: 130.6gProtein: 39.2gFat: 24.8gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 135.7mgSodium: 11939.5mgFiber: 8.3gSugar: 19.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, One-Dish Meal, Spicy, Spring, Stir-Fry, Stove Top, Summer, Vegetable, Vietnamese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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