Vietnamese cuisine is known for its vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and unique combinations. One of my favorite dishes to make is the Vietnamese seafood salad. This refreshing and light salad is perfect for any occasion – whether you’re looking for a refreshing summer meal or you want to impress your guests.
The salad combines a mix of seafood such as shrimp, squid, and crab with fresh herbs and vegetables like mint, papaya, and red onion. The dressing is made from a blend of citrus juices like lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar which gives it that distinctive sweet-salty-sour flavor. The result is a dish bursting with color, texture, and flavor.
I’ve been making this recipe for years now, and it never fails to disappoint. It’s easy to make, takes minimal effort, and the end result is always worth it. Plus, it’s a great way to incorporate some healthy seafood into your diet.
So if you’re looking for an appetizing way to switch up your meal routine, give this Vietnamese seafood salad recipe a try. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I am excited to share this Vietnamese Seafood Salad recipe with you! Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked. Here’s why:
First of all, it is packed with flavor. The combination of red chilies, gingerroot, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar makes for a mouthwatering dressing that gives the seafood an irresistible zing.
Speaking of seafood, this recipe calls for a mix of Vietnamese shrimp, squid, and crab salad – a delightful medley that provides a range of textures and flavors in every bite. And thanks to the underlying sweetness of the papaya and green mango, the dish is perfectly balanced and refreshingly light.
The addition of toasted sesame seeds and fresh mint makes for an extra layer of complexity and texture that elevates this salad into something truly special. Served on a bed of rice noodles or simply on its own, the Vietnamese Seafood Salad is an absolute showstopper.
Moreover, this salad recipe is incredibly flexible. You can adjust the ingredient quantities to your likings and swap any seafood with ease. Feeling like trying with lobster? No problem! Want to add some veggies? The more the merrier!
Lastly but not least important is how quick and easy it is to make. With just 20 minutes or so in the kitchen, you’ll have a delicious dinner or lunch ready to go!
All in all if you’re looking for fresh ideas on how to cook delicious meals while enjoying healthy ingredients that will make your taste buds sing with joy every time you take a bite, then look no further than this recipe of Vietnamese Seafood Salad!
Here’s what you need for Vietnamese Seafood Salad Recipe:
- 300g pack cooked Vietnamese shrimp
- Medium-sized squid, thinly sliced
- 1 pack cooked shrimp
- 1 cup imitation crab salad
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp gingerroot, minced
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 red chilies, chopped
Salad and Vegetables
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green mango, shredded
- 1/4 papaya, thinly sliced
- Thinly sliced shallots
- Small bunch of fresh mint leaves
- Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
- 300g pack cooked salad noodles
- Toasted sesame seeds
Make sure to have these ingredients ready before you start cooking to ensure easy preparation.
The Recipe How-To
Now let’s get to the fun part: making the Vietnamese Seafood Salad! This dish consists of several components that all come together in a delicious explosion of flavors.
- Seafood: for this recipe, we’ll be using squid and Vietnamese shrimp, but feel free to substitute with your favorite seafood.
- Salad vegetables: thinly sliced red onion, green mango, and papaya add a crisp freshness to this dish.
- Noodles: we’ll be using medium-sized shrimp noodles, but you can also use rice vermicelli or an egg noodle salad.
- Dressing: the dressing is what ties everything together. We’ll be making a nuoc cham dressing with lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and red chili.
Make the Salad Noodles
Cook the Vietnamese shrimp noodles according to package instructions. Once done, drain and set aside to cool.
Cook the Seafood
In a separate pot of boiling water, cook the squid and Vietnamese shrimp until they turn pink. This should only take a few minutes so be careful not to overcook them. Once done, drain and set aside to cool.
Make the Dressing
In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 clove of minced garlic,v1 finely chopped red chili (optional), and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Assemble the Salad
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled seafood and salad vegetables. Add 1/4 cup of thinly sliced shallots and 1/4 cup of chopped mint leaves. Pour in the dressing and toss everything together gently.
Top the salad with some toasted sesame seeds before serving for added crunch and flavor. This Vietnamese Seafood Salad is best served chilled with plenty of lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
Now, let’s talk about some substitutions and variations for this Vietnamese seafood salad recipe.
If you don’t have papaya, don’t worry. You can use green mango or even thinly sliced cucumber as a substitute.
For the dressing, if you don’t have fish sauce on hand, soy sauce can work as a substitute. Just keep in mind that the flavor may not be exactly the same.
If you prefer a milder taste, adjust the amount of red chilies or omit them altogether. Conversely, if you want more spice, add more chilies or some sriracha sauce.
You can also switch up the seafood used in this salad. Instead of squid and shrimp, try adding cooked crab meat or even thinly sliced octopus.
If you don’t have rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar is a great alternative. And for the oil in the dressing, you can use either extra virgin olive oil or toasted sesame oil for different flavors.
Lastly, if you want to make this salad a heartier meal, toss in some cooked vermicelli noodles or serve it over a bed of greens like spinach or arugula.
With these substitutions and variations, you can make this Vietnamese seafood salad recipe uniquely yours while still staying true to its delicious flavors.
Serving and Pairing
The Vietnamese Seafood Salad is a refreshing and vibrant dish that is as beautiful in presentation as it is delicious in taste. The best way to serve this seafood salad is to pile it high on a platter, garnish it with toasted sesame seeds and fresh mint leaves. The bright green, orange, and red colors of the salad will make your mouth water at first sight.
In terms of pairing this dish, I suggest that you serve it with a side of sticky rice or some crispy prawn crackers, which will complement the sweetness and tanginess of the salad’s dressing. Additionally, you can serve this Vietnamese seafood salad as an appetizer before a larger meal or as the main course for a light lunch or dinner.
To complete your culinary journey to Vietnam, pair this dish with a refreshing glass of lime juice soda or coconut water. These beverages will help balance out the salad’s spicy notes and add an overall sweetness to the meal.
But don’t forget that making and serving this salad is about having fun – try out different combinations that you think would work well with the flavors of this Vietnamese seafood salad. Let your creativity guide you towards finding just the right mix of ingredients and condiments that suit your taste buds.
Whether you are planning a fancy dinner party or simply want to treat yourself to something deliciously healthy, the Vietnamese Seafood Salad recipe is an excellent choice. Its colorful display will grace any table, and its sweet, spicy, tangy flavors are sure to awaken your senses and transport you straight to the bustling streets of Vietnam.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As someone who cooks a lot, I know how important it is to plan ahead and make meals that can be stored or reheated. This Vietnamese Seafood Salad is a perfect example of a dish that can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for several days.
To make this salad ahead of time, simply cook the seafood and prepare the vegetables according to the recipe instructions. Store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge until ready to assemble.
When you’re ready to serve, simply toss everything together with the dressing and toasted sesame seeds. If you find that the salad has become a bit dry from storing in the fridge, add a splash of fresh lime juice or rice vinegar to freshen it up.
This dish also reheats well, so don’t hesitate to enjoy leftovers the next day. To reheat, simply place the seafood salad in a covered container and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until hot throughout.
Whether you’re meal prepping for the week or making this salad for a party, it’s good to know that it can be easily stored and reheated without losing any of its flavors or textures. So go ahead and make a big batch—you won’t regret it!
Tips for Perfect Results
To ensure your Vietnamese seafood salad comes out perfectly, follow these tips for the best possible results.
Tip #1: Use Fresh Seafood
One of the keys to a great seafood salad is using fresh ingredients. When making this dish, make sure the seafood you are using is fresh and has not been frozen for too long. Fresh shrimp and squid should be firm to the touch and have a slightly sweet smell. If you’re not sure of the quality of the seafood you’re purchasing, ask your local fishmonger for guidance.
Tip #2: Toasted Sesame Seeds
Toasted sesame seeds bring out a nutty flavor that complements the seafood in this salad. Toast them lightly by spreading them on a baking sheet and cook in a 350-degree oven for 5-7 minutes until they become fragrant and golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Tip #3: Marinade the Seafood in Advance
Marinating the seafood before adding it to the salad will deepen the flavor and add some complexity to the dish. Mix together equal parts of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and some sliced chili peppers. Letting it sit for at least an hour before assembling the salad will yield better results.
Tip #4: Take Time with Presentation
The appearance of any meal is just as important as its taste. A visually appealing presentation can make any Vietnamese seafood salad look like a fancy restaurant-quality meal. Place all ingredients attractively on a platter or bowl before serving.
Tip #5: Add Herbs
Herbs such as mint leaves add aroma, flavor, and vibrant colors that make any salad more inviting. Chop some fresh mint and sprinkle over your Vietnamese seafood salad right before serving.
Tip #6: Adjust Saltiness and Acidity
Fish sauce is notoriously salty so it’s essential to adjust it to suit personal tastes. Add salt sparingly to taste to maintain the savory sweetness of the seafood while adjusting the acidity with additional lime juice.
Follow these tips and your Vietnamese seafood salad will turn out perfectly every time.
After trying this recipe for Vietnamese seafood salad, I can confidently say that it is one of the best Vietnamese seafood recipes out there. The combination of fresh ingredients, tangy dressing, and perfectly cooked seafood make for a delicious and healthy meal.
Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a flavorful dinner, this dish is sure to satisfy. The versatility of the recipe also allows for variations and substitutions to cater to individual taste preferences.
So, next time you’re in the mood for something fresh and vibrant, try out this Vietnamese seafood salad recipe. I guarantee it will become a staple in your recipe rotation. And who knows? You may just become known amongst your friends as the chef who knows how to make a killer seafood salad.
Vietnamese Seafood Salad Recipe
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced shallot
- 100 g prawns
- 100 g thinly sliced squid
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced gingerroot
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup of grated papaya
- 2 sliced long red chilies (deseeded)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 limes, juice of or 1 lemon, juice of
- 1 cup of mixed mint (Vietnamese and Standard)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Stir fry shallots in oil until lightly brown, add prawns and cook for 1 minute. Add squid and ginger and continue to cook 3-4 minutes, add black pepper at the end and remove from heat into a large bowl.
- Add the papaya and chilli together, add to the seafood mixture. Combine the sugar, salt and juice together until dissolved. Pour over the salad and mix well.
- Just before serving, add the toasted sesame seeds and mint, toss lightly, serve with crispy rice paper or prawn crackers. (Don't add too early or else the seeds will go soft and the mint will turn black).