Thug…Vietnamese Style Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Noodle Salad

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
Mark Twain

What a great salad for dinner we had and certainly without a doubt a keeper in my craving Asian file!  One of the Thug kitchen cookbooks has a pretty good version that you can build from and it certainly is easy enough to put together especially with the store prepped vegetables shredded carrots for one and I imagine that some of the slaw and salad blends would work as well.  I had garden fresh lettuce and some butter lettuce on hand so I went with that for my greens, next time I’ll add some snow peas and maybe some shredded baby bok choy.

As far as the dressing goes all that this salad needs is a simple toasted sesame and ginger version whether it be home-made  or store-bought.  Rice noodles take just a few minutes to cook, drain, run under cold water and drain again.   You can prep your salad early in the day and keep it covered and refrigerate until serving time adding pan seared shrimp or your favorite Asian style grilled chicken, pork or beef just before serving…lightly drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve more at the table if necessary.  Garnish with chopped peanuts and lime wedges…

*My optional shrimp addition…I pan seared seasoned shrimp for my salad a rather quick sweet chili and spicy garlic sauce version… heat a pan and add sliced garlic (2 cloves) to the pan to flavor EVOO oil (1 tablespoon) and 1 tablespoon butter, remove the garlic slices.  Season shrimp (about 3/4 of a pound, peeled and deveined) with *optional additional minced garlic, and pinches of Slap Ya Mama seasoning or seafood seasoning, pinches of red pepper flakes.  Sauce in hot oil until the shrimp turns pink add a tablespoon of sweet chili sauce and add chili garlic sauce to taste.

Salad ingredients adapted from Thug Kitchen

1 package maifun (thin rice noodles)
1/2 head of lettuce, chopped (shredded romaine and butter lettuce)
pre-prepared shredded carrots-as much as you want
1/2 English cucumber, cut into matchstick pieces
1 cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 + cup sliced green onions
*Optional snow peas or other Asian vegetables
1/2 cup salted, roasted peanuts
lime wedges for garnish

Toasted Sesame ginger dressing off choice or Thug’s version:

Toasted sesame Dressing
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice (Ponzu sauce works well)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons olive oil

Thoroughly blend and taste, I found that I needed more citrus juice…