Seared Prawns with Noodle Salad, Asian Herbs, Vietnamese Dressing

Photo by Jun  Pang

Time is a major constraint when it comes to cooking.  I know my self that it is hard some times with such a busy life style.  I cook as often as I can but usually it is a massive cook up of wet dishes which I freeze and eat later, this enables me to eat home cooked meals at a minimal cost and time.  Apart from that, I cook really easy stuff like this noodle salad.

The beauty of this dish is that you can use prawns as the recipe suggests or you can choose to use marinated and grilled chicken thigh or breast if you have more time or additionally put more vegetables in like soy beans, snow peas etc and even marinated tofu, the choice is endless.  It is easy, the only real cooking element is the blanching of the noodles and the the searing of the prawns.

The dressing can be made in large batches and can be stored in a jar.  The beauty of this dressing is the longer you leave it, the better the flavour gets and you can save the dressing for months ready for use in not just noodle salad, it can be in any salads like stripped cucumbers and mint, or even in just mixed greens.  So many options, so easy to make!

Seared Prawns with Vermicelli Rice Noodles, Asian Herb Salad, Vietnamese Dressing 

Serves 4

800gr Gulf Prawns

1 Carrot – Peel then using peeler, peel long, thick strips

1 Cucumber – Quarter, deseed length ways and slice on angle

250gr Bag of Bean Sprouts

5tbspn Palm Sugar

¼ cup Water

3 Large Red Chillies

4 Garlic Cloves

1/4cup Fish Sauce

500gr packet of Rice Vermicelli Noodles

1 Bunch Coriander – Pick leaves

1 Bunch Mint – Pick Leaves

1 Bunch Laksa Mint – Pick Leaves

3 Spring Onion – Finely sliced and placed into ice water

Sea Salt

White Pepper



  1. Blanch the noodles in boiling hot water for 1 minute, take off the heat and strain with running cold water to cool it down rapidly.  Set aside until needed
  2. For the dressing, place the palm sugar in a pot with the water and slowly bring up the heat just to dissolve the sugar and set aside to cool down
  3. Pound the chilli and garlic in a mortar and pestle to a fine paste.
  4. Add the chilli/garlic paste to the palm sugar solution.
  5. Add the fish sauce to the dressing to taste.  You may need a little more fish sauce or sugar depending on the balance.
  6. For the prawns, heat up a large heavy bottom pan.  Add oil.
  7. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and seal the prawns on one side for 1 minute then turn to the other side and cook for a further one minute.  Leave slightly undercooked.
  8. Mix the prawns with the cooked noodles and use half the dressing to moisten the noodles.
  9. Mix the carrot, cucumber, bean sprouts to the noodles along with the rest of the dressing.
  10. Place the salad into a bowl and garnish with the mixed herbs and the spring onions which would have curled up from sitting in the ice


Photo by Jun Pang

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