Just thinking about the combination of lime, fish sauce, chili, cilantro and shrimp makes my mouth water. It’s zingy and salty and rich and bright. Yum! Fish sauce isn’t scary (unless you drop the bottle on the rug) and it’s really the secret ingredient here and in so many Southeast Asian recipes, so I urge you to use the full amount. And yes, this calls for a heck of a lot of cilantro, but I hate only using a bit then forgetting the rest of a bunch in the fridge, so the whole bunch goes into the noodles. And I figure if you’re anti-cilantro, you’re likely not making this recipe anyways.
It is, however, worth it to note that this is easy to deconstruct for children and other cilantro-haters: Simply serve the herbs on the side.
- 450g large fresh shell-on shrimp, deveined if you like
- 3 tbsp cup white wine, dry white vermouth or sake
- 250g medium-wide rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
- Zest and juice of 1 large lime
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or mint (or both)
- Combine shrimp with white wine and let marinate at room temperature for 15 min or so. Place noodles in a large metal or glass bowl and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Let stand 5 to 8 min or until tender. Note that rice noodles don't get tender in the same way as regular pasta. They should still have a notable bite. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with oil in a large bowl.
- Stir fish sauce with brown sugar, chili-garlic sauce lime zest and juice in a medium bowl.
- Preheat barbecue to high. Spray with cooking spray. Use tongs to take shrimp out of the marinade and set on the grill. Cook about 2 min per side or until pink and curled. Do not overcook the shrimp, I beg you. Transfer them right away into the fish sauce mixture.
- Toss herbs with noodles then divide among 4 bowls. Top with warm shrimp and sauce mixture. Serve with extra limes if you like.