Vietnamese Lemongrass Shrimp Bowl
For the rice:
- 5 cups water
- 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
For the pickled vegetables:
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 1/2 daikon radish, julienned
- 1 teaspoon agave
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
For the sauce
- 3 tablespoons grated palm sugar or coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce or coconut aminos
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 fresno or jalapeno pepper, finely diced
- 1 – 2 (depending on your heat level) Thai chili pepper, thinly sliced
- juice from 1 medium lime
For the shrimp:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce or coconut aminos
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass, pale tender center part only
- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves washed, dried and torn
- 1 cup torn cilantro, leaves and stems
- 1 cup torn mint leaves
- 1 cup torn basil leaves
- 4 scallions, slivered
- 4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
- bean sprouts, if desired
- To cook the rice, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepot. Place the rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. Stir into the boiling water and lower the temperature as needed to keep a low level boil going. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Drain and set aside (you can spread it out on a sheet tray or plate and transfer to the fridge to cool quickly for later use).
- To make the pickled vegetables, put everything in a mixing bowl and combine well. Allow to stand at room temperature, mixing every 5 minutes or so, while you prepare everything else.
- To make the sauce, stir all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust with additional lime juice, sugar or fish sauce as needed. It should be a tangy, slightly sweet and salty sauce. Set aside.
- To cook the shrimp, heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until shimmering and hot. Place the shrimp in the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp has begun to turn pink and opaque. Lower the heat to medium and add the fish sauce, garlic and lemongrass. Cook until aromatic and the shrimp is just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- To build the bowls begin with ¼ cup of rice in the bottom of a bowl. Top with the shrimp and 2 teaspoons of the sauce. Garnish with the pickled vegetables, torn lettuce, a mix of herbs (don’t skimp on these, they add a ton of flavor!), scallions, peanuts and bean sprouts. Enjoy with more sauce as desired.