Mix up your weeknight with this delicious dinner bowl.

Karen Schroeder-Rankin


Credit: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
25 mins

This recipe combines classic Vietnamese flavors—such as sweet chili sauce, lime juice, and fish sauce—in a multi-faceted noodle bowl that kids and adults alike will slurp down in minutes. These Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Noodle Bowls incorporate diverse flavors and textures in a weeknight-friendly meal that comes together in just 25 minutes. Once you taste this simple seafood supper, it'll be on repeat in your house.

With a coating of cornstarch, brown sugar, pepper, and salt, the shrimp develop delicate, crunchy shells as they cook. Be sure to dry your shrimp off well to help them achieve that coveted dry, crispy crust on the outside. Preheating your skillet until it is very hot also helps your shrimp crisp: The oil should shimmer immediately when it hits the skillet.

Our Test Kitchen has a few tips to help you shop smart for shrimp.
1. Go local. If you can find it, locally caught seafood has a shorter supply chain, supports the community, and tastes great too. To expedite your prep work, purchase fresh shrimp that have been peeled and deveined by your local fish market.
2. Local isn't an option? Try the freezer aisle. Buy frozen (wild, if possible) shrimp. Thaw in the refrigerator when you're ready to cook.
3. Don't buy blocks. Make sure the shrimp are individually frozen (not in a solid block) so you can easily defrost the amount you need.

When paired with the shrimp, rice noodles keep this dish light and fresh. The dressing has addicting sweet, sour, and salty qualities that will keep you coming back for more. Don't skimp on the toppings: carrots, cucumber, lettuce, cilantro, mint, and peanuts crown these stunning, colorful noodle bowls.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together ½ cup water, chili sauce, lime juice, vinegar, and fish sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  • Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

  • Pat shrimp very dry with paper towels. Place cornstarch, brown sugar, pepper, and salt in a large ziplock plastic bag. Seal and shake to combine. Add shrimp; seal and gently shake to coat.

  • Heat a wok or large cast-iron skillet over high until very hot. Add 1 ½ tablespoons oil; swirl to coat wok. Add half of shrimp to hot oil. Cook, separating shrimp with tongs to ensure even browning and turning once, until shrimp are crisp, lightly browned, and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and shrimp. 

  • Divide noodles and shrimp among bowls. Add desired toppings; drizzle evenly with chili sauce mixture.