One of my favorite Vietnamese salads is Lotus Stem Salad (Goi Ngo Sen). It is normally the a starter for everyday meals and special occasions such as birthdays or weddings. Here is one of my favorite recipes sure to have you coming back for seconds.
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1-2 chili and finely chopped
- 1 15-oz. jar lotus stems or roots, drained and rinsed
- 1 6-oz. piece cooked pork loin, cut into 1 1⁄2" x 1⁄4" strips
- 1⁄3 lb. cooked medium shrimp (about 20 shrimp), peeled, tails on
- 2⁄3 cup Pickled Carrot and Daikon
- 10 jarred pickled shallots, rinsed and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1⁄4 cup roughly chopped rau răm (Vietnamese hot mints) or cilantro leaves
- 1⁄3 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
- Salt, to taste
- Make the dressing: Combine fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chili in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set dressing aside.
- For the salad: Halve lotus stems crosswise and quarter them lengthwise, transfer to a large bowl, and cover with water; soak for 2 minutes.
- Drain lotus stems and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add pork, shrimp, pickled carrot and daikon, pickled shallots, rau ram or cilantro, and peanuts.
- Toss salad with the reserved dressing and season with salt and more fish sauce and lime juice, if you like.
- Transfer salad to a platter, leaving excess dressing in the bowl.
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