Vietnamese Slaw with Lemongrass Shrimp & Peanuts

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

An easy weeknight meal that draws on vibrant Vietnamese flavors, this fresh-tasting dish is also great served cold or at room temperature the next day. Store the undressed slaw, dressing and cooked shrimp skewers separately in plastic bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator, then simply toss them together for an easy lunch the next day. You will need 6 to 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 1 hour, to cook the shrimp.


  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) medium shrimp
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz./39 g) roasted peanuts, chopped


Cut off the fattest, whitest part of the lemongrass stalk (about 3 to 4 inches/7.5 to 10 cm long). Unwrap the outer layer from the stalks and finely chop the smooth and shiny parts. In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine the lemongrass, soy sauce, canola oil, honey, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Peel and devein the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and jalapeño. In a large salad bowl, toss together the cabbages, carrots, cilantro and mint. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat all the ingredients well. Let stand at room temperature, stirring a few times, while you cook the shrimp.

Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and thread 3 to 5 shrimp onto each skewer. Warm a grill pan or frying pan over high heat. Coat with nonstick cooking spray and add the shrimp. Cook until bright pink and opaque throughout, about 3 minutes per side.

Mound the slaw on a platter, top with the skewers and sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma School Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen 2015)

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