RECIPE: Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Salad - Vietnamese Style


I want to incorporate more of my favorite recipes into my blog so I will be doing that today! Today's post features this salad recipe my mom and I made awhile back for part of our Christmas dinner meal. We do the usual 'American' dishes (mashed potatoes, turkey, roast, stuffing, etc.) but we always add a little extra something special to the mix! This recipe is a Spaghetti Squash Salad with shrimp and a Vietnamese fish sauce style dressing. If you're a fan of Vietnamese food, check out the recipe after the jump!

Ingredients for Salad
1 Whole Spaghetti Squash
1/2 of an English Cucumber*
Handful of Thai/Red Basil*
Handful of Cilantro*
1 Lb of wild shrimp

1/2 cup Fish Sauce (add more or less for personal taste preference)
2 tablespoons Sugar
1-2 Limes
1/2 cup to 1 cup of Water
1 Red Thai chili pepper

*indicated raw ingredients


For the shrimp:
I recommend de-vaining the shrimp with the shell on so when you steam them to cook they don't shrink too much in size. After cleaning the shrimp, steam cook them until they turn orange in color. After they are cooked, let them cool down. Then you can shell them and butterfly them in half.

For the salad:
Cut the spaghetti squash in half and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it cool until you are able to handle the squash. You will then be able to seed out the squash with a spoon and notice the seeds are loosened up and easy to dispose. After the seeds are gone, spoon to scoop out the squash. You will notice the spaghetti like strings coming loose. If you need to, a fork will help loosen the strings up as well. Place aside in a bowl.

Julienne the cucumber and roughly chop the red basil and cilantro.

For the dressing:
In a small pot, add fish sauce, water and sugar over low heat. Stir to make sure sugar is fully dissolved. You can use this time to see if you need more or less of any ingredient, there's not really a precise measurement to this recipe; a lot of it was just by taste. Remove from heat and add the juice of 1 lime. Chop the red chili pepper and add it to the sauce. Again, this is all on personal taste preference so add a little at a time to find the balance you prefer.

In a large bowl, toss all salad ingredients together: squash, cucumbers, herbs and shrimp. Drizzle the dressing into the bowl a little at a time and toss as you go. I would recommend keeping a few slices of shrimp and some cilantro to the side for an added garnish on top and voila, you're done!

I prefer this dish cold so I would recommend chilling it in the fridge an hour before serving. Keep it light on the dressing as you toss since other guests may want more or less. Place the remaining dressing in a bowl along the salad. You can even serve the salad without adding any dressing at all so people have full control of their dressing portion. And enjoy!

Readers, do you like Vietnamese food? What are your favorite Vietnamese dishes? Let me know! 


  1. Definitely trying that! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  2. You're welcome! If you ever try it out, be sure to let me know how it turns out!


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