Gỏi tôm thịt or a traditional Vietnamese summer salad with boiled shrimp and pork is a staple at my family’s parties. Whenever there is a BBQ, you can guarantee some type of salad will be served and it is usually gỏi tôm thịt. It is not hard to see why this dish is popular in the summer. It is refreshing with numerous vegetables in a sweet and sour vinaigrette. My mom has many tricks to make this version even more flavorable. It is all about the preparation method and making sure you mix all the ingredients well without over mixing. I like to mix this gỏi by hand to ensure the vegetables are not bruised. This recipe serves about 4 people and is rated easy.
½ lb of pork shoulder (you can also substitute with pork ear which has a chewier and firmer texture)
12 large tiger shrimp with the shell on (approx. 1 lb of tiger shrimp)
1 large carrot
1 large cucumber
1/2 cup of Thai Basil
¼ cup of Vietnamese coriander
3 cloves of garlic
¼ of a yellow onion
Olive oil or any other oil that you want to use for salad dressing
Distrilled white vinegar
⅓ cup of fried shallots
⅓ cup of crushed roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon of Thai red chili
(excludes the oyster sauce in the picture as we did not end up using it in this particular recipe)
Prepare the ingredients:
Thinly slice ¼ of a yellow onion and soak the slices in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of cold water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Set aside. This will remove the bite and brings out the sweetness of the onion.
Boil 6 cups of water in a pot with 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt.
Once the water comes to a boil, add the pork shoulder and let it boil for 20-25 minutes.
While the pork is cooking, shred 1 carrot and soak the shredded carrots in a bowl of ice water with 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt. This will keep the carrots juicy and crunchy.
Hollow out the seeds of 1 large cucumber and thinly slice it on a diagonal, lengthwise. Julienne the slices so that it mirrors the shredded carrots. Soak the cucumber in a bowl of ice water with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of sugar.
Remove the lotus roots from the container and rinse thoroughly to get rid of any brine. Cut each lotus root into quarters (lengthwise) and then again in half. Soak the lotus roots in another bowl of ice water. This will continue to remove any remaining brine and to keep them fresh.
At this time, the pork should be cooked (20-25 minutes). The pork shoulder will be cooked once you poke through the thickest part of the meat with a fork and the liquid runs clear. Take the pork shoulder out and let it rest.
Using the same pot and water, add the shrimp. The shrimp will boil for approximately 2 minutes. Once the shrimp is cooked, strain and set aside.
Allow the shrimp to cool for a few minutes. Remove the shells when the shrimp is still warm. Cooking the shrimp in their shell allow them to retain more flavor and also keep the flesh firm.
Split the shrimp in half lengthwise. Remove the intestines and rinse in a bowl of water to get rid of any remaining impurities.
Thinly sliced the pork, against the grain, and again into small strips.
Drain and squeeze the water out of the carrots, cucumbers and lotus roots and set aside.
Roughly chop ¼ cup of Vietnamese coriander, ½ cup of basil leaves and 1 Thai chili and set aside.
Strain the onion that was soaked in vinegar earlier and set aside.
You are ready to start mixing the salad.
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar or equivalent in lime juice
4 tablespoons of cold water
Mix until the sugar dissolves
Add 3 cloves of garlic minced, approximately 1 tablespoon.
Add 1 teaspoon of sriracha and 1 teaspoon of olive oil or any other oil.
Mix the items:
In a large bowl, add the cucumber and carrots with 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Mix to incorporate the ingredients. It is best to mix it with your hands so you do not bruise the vegetables.
Add the lotus roots and another 1 tablespoon of sauce. Mix.
Add the pork, shrimp and 2 tablespoons of sauce and lightly mix.
Add the onion and mix.
Add ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Add the basil and coriander and mix lightly.
Plate the salad and add peanuts and shallots at the top of the salad.
The leftover sauce can be served on the side if you want more sauce.
This salad can last in the fridge for a few days in the crisper section.