Vietnamese Cucumber Shrimp Salad
The rather attractive salad pictured above was one of the Vietnamese appetizer dishes offered at Wei’s Noodle House, an Asian Fusion Restaurant in Ottawa. It actually contained more lettuce than cucumber, as it turned out, but the ingredients were fresh, the dressing subtle, and the overall effect very pleasant.
When I ordered the Shrimp and Cucumber Salad offered on the appetizer menu, I was rather expecting something along the lines of Shrimp served over a base of salted Cucumber, rather in the style of a Japanese Cucumber Salad. In the event, however, the Cucumber was actually a minor ingredient, consisting of thin sticks that may, or may not, have been lightly salted before inclusion. Lettuce dominated, and there was also shredded carrot and finely sliced scallion to round out the vegetable ingredients.
The Shrimp were not especially abundant, as such, but at just a few bucks for the plate I wasn’t really expecting much more than the four or five I was served. They were tasty though, and the whole affair was given a nice textural contrast, and an additional flavor boost with a topping of crushed peanuts and toasted Sesame Seeds.
What was rather curious was the little bowl of Nuoc Cham on the side. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be poured over the salad as there was a dressing of sorts on it already. I couldn’t tell what the dressing might be other than including oil, something slightly sweet, and a faint hint of fish sauce and Coriander Leaf (Cilantro). I don’t usually like the latter, but it was very subtle here and not unpleasant. In any event, this little salad had a very bright fresh taste, a decent combination of textures, and was very tasty overall.