When you’re craving something light, vibrant, and packed with flavor, this Vietnamese shrimp recipe (Goi Tom) is it! My take on Vietnamese shrimp salad features tons of fresh vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts and plenty of fresh herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro. Then, it’s drizzled with a slightly sweet and tart dressing… it basically tastes like fresh spring rolls! Not only is this Vietnamese salad delicious, but it’s also paleo, gluten-free, low carb, and EASY!
The base of the salad is basically a cabbage slaw with a touch of sweetness and savoriness from the fish sauce. DON’T BE SCARED. Fish sauce is the bee’s knees when it comes to adding some umami flavor to dishes, and it creates the perfect vinaigrette along with some wine vinegar, a little coconut sugar, lime juice, garlic, ginger, green onions, and chili flakes.
My favorite part, though, is a handful of fresh herbs that add a bright and vibrant flavor to the dish. Don’t even think about skipping the herbs! 😉
Some of you may not eat bean sprouts since they are technically in the legume family (legumes aren’t paleo), so feel free to skip them. I don’t mind them in small amounts. They add crunch, so you could always add a bit of thinly sliced cucumber or celery to the salad as a swap.
What Is Goi Tom?
Goi tom is a Vietnamese salad. Goi in Vietnamese means salad!
The difference between this Vietnamese salad and traditional salads is that you use sliced cabbage instead of regular lettuce. It’s crunchy, crisp, and fresh, but made with different ingredients.
Goi Tom traditionally has a dressing that is made with fish sauce and a few other ingredients.
How To Make Vietnamese Salad
Skip the classic version and try this flavorful Vietnamese cabbage salad instead. Because this easy Vietnamese recipe can be thrown together in a few minutes, it makes sense for those days when you are short on time.
Let’s get started with these easy-to-follow steps for how to make goi tom:
- Fry shallots. Saute the shallot in coconut oil. When it’s golden and crispy, drain on paper towel for a few minutes.
- Prepare salad dressing. Whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, coconut sugar, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Easy!
- Assemble the salad. Put cabbage, sprouts, carrots, mint, basil, cilantro, shrimp and fried shallots in a bowl, then drizzle with Vietnamese salad dressing.
Your traditional Vietnamese salad is ready!
Can I Add Other Ingredients To This Vietnamese Shrimp Salad?
Yes, you can easily add in other ingredients to this Vietnamese shrimp recipe – which is one of the reasons that this healthy shrimp salad recipe is so fun, you can always change it up! Try some of these ideas:
- Purple Cabbage – While purple cabbage doesn’t change the flavor of the Vietnamese shrimp recipe much, it certainly adds some vibrant color. Make sure to slice the cabbage as thin as possible.
- Red Onion – Add some extra flavor and color with some red onion. It pairs nicely in the salad with shrimp.
- Bell Pepper – Dice up the bell pepper into small pieces. You can use any color you like, but red adds some sweetness to the Goi Tom salad.
- Chicken or Beef – If you don’t love shrimp and prefer chicken or beef, feel free to make this swap.
How Do You Store This Vietnamese Shrimp Salad?
Store Vietnamese shrimp salad in the refrigerator. Be sure to store the dressing separately, so that it doesn’t get soggy.
This Vietnamese shrimp recipe will last around 3-4 days in the fridge.
More Paleo Salad Recipes
If you love this Vietnamese shrimp salad, you might want to try some of my other paleo salad recipes as well. Here are a few favorites:
- Grilled Watermelon Salmon Salad – If you’ve never grilled fruit, this is the one to try. It gives watermelon a major upgrade.
- Easy Pan Fried Sardine Salad – This hearty salad is packed with nutritious sardines, and might just convert you into a sardine lover!
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad – Naturally sweet, filling and easy!
Vietnamese Shrimp Salad Recipe (Goi Tom):
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Vietnamese Shrimp Salad Recipe (Goi Tom)
This vibrant and fresh Vietnamese shrimp recipe is packed with crunchy vegetables and tons of fresh herbs. Vietnamese shrimp salad (called Goi Tom) is delicious & EASY!
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- 2 cups Shredded cabbage (or slaw mix with carrots then omit carrots)
- 1/4 cup Bean sprouts (optional, skip for strict paleo)
- 1/4 cup Carrots (shredded)
- 2 tablespoons Fresh mint (minced)
- 2 tablespoons Thai basil (minced)
- 2 tablespoons Fresh cilantro (minced)
- 1 large Shallot (thinly sliced)
- Coconut oil (for frying shallots)
- 1/2 lb Shrimp (cooked and chilled)
- 2 tablespoons Fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- 1 tablespoon White wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Coconut sugar
- 2 medium Green onions (minced)
- 1 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 1-inch piece Fresh ginger (minced)
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
Heat about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over high heat in a small skillet. Once hot fry the sliced shallot for about 1 minute until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- In a large bowl toss together the cabbage, sprouts, carrots, mint, basil, cilantro, shrimp, and fried shallot.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. Divide between 4 plates and serve.
Serving Size: 1 cup, or 1/4 entire recipe
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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I’ll try it but you never mention shrimp, how much shrimp, how to marinade the shrimp, how to cook the shrimp or when to add the shrimp.
I make this kind of salad a lot, it is very versatile. Today I had kale, red bell pepper and cucumber on hand, snipped mint and basil from my garden, poached some chicken and whipped up some dressing. I do prefer rice vinegar to wine, but i guess that isn’t paleo. I also very much do chopped peanuts on top, to me it makes it.