Place the cilantro, garlic and chile in a mortar and grind to a paste, or use a blender. Transfer this mixture to a saucepan, and add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat to a boil, remove from the heat and cool. Set aside.
Cut the soaked noodles into 3-inch lengths. Mix the noodles, prawns, onions and celery together in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss gently to coat. Add the tomato, and shrimps and gently toss again.
Serve on lettuce leaves with cilantro leaves garnishing the top.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved