Inspired by the flavors of Southeast Asia, GZ makes his take on Vietnamese bun with rice vermicelli, grilled soy-lime shrimp and julienned carrots and daikon. In place of the usual tangy fish sauce dressing, he tops the noodle bowl with a richer peanut sauce. Store-bought peanut butter is a shortcut for the traditional whole roasted peanuts and palm sugar in the satay-style sauce. To add a fragrant citrus note, he adds a dab of lemongrass paste from the tube. This versatile sauce pairs well with chicken and pork, as well as shrimp, and is delicious mixed into the noodles.
To make the sauce: Combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, chile sauce, lime juice, vinegar, lemongrass paste, fish sauce and black pepper. Season with a pinch of salt. Add water to thin as needed. Whisk to combine and set aside.
For the noodles: Heat a griddle pan on medium-high heat or preheat a broiler to high. Skewer 3 shrimp with two parallel skewers to make 4 skewers with 3 shrimp each. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the soy with the lime juice and zest; reserve half in a separate small bowl. Brush or drizzle one of the portions of soy-lime over the shrimp. Cook on the griddle until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Brush the shrimp with the remaining soy-lime. Add a touch of olive oil to the shrimp after flipping to avoid sticking.
Toss the noodles in a bowl with the sesame oil and the black and white sesame seeds. Arrange the rice noodles at the bottom of a serving bowl. Drizzle some of the peanut sauce on top. Top with the carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, daikon and scallions. Add the shrimp skewers to the bowl. Serve warm with a lime wedge and extra peanut sauce on the side.
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