This one took a lot of work, but not because it was difficult, but because it required a LOT of steps. It is definitely worth it though!

Serves 8
Ingredients
Shrimp:
1/3 cup Thai fish sauce (such as Three Crabs)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
32 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Sauce:
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 9 medium limes)
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce (such as Three Crabs)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red Thai chiles, seeded and minced

Shallot oil:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots

Remaining ingredients:
8 ounces rice vermicelli (banh hoai or bun giang tay)
3 1/2 cups shredded Boston lettuce, divided
2 cups fresh bean sprouts, divided
1 3/4 cups shredded carrot, divided
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Preparation

To prepare shrimp, combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove shrimp from bag; discard marinade.

To prepare sauce, combine the lime juice and next 5 ingredients (through chiles), stirring with a whisk until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

To prepare shallot oil, heat 1/4 cup oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Strain the shallot mixture through a sieve over a bowl. Reserve oil. Set fried shallots aside.

To prepare remaining ingredients, place rice vermicelli in a large bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes. Drain. Combine the noodles, shallot oil, 1 3/4 cups lettuce, 1 cup sprouts, 1 cup carrot, and 3/4 cup cucumber, tossing well.

To cook shrimp, prepare the grill to medium-high heat.

Place shrimp on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Place 3/4 cup noodle mixture in each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 4 shrimp, about 3 tablespoons of sauce, and about 1 tablespoon fried shallots. Serve with remaining lettuce, bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber, mint, and peanuts.

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