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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Goi Cu Sen Non Tom Thit (Vietnamese Young Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork)

I finally finished adding in all the thumbnail images to my Vietnamese Recipes with Pictures index. That's nearly 150 Vietnamese recipes by yours truly! It's not quite confetti, but its vivid colors felt celebratory, so I thought I'd finally blog my recipe for Goi Cu Sen Non Tom Thit (Vietnamese Young Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork).

Goi Cu Sen Non Tom Thit (Vietnamese Young Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork) 1

Goi Cu Sen Non Tom Thit (Vietnamese Young Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork)

For 2 to 4 servings, you'll need:

1 15-oz jar young lotus roots in brine
1/4 lb pork, preferably a butt or shoulder portion with skin-on
About a dozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 or 3 bell peppers in different colors, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) or cilantro
Hanh Dam (Vietnamese Vinegared Onions)

Substitute chicken for the pork and shrimp.
Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots)

For the dressing:
Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce)

Make the Hanh Dam (Vietnamese Vinegared Onions) and set aside.

Peel and devein the shrimp. Boil the pork and shrimp. Slice pork thinly into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces. Slice the shrimp in half.

I sometimes buy a 1 or 2 pound portion of pork butt or shoulder, with skin attached, and then cut it into quarters. Bag separately and store in the freezer for just such instances as this salad when I don't need a whole lot of meat. Since you're going to all that trouble, you can boil a full portion of the pork and make Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Salad/Spring/Summer Rolls).

Young lotus root can be found in the canned fruits and vegetable aisle of most Asian grocery stores. If your grocery store has a large fresh pickled section, you can also find them in the big bins. You can leave them whole or slice on the diagonal. Wash and lightly squeeze out excess liquid before using. These are slightly different from mature lotus roots, which can be made into Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup).

Goi Cu Sen Non Tom Thit (Vietnamese Young Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork) 2

Thinly slice bell peppers. I used green, red, and orange bell peppers for color.

Roughly chop about 1/2 cup of Vietnamese coriander leaves.

Add everything into a bowl and toss with the Vietnamese dipping sauce. Let the salad chill in the fridge for about 15 to 30 minutes to let the dressing marinate.

Goi Cu Sen Non Tom Thit (Vietnamese Young Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork) 3

Serve with toasted banh trang me (Vietnamese sesame rice paper) or Banh Phong Tom (Vietnamese Shrimp Crackers).


My other Vietnamese salads:
Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp)
Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky)
Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Salad)
Goi Ga Bap Cai (Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad)
Goi Mit Non Tom Thit Heo (Vietnamese Green Jackfruit Salad with Pork and Shrimp)
Goi Xoai Xanh (Vietnamese Green Mango Salad)

1 year ago today, Bonneville Lock and Dam - Cascade Locks - Oregon.
2 years ago today, even old canes still have life.
3 years ago today, Pad See-Ew (Thai Rice Noodles with Soy Sauce, Broccoli, Chicken, and Eggs).


  1. This is one of my favorite recipes from you. It's simple, but I love cu sen! :D Keep up the great work!

  2. Hi this is my 1st time. I love Vietnamese food, especially pho. I just cook it recently, I really love it. I will stopping by more often to check out what you are cooking..

  3. What beautiful colors in this dish! I love lotus root, both for their unusual appearance and their taste.

  4. This dish is like an artists palette. A perhaps foolish question, but sometimes that's the only way we learn. Is Vietnamese coriander really different from cilantro, or are they really the same. I ask because Thai basil is different than the variety used for Italian cooking. It's an inquiring minds thing :-).

  5. Oh, what a lovely colourful dish! I must make it some day - except I don't have any way of getting hold of young brined lotus roots like that so it looks like I'm going to have to make my own. Is the brine just salty, or salty-sourish-sweet? (Having never had them, I'm going to have to recreate them from description!)

    I also tried out your gobo root fries - -LOVE- them. They were my 4am in the morning snack (breakfast?) when I felt kind of hungry...and they're gluten-free, WONDERFULLY so. I didn't even need dipping sauce! (They did, however, suffer from a bit too much batter at the end so they turned into something resembling a very large gobo Japanese pancake...)

    Thank you again for such lovely recipes!

  6. I think this is a lotus stem, not young root.

    As alway, beautiful pics!

    1. No it is lotus rootlets, the stems dont have honeycomb effect inside. I love the stems too

  7. Diana,
    I love it too. I've been meaning to try a lotus fritter recipe but haven't gotten around to it.

    First pho cooking experience was good? It's not as hard as people think.

    Cookin' Canuck,
    Yes, I love how pretty it is too. And the texture and crunch is nice.

    I think Vietnamese coriander and cilantro don't taste anything alike. :P But, I know a lot of Vietnamese herbs are difficult for some people to obtain. I give cilantro as an alternative that most people can find wherever they are.

    It's just a light salt brine for storage, but if you have access to fresh young lotus root, I would just trying boiling them.

    Oh man! My gobo fries are suuuch an old recipe! Thanks for trying them. :P

    I saw pictures of a lotus stem and it looked rather fibrous, like the inside of taro stem? Not the perfect hollow stars of the root. But it seems like online a lot of people refer to lotus root as lotus stem, even when it's the mature lotus root. The jar says young lotus root and that's how I've always thought of this dish.

  8. I bought a bottle of the young lotus roots a while back and haven't got around to using it. Now I have your recipe. I'll be making it soon. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Had to mention, in case it becomes relevant - I tweaked the gobo fries when I made them again just now - I seasoned the rice flour batter with a bit of salt and pepper. They came out -wonderfully-! Since I don't eat them with dipping sauce, this gives them just that little bit of salty to offset the lovely gobo root aftertaste - a bit like artichokes? In Cantonese it's called what translates out as 'golden', like licorice bark when you chew it.

    I now have two jars of kimchi fermenting in the fridge. :) I probably will share some with my parents too so they can munch at will!

  10. KC,
    Lemme know how it goes!

    You know, the comparison to artichokes is way better than my wood comparison. :P I did sort of like them, will just have to find time to make them again.


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