Goi Tom Vietnamese Shrimp Salad Recipe

goi recipe

Goi is a generic term for “salad” in Vietnamese. But typically it does not include lettuce like most traditional western salads. And just like the term “banh,” there are numerous different types of goi using different veggies, for example, goi ngo sen (lotus root), goi bap cai (cabbage), goi buoi (pomelo), goi du du (papaya), and goi bap chuoi (banana flower) to just name a few. Goi can also be name for the type of protein it contains, for example, goi ga (chicken), goi vit (duck), etc. What is almost a constant, however, is the dressing. Most are dressed with the familiar fish sauce based dressing, similar to the nuoc mam cham, but slightly more tart with additional lime.

The salad goi is also different from goi cuon which is the term for spring/summer roll–not sure why, but perhaps there is lettuce and other veggies wrapped inside. What is different about this particular salad we present today is that the veggies are first “brined” so to speak in salt, wilting it, but still leaving a great crunch!

Goi Tom (Vietnamese Shrimp Salad) serves about 4
Printable Recipe

  • 1 bunch of celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced on a diagonal or shredded
  • 1 medium daikon, thinly sliced on diagonal or shredded
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and sliced (optional)
  • 1.5 tbs salt
  • fried shallots
  • roasted peanuts. coarsely crushed
  • 1 package of instant jelly fish
  • chopped cilantro
  • nuoc mam cham but more tart with additional lime
  • muslin cloth
  • 1/2 lb medium shrimp headless shell on and deveined
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 3 ts sugar
  • 1 tbs white or rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs water
  • round shrimp chips – banh phong tom (optional)



In mixing bowl, combine thinly sliced celery, cucumbers, carrots, daikon, and jalapeno with 1.5 tbs salt and mix well. Cover and let it set in the fridge for about 1/2 hr.

In the meantime, poach the shrimp. Andrea at Viet World Kitchen has a quick and tasty way to poach shrimp. In saucepan, combine 1/2 ts salt, 3 ts sugar, 2 tbs water and 1 tbs vinegar. Heat with shrimp until it turns opaque and orange, stirring to cook evenly. Drain and set aside to cool, then peel and set aside. You can split them lengthwise if you like to get the appearance of more shrimp in the salad 🙂 Remove instant jellyfish, rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

By now the veggies will be more translucent in appearance and appear wilted. In colander, rinse off the salt well with cold water. Working in small batches, place the vegges in a muslin cloth and wring out the liquid—flex your muscles and try to get as much of the liquid out. Return the veggies to mixing bowl, add the jelly fish and shrimp. Serve topped with peanuts, fried shallots, chopped cilantro and dress with the more tart nuoc mam cham dressing. Banh phong tom, the round shrimp chips also make a great accompaniment.

Note: “Instant” jelly fish is can be found at most Asian groceries. It’s much easier to work with then the salted ones. If you don’t have muslin cloth, you can just use your hands to wring out veggies.

goi salad 

Crunchy, healthy, and so delicious! This easy goi recipe will be a great change up the next time you’re craving for an Asian salad. 

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24 Responses to “Goi Tom Vietnamese Shrimp Salad Recipe”

  1. 1

    Ninette — October 24, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

    How lovely! You make such awesome food. Can I move next door? 🙂

  2. 2

    Jessica Lee Binder — October 24, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    I feel like I'm learning so much from your posts. I'm even learning some Vietnamese. I'm going to go try to impress my friend Tammy now.

  3. 3

    Connie — October 24, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

    Love all the flavors and textures, what a perfect combination and so refreshing! Will definitely have to try this.

  4. 4

    Ravenous Couple — October 24, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

    Ninette: Right now we don't have a house so it's hard to entertain even though we both want to–but when we do, you definitely welcome anytime you visit socal!

    Jessica: that's such a great complement! this Tammy friend of yours wouldn't happen to write for serious eats as well does she?

    Connie: The textures are a great part of this dish from the squishy jelly fish to the crunch of the veggies!

  5. 5

    French Accent — October 24, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

    As usual, your pictures are gorgeous! This goi is a favorite in my family, so I make it all the time, but I didn't know about "instant jelly fish." Thanks for that helpful hint!

  6. 6

    Ravenous Couple — October 24, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

    French Accent: "Instant jelly fish" is so convenient compared to the salted jelly fish which needs to be soaked for 2-3 hours and rinsed thoroughly. Thanks for stopping by and let us know how it turns out:)

  7. 7

    HoustonWok — October 24, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

    Ahh yes, goi a Vietnamese classic, for some reason with a Banh Phong Tom just adds an extra great fusion to this already lovely dish. Hey are you guys on twitter?

  8. 8

    Ravenous Couple — October 25, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

    HoustonWok: you're absolutely right! Thanks for reminding us about banh phong tom with goi. No, we're not on twitter…

  9. 9

    pigpigscorner — October 25, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

    I like the idea of brining the veg first! Wonderful flavours.

  10. 10

    Cooking-Gallery — October 25, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    This sounds so fresh and yummy…! I am so glad I found your site, since I love Vietnamese cuisine, especially the varieties of soups and dumplings!

  11. 11

    Fresh Local and Best — October 26, 2009 @ 2:07 am

    This is such a wonderfully refreshing dish. I like all the different textures and bright flavors from the vegetables and nuoc nam cham.

  12. 12

    noobcook — October 26, 2009 @ 4:11 am

    lovely close up! Your prawns look so fresh and the salad looks bursting with flavours.

  13. 13

    Ravenous Couple — October 26, 2009 @ 4:26 am

    pigspigscorner: The salt does add an interesting twist go this goi.

    cooking-gallery: Thank you! We hope you enjoy our recipes and visit/comment often!

    Fresh Local and Best: thank you!

    Noobcook: thank you!

  14. 14

    Cô Hai — October 26, 2009 @ 4:37 am

    Em, where did you buy the instant jellyfish ? …Chị live around Little Saigon, but i never see that before in Viet markets ….Thanks in advance .

  15. 15

    Ravenous Couple — October 26, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

    Co Hai: Gosh, we bought it actually bought that here in LA at a small Vietnamese grocery and haven't really looked for it down in Little Saigon. It was pretty cheap too for about 1.50. Next time we go down there we'll look.

  16. 16

    Cô Hai — October 27, 2009 @ 3:14 am

    Thanks em, i'll go and look around other Asian markets .

  17. 17

    Divina Pe — October 28, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

    This shrimp salad sounds really refreshing and so full of flavor.

  18. 18

    Ravenous Couple — October 30, 2009 @ 12:58 am

    Co Hai: Let us know if you have success…i'm sure it's there.

    Divina: vietnamese goi is not your typical salad, but delicious.

  19. 19

    cookingpractice — October 30, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Gosh!! it's been 2 years i havent eaten this one. So yummy and healthy!! i gotta make it this weekend!! thanks for sharing!! 😀

  20. 20

    Ravenous Couple — October 30, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

    cookingpractice: 2 years is way too long! Definitely make goi and blog how it goes!

  21. 21

    sharon — December 29, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

    Hi ravenous couple,
    I'm going to the Asian store tomorrow to buy those ingredients for Goi – is daikon something that is also available?
    And are the shrimps obligatory? The salad I tasted at a friend's house – the friend of the friend who did not want to share the recipe – hardly had any shrimp. Would it affect the taste?

  22. 22

    Some Vegetarian Delights « a VU on Food — November 23, 2011 @ 6:31 am

    […] ‘dome’. It looks gorgeous. She’ll also use green papaya at times. Check out this recipe for Goi Tom or this recipe for green papaya […]

  23. 23

    Hainanese chicken rice & Vietnamese shrimp salad (gỏi tôm) | yours julie — August 27, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    […] Adapted from The Ravenous Couple […]

  24. 24

    Casey — March 29, 2015 @ 10:05 am

    Hello! I’m Vietnamese as well and I *love* your recipes!! They’re so delicious :). I’m trying to make this recipe, nuoc mam dressing, and goi ngo sen, but all the links seem to be broken (says access forbidden)- can you please fix?

    Thanks again for sharing your delicious recipes and for your beautiful site! I love everything about it, especially your posts on Vietnamese food 🙂 please keep it coming! 😉

    Thanks again! 🙂

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