Whisk together all marinade ingredients (except shrimp) until sugar is dissolved. Combine with shrimp in a zip top bag. Refrigerate for 1 hour, tossing ingredients halfway through.
Whisk together all sauce ingredients until sugar is dissolved, and set aside.
To prepare shallots, in a small skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Toss in shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, until they are crispy and golden brown. Strain shallots over a small bowl to reserve both the shallots and the oil. Set aside.
Prepare rice vermicelli according to package directions. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss noodles with the reserved shallot oil. Toss in half the lettuce, bean sprouts, and carrots, and all of the cucumbers.
Shrimp can either be cooked on the grill or on a grill pan. If grilling, I recommend skewering the shrimp. On the grill pan, be sure to coat in a cooking spray first, as the sugar in the marinade will cause the shrimp to stick. Cook shrimp for a couple minutes per side until opaque and caramelized.
To serve, add a quarter of the noodle mixture to four bowls. Divide the sauce, shrimp, fried shallots, mint and peanuts among each bowl. Serve the remaining lettuce, bean sprouts and carrots on the side. Enjoy!
If you can’t find Thai chili, substitute with serrano. A jalapeno will work in a pinch, too.
Boston lettuce or some other leafy green lettuce would also work well in this dish.
If you can’t find fresh bean sprouts in your produce section, you can usually find canned in the asian aisle. Just be sure to drain and pat dry before using.
If using small shrimp, cut the marinating time down to 30-40 minutes.