Steam asparagus, covered, 1 1/2 minutes. Set aside.
Cook noodles in boiling water 1 1/2 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain well.
Combine lime juice and next 6 ingredients (juice through garlic) in a large bowl, and stir well with a whisk. Add asparagus, cooked noodles, shrimp, and next 6 ingredients (shrimp through mint), and toss well. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
Note: Cherry tomatoes, steamed sliced carrots, broccoli florets, sugar snap peas, or green beans may be substituted for asparagus.
Most any cool rice-noodle salad is great for us in the summer. We've made this off-and-on since it was in the magazine, and here's what we've changed. Thin-slice the herbs rather than chopping. Add 1/3c basil, if you have it. Have everything prepped & at room temp, keeping the five components separate til serving (noodles, dressing, shrimp, greens, nuts). Rather than toss all together, put noodles in serving bowls then top with portions of greens, shrimp, nuts (as if you were serving VN bun). Then put dressing on top.
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