The noodles called for in this dish--bean thread vermicelli also known as cellophane noodles. You can substitute 3 cups cooked angel hair pasta. Thai fish sauce and chile paste can be found bottled in the Asian food section of your grocery store; lemon grass and chiles will be in the produce section.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon chile paste
2 cups boiling water
3 ounces dried bean thread vermicelli
1/2 pound medium shrimp, cooked and peeled
1/2 cup torn mint leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced peeled fresh lemon grass
1 Thai, hot red, or serrano chile, seeded and chopped
To prepare the dressing, combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, and stir well with a whisk.
To prepare the salad, combine 2 cups boiling water and vermicelli in a bowl; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Cut noodles into three pieces.
Combine noodles, shrimp, and next 4 ingredients (shrimp through chile) in a large bowl. Pour dressing over noodle mixture, tossing gently to coat. Spoon 1 cup noodle salad onto each of 4 lettuce-lined plates. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts.