It was a key wicket after Vijay had looked threatening in reaching his seventh half-century with 53 off 88 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Johnson struck Virat Kohli on his helmet with a bouncer next ball but the India captain was OK to continue after a few moments of concern from the fielders. Australia batsman Phillip Hughes was fatally struck by a bouncer late last month.
India got to lunch at 119 for two with Cheteshwar Pujara on 34 and Kohli not out three, still 398 in arrears, after Michael Clarke declared Australia’s first innings at their overnight 517 for seven.
Pujara and Vijay posted India’s highest second-wicket stand at the Adelaide Oval, surpassing the modest 71 put on by Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in 2007.
Vijay gave a tough chance on 11 when he edged Johnson through the slips cordon and Mitchell Marsh got fingertips to it diving across in front of Steve Smith.
Vijay hit the first six of the Test when he advanced down the wicket and slammed off-spinner Nathan Lyon over the long-on ropes and followed up with a four next ball in the 20th over.
He smashed another towering six in Lyon’s next over to keep the Indian scoring rate humming along at more than four an over.
Clarke, who made one sprawling save in the outfield despite his stiff back, used five bowlers in the extended opening session.
Shikhar Dhawan looked dangerous early, taking 14 off one Johnson over, before Ryan Harris bowled him off an inside edge for 25 off 24 balls in the eighth over.