Sunday, August 24, 2014

How to Make Spicy Asian Shrimp Salad

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The sweet spicy dressing sets off the succulent shrimp. This dish pulls together fast if you use pre-cooked shrimp. Try those plastic boxes of organic baby greens rather than bagged salad. It's more expensive than a head of lettuce but cheaper than bagged. And for some reason the boxed salad greens stay fresher longer than the bagged lettuce, even after you open the box. Okay so here we go on our Asian journey.

Combine 1 part rice vinegar with 1 part oil and 1 part freshly squeezed orange juice and the grated rind of that orange. Add no more than 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil to a half cup of the dressing or the flavor will overpower the dish.

Throw in some grated ginger and garlic. Add a chopped jalapeno pepper and sweeten to taste. You could use brown sugar or honey. If you don't have jalapenos, use cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, hot sauce or chili oil. Go easy on the spicy seasonings. You could always add more if you want to bump up the heat but it's difficult to remove the little pieces of jalapeno if the dressing is too hot. Mix well. A few dashes of soy sauce finishes off the dressing.

Toss together one cup of the lettuce with another cup of your choice of chopped vegetables for each serving. Scallions, shredded carrots, water chestnuts, frozen peas and cucumbers are all good choices. Don't worry about cooking the peas. They'll defrost by the time you're ready to serve the salad.
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Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing for each serving of salad and toss well. Plate up the salad. Top with the cooked shrimp. Garnish with slivered almonds, crunchy rice noodles and a few slices of fresh oranges. Drizzle a few more tablespoons of dressing over the shrimp.

The next time you're grilling, grill some extra shrimp basted with the salad dressing, put in the freezer and you're good to go with this salad at the last minute.

That's it. If you want to make the salad more substantial. Boil some angel hair pasta. Immerse in ice water and drain. Toss the pasta with some of the dressing. Put the pasta on top of the salad and top with shrimp and garnishes.

Continue the Asian theme with dessert. Almond cookies and lime sherbert works well or sprinkle a scoop of vanilla ice cream with shredded coconut.

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