Cooking: Thai-Style Spring Roll Salad with Red Curry Shrimp

This recipe is one of our all-time favorite summer recipes. We've enjoyed it as written with shrimp, but have also done it with chicken and fish (ahi or tilapia work best). It's light, fresh, and has a great kick of spice. Yes, there are a lot of ingredients, and quite a few steps. I promise you that you that they're worth it

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon red curry paste *

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 pinch salt

Cooking oil, for sautéing shrimp

3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fresh gingerroot, minced

2 teaspoons fish sauce *

2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce *

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ounces dry rice noodles *

3 cups iceberg lettuce

1/2 cup carrot, julienned

1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and sliced into half-moons

1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

Chopped peanuts (optional)

Wonton wrapper, sliced into strips and fried (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

MARINATING THE SHRIMP: Mix the curry paste, sugar, oil and salt in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and stir to coat. Marinate shrimp for 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the components of the dish.

VINAIGRETTE: Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients except for the oil in a mixing bowl. Using a whisk, gradually mix in the oil. Set aside.

NOODLES: Bring a pan of water to boiling and remove from heat. Soak the dry noodles in the boiling water until soft (approximately 3-4 minutes). Drain softened noodles and rinse, making sure that noodles are not clumped together.

VEGETABLES: If salad vegetables are not already prepared and chopped, do so now. Do not toss them together at this point, but keep them separate.

COOKING THE SHRIMP: Heat cooking oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat, Sauté marinated shrimp (cooking both sides) until firm, approximately 5 minutes.

FRIED WONTON STRIPS: If desired, slice a small stack of wonton wrappers into thin strips. Fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain and set aside. Purchased chow mein noodles can be added in place of the crispy wonton strips for crunch.

ASSEMBLY: Divide salad components evenly between two plates. Top with cooked shrimp and optional garnishes. Toss with the vinaigrette to taste.

NOTES:

Everything indicated with an asterisk (*) can be found in most grocery stores, but if you cant find them, check your local Asian market. I have been able to find them in Tom Thumb/Safeway stores.

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