Sesame Shrimp Salad
May 14, 2008
So I wasn’t lying about this whole grilling-only thing. And, with this recipe, I’ve even managed to turn Salad Monday into a no-indoor-cooking-necessary event. It was the kind of meal that requires no more than opening the fridge and firing up the grill. I’d like to say it was the kind of meal that signaled summer, but at this point summer cannot merely be signaled. It must be cajoled, urged, exhorted, demanded. Whatever it takes, I’ll do it. And I hope this meal did its part.
This meal also dovetailed nicely with the shrimp kick I’ve been on lately. There was this salad, of course. And then there’s last night’s dinner, the glow of which I’m still basking in just a little bit, because it involved a new restaurant, some of the best company around and absolutely perfect, succulent prawns. And we’ll be grilling up some more shrimp on Sunday for a post-graduation BBQ (stay tuned!).
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe.)
Before this story becomes altogether too reminiscent of a scene out of Forrest Gump, though, I’d better just stick with the shrimp dish at hand: this Sesame Shrimp Salad. In short, it’s everything I look for in a great salad: a fusion of textures (tender baby greens; crisp cabbage, carrots and snap peas; meaty shrimp; crunchy sesame seeds), interesting flavors and pretty colors. And, Ms. Mother Nature: if you’ll promise me that summer will come soon, I’ll even make a plate for you; I think you’ll love it.
Sesame Shrimp Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon water
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee), divided
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 pound)
5 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage
1 1/2 cups mixed baby greens
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in one inch segments
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Combine sugar, 2 tablespoons juice, 1 tablespoon water, and garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 40 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Cool. Stir in 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
2. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, marmalade, and 1 teaspoon oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add shrimp to bowl; toss to coat. Marinate shrimp in refrigerator 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove shrimp from bowl, reserving marinade. Thread 3 shrimp onto each of 8 (8-inch) wooden skewers.
3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.* Add shrimp skewers and reserved marinade to pan; cook 3 1/2 minutes or until shrimp is done and glazed, turning once.
4. Combine cabbage and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle fish sauce mixture over cabbage mixture; toss well to coat. Arrange 2 cups cabbage mixture onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with 2 skewers.
*As mentioned in the post, we cooked the shrimp on the grill. If doing so, soak your wooden skewers in water first.