If you like spring rolls, then you will love this salad. All of the goodness typically stuffed into a rice paper-wrapped Thai or Vietnamese roll -- rice noodles, shrimp, crisp veggies, fresh herbs and peppers -- is jumbled together in a big bowl of salad. The result? You might be tempted to call it a deconstructed spring roll, with all the great flavor minus the labor of actually making a roll.
Once the ingredients are prepped, it's quick to assemble for a light and healthy dinner. The dressing is the magic touch that pulls this colorful dish together. It has the ingredients you'll usually find in an Asian dipping sauce and then some: ginger, garlic, Sriracha, lime and peanut butter. The trick is to blitz all the dressing ingredients in a food processor (including the lime sections) to form a thick and potent sauce. In fact, you might want to make extra dressing to keep on hand -- it's a great dipping sauce for crudites or tossed with cooked Asian noodles.
Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad With Peanut Sauce
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1/2 cup canola oil
1 lime, peel and pith removed, quartered
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons coarsely grated peeled ginger with juices
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons runny honey
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large (18/20) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
4 ounces rice noodles, cooked per manufacturer's instructions, room temperature
3 scallions, ends trimmed, white and green parts sliced on the diagonal
1 large carrot, cut in matchsticks
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and cut in matchsticks
2 cups coarsely chopped Napa cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 red jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
Place all the dressing ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add the shrimp in one layer; sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and lightly season with salt. Cook until the shrimp are pink on both sides and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer to a plate.
Place the rice noodles, scallions, carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, bean sprouts, snap peas, jalapeno, mint and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and half the dressing and toss to combine.
Divide the salad among 4 plates. Scatter the peanuts over the salads and garnish with additional mint and cilantro. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
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