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This past weekend was absolutely beautiful in Duluth; the sun has never felt so good! With that said, I didn't want to spend all my time in the kitchen slaving away over the stove. I wanted something without having to use a heating element for too long -rice noodles only need a few minutes to cook- that's also refreshing and light. After digging through my pantry and fridge, it came to me, shrimp noodle salad!
There are many ways to prepare this recipe with ease and little effort, such as using cooked, cleaned shrimp, pre-mixed salad greens, or using a salad dressing from your fridge. Except in this recipe, the vinaigrette is a sinch and doesn't require much effort.
Make sure to devein the shrimpy's if it has not been done. You might think, "Devein...what does that mean?" Well, the vein in question is actually the digestive tract of the shrimp, so you can image why you'd want to remove it. Simply take a pairing knife and run it along the backside of the shrimp in the center. You'll see the black vein (you may be able to see it in the image on the left) just beneath the surface. Pull the vein out and toss. The finished product looks like the one on the left. Much cleaner and tastier.
Recipe serves 2, easily can be doubled or multiplied
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
12 large-jumbo sized shrimp*
1/2 cup cucumbers, aka cukes, medium-diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, julienne cut (thin strips)
2 oz. rice noodles, cooked according to package
4 cups mixed greens, cut to bite-size
S & P to taste
2 tbsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted for more flavor
3 drops hot chili oil, or more
*Note: Shrimp come in a many non-standardized sizes, meaning what one store labels "large" might be labeled "jumbo" at another store. Therefore, it's best to go by count. If you read further, I've put together a chart on count/pound which may be more useful. A typical serving/meal is anywhere from 2-4 oz. Do the math to plan your meal if you want to get real precise.
1. Juice 1/2 lime and combine with half the cilantro and cooked, deveined shrimp. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes - 1 hour (if you're patient); however, you're welcome to skip the marinade for sake of time.
2. Combine all salad dressing ingredients in a jar with a closed lid & shake vigorously.
3. Slice remaining half of lime into wedges for garnish - extra squeeze of lime is always nice -
4. Toss cucumbers, bell pepper, noodles, greens and shrimp with vinaigrette; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
General chart showing counts per pound, where the "U" means "under" or "less than"
chart is from cookingfishmonger.com