Spicy Shrimp and Cellophane-Noodle Salad

This combination of zingy herbs, cool noodles, grilled shrimp and spicy dressing makes a fabulous, easy dish. Plus, it can largely be made ahead of time, then put together just before serving. Squid or chicken are delicious substitutes for the shrimp.


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  • Servings: 6 first-course servings

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  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 red Thai chile, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, shelled, or small squid bodies, halved lengthwise
  • Two 2-ounce packages dried cellophane noodles
  • Boiling water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • Lime wedges, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a bowl, combine the lime juice with the fish sauce, sugar, oil, chile, lime leaf and oyster sauce. In another bowl, toss the shrimp with half of the chile-lime dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large heatproof bowl, cover the cellophane noodles with warm water. Let stand until pliable, 5 minutes.

  3. Light a grill. Drain the cellophane noodles. Using scissors, cut the noodles into 2-inch lengths and return them to the bowl. Cover the noodles with the boiling water and let stand until they are softened, about 1 minute. Drain well.

  4. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and grill over high heat until just tender, about 1 minute per side. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the cellophane noodles, scallions, mint, cilantro, basil and the remaining dressing. Mound the salad on plates or a platter. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve with lime wedges.

Suggested Pairing

The lime-inflected fruit of many New Zealand Rieslings echoes the lime juice in this spicy, lightly sweet Asian salad. Pour a slightly off-dry bottling.

Contributed By Photo © Kieran Scott Published September 2006

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