Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vietnamese Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

Another Vietnamese-inspired dish that is being written about completely out of season. But just think what you can do with it next year when the veggies are fresh and you want something light but packed with flavor!

Quinoa, by the way, is one of my favorite grains - it cooks very easily and is apparently incredibly healthy for you, but most importantly, I love the texture and taste it adds - a sort of nutty, lightly popping / crunching sensation between the teeth.

Again, any in-season veggies that you would have in a salad would work below, so just use it as a guideline - the most important components not to forget are the dressing and quinoa. The vegetables and proteins can all be swapped out for alternatives.

Vietnamese Shrimp and Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Serious Eats


For the dressing:
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more if desired

For the salad:
1/2 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 cup quinoa, rinsed (or pre-washed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin bite-sized strips
1 carrot, peeled and shredded

1 courgette, sliced thinly
1 avocado, diced
1 small cucumber, diced
 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander


Add quinoa, salt and 1-2/3 cups water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool.

In the meantime, make the dressing by combining the lime juice, Asian fish sauce, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add shrimp to the dressing and let marinate until ready to assemble the salad.

Once quinoa is cool, add red bell pepper, carrot, courgette, avocado, and cucumber to the bowl. Right before serving, add the dressing, shrimp and coriander and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, sugar or crushed red pepper flakes if necessary. Serve cold.

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