Consider this a deconstructed spring roll. If you like fresh rice paper spring rolls, then you’ll love this salad. All the goodness stuffed in a Thai or Vietnamese roll – rice noodles, shrimp, veggies, fresh herbs and chiles – is jumbled together in a big bowl of salad. The result? Great flavor, minus the labor, and a perfect meal for a warm evening. The sauce is the magic touch that pulls this colorful dish together. It has all of the right ingredients in my opinion: ginger, garlic, sriracha, lime and peanut butter. The trick – which I discovered on this blog and slightly adapted - is blitzing everything together in a food processor (including the lime sections!) to form a thick potent paste. Brilliant. I’ll be coming back to this recipe over and again during the hot summer months ahead.
Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup grated peeled ginger with juices
1 lime, peel and pith removed, quartered
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup grapeseed oil, or more to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces rice noodles, cooked per manufacturer’s instructions, room temperature
4 green onion, ends trimmed, sliced on the diagonal
2 carrots, cut in matchsticks
1/2 English cucumber, seeded, cut in matchsticks
2 cups Napa cabbage, leaves torn in bite-size pieces
1 cup shredded green curly kale (optional)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 red jalapano or serrano chile pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup fresh coriander sprigs, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
Prepare the sauce:
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. If too thick, add more oil to desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl.
Prepare the salad:
Heat oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp in one layer. Lightly season with salt. Cook until pink and just cooked through, turning once, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Place all of the remaining ingredients except the shrimp in a large bowl. Add half of the sauce and toss to combine. Add more sauce to taste. Divide among serving plates. Top with shrimp, extra mint, extra cilantro and peanuts. Serve with additional sauce on the side.