Weeknight Shorts: Thai Shrimp Salad

Summer means some of the world's finest produce at your fingertips and, if you're like me, that means a desire to have main dish salads regularly. But with such an abundance of fresh vegetables around, why stick with lettuce when you can build stunning salads like this one inspired by the flavors of Thailand?

Packed with everything from cucumbers and mint to carrots and peppers, this spicy salad boasts tender shrimp and crunch peanuts as well. And the thing that brings it all together is the complex dressing that gets used while cooking the shrimp as well as seasoning the entire salad.

As is often the case with salads, you can tweak the offerings. I like to select a wide range of colors, textures, and flavors to keep things interesting. I even combine chopped and sliced items with spiralized items to add textural and visual interest to the meal. If you want to make this a bit ahead of time, keep the dressing separate from the vegetables until just before you are ready to serve it. No one loves a soggy salad!

You can serve eggrolls and Thai iced tea or lemonade with this salad if you'd like. You can also just dig in and lick out the bowls! Enjoy summer and its bounty while it's here!

Thai Shrimp Salad

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 2 T. tahini
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • ½ pound uncooked shrimp
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3 Tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • ¼ c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 red sweet mini peppers
  • 1 cucumber, spiralized
  • 2 carrots, spiralized
  • 3 T. sliced green onions
  • 2 T. chopped peanuts

In a small, resealable container, combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, lime juice, fish sauce, tahini, and maple syrup. Shake well to combine.

Add half of the dressing to the shrimp and toss to coat. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the shrimp until fully cooked and pink. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, mint, and cilantro. Shake the remaining dressing and pour it on top. Toss gently. Combine the red onion, mini peppers, cucumber, and carrot. Divide between 2-3 bowls. Arrange the shrimp and herbs over the top and sprinkle each bowl with green onions and peanuts before serving.

  • Yields: 2-3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes