Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thai Shrimp and Noodle Salad

I'm itching for spring, but that awful wench Mother Nature keeps dealing me a smackdown. Temperatures in Minnesota were starting to flirt with the 40's and then we get 10 inches of snow to start off the week. Depressing.

While March 1 is the start of Meteorological Spring, it also marks the start of Culinary Spring for me. I turn my attention from the stews and roasts of winter to lighter fare. And nothing says spring to me like Thai food. Lime juice and cilantro and we're talking spring.

This spectacular salad was created by Christine Hanna. She is a food writer, cooking teacher and president of Hanna Winery. I have modified her recipe to serve four adults.

For Prawns and Noodles:
1 stalk of lemongrass, white parts only
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb shrimp (21-25 shrimp per pound)
1 (5-oz) package bean thread (cellophane) noodles

For Dressing:
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

For Garnish:
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus sprigs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
4 spring onions, chopped


  1. Peel outer layer of lemongrass and discard. Cut inner layer into very fine crosswise slices and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In same bowl, combine lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, lime leaf, salt, and pepper. Add prawns and toss to coat. Chill for 1 hour.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium-high, cook prawns for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Put noodles in a bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. Make dressing: In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients.
  6. Add noodles to dressing and toss, then add prawns. Divide among serving plates, then garnish with chopped cilantro, mint, spring onions, and cilantro sprigs.

Wine pairing: Hanna Sauvignon Blanc

Christine Hanna

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