Saturday, August 18, 2012

Asian Shrimp Cucumber Salad Recipe

Cucumber salad with sesame ginger lime dressing is one of my favorite salads, and today I dressed it up with shrimp for Kim's bridal shower. I've seen variations of this 'asian' salad all over the internet, but I prefer mine the best. It has just the right balance of sweet, sour, salty, and the 'umami' that imparts something extra special to this refreshing summer salad. The recipe below makes enough for four (1/2 cup) servings of salad.

A really delicious salad

One hothouse cucumber
One large knob of ginger (about thumb-sized), ground into a paste. (I use a mortar and pestle)
One clove garlic, finely minced
Juice from one lime
2 T apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg's organic raw unfiltered ACV)
1 T coconut palm sugar. This is delicious sugar from the sap of coconut palm flower buds.
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup cooked shrimp (optional)

The sliced cucumber awaits its ginger sesame lime dressing. 

  1. Use a fork to rake lines down the length of the cucumber. (when sliced, looks prettier).
  2. Slice the cucumber in half, length-wise. Then slice each halve into thin slices. Place in bowl.
  3. Into a smaller bowl, place the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut palm sugar, salt, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well.
  4. Pour the dressing over the sliced cucumber, add shrimp and sesame seeds. Toss to coat the cucumber and shrimp evenly with the dressing.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning to suit your tastes.
  6. Serve immediately, or keep covered in refrigerator for up to a day before serving. 
The coconut palm sugar can be substituted with regular sugar. You may omit the fish sauce and use 1/4 tsp more salt, or you can also substitute the fish sauce with soy sauce. Rice vinegar or white vinegar can be used in place of apple cider vinegar. I prefer cooking the shrimp myself rather than using the ready-cooked shrimp. I marinate about 1 1/2 cup of raw shrimp in 1/4 tsp salt, dash white pepper, one clove garlic (minced), then quick fry in 2 T peanut oil. 

Where to obtain ingredients? I am able to buy most of what I need at the Strip District in Pittsburgh - I use natural ingredients, with no MSG or preservatives, in my cooking. 

What's your favorite cucumber salad recipe? How did you like mine? Would love to hear from you!

xo Gracie 

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