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Thai Shrimp Salad
A refreshing and delicious salad

1 lb large shrimp
1 stick lemon grass* (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 lemon
3 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs fish sauce
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into very thin strips
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
3 Tbs fresh mint, roughly chopped
3 Tbs basil, roughly chopped
3 Tbs cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For garnish:
lettuce leaves
orange slices
lime wedges

Peel and devein the shrimp and set aside. Smash the optional lemon grass with the flat of a large knife and cut into 1-inch (2 cm) pieces. Combine the water and lemon grass in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Squeeze the 1/2 lemon juice into the water and add the rind. Boil for 2 minutes and add the shrimp. Boil the shrimp for 2 minutes and drain immediately. Discard the lemon grass and lemon rind. Combine the shrimp, lime juice, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, red pepper strips, sliced onion, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine the ingredients. Serve hot, chilled, or at room temperature on a bed of lettuce leaves and garnish with cilantro, orange slices, and lime wedges. Serves 4 to 6.

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

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