Friday, August 8, 2008

Chilled Shrimp, Cucumber and Noodle Salad

Japanese shrimp, cucumber and noodle saladJapanese shrimp, cucumber and noodle salad, originally uploaded by beFOODled.

This noodle salad is another recipe from my favourite Japanese cookbook. I made it earlier this week for dinner. It's really light and refreshing, and the dressing tastes fantastic. If you keep a big bag of shrimp in the freezer and some classic Japanese pantry ingredients on hand (like those needed for this dressing), then you just have to remember to buy cucumbers and green onions to make this.

Chilled Prawn, Cucumber and Noodle Salad
serves two
recipe adapted from Jane Lawson's Yoshoku

12 cooked large shrimp, peeled
2 Lebanese (short) cucumbers
1 Tbsp dried wakame pieces (a kind of seaweed)
2 handfuls of somen noodles, each the diameter of a quarter
3 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Japanese seven-spice mix (togarashi)

1/2 tsp dashi granules (a stock made from fish and seaweed)
1 Tbsp hot water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup mirin
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
a dollop of a sesame-based dressing like Wafu (or sesame oil)
2 tsp grated ginger and its juice (optional)

Cut the shrimp in half lengthways and set aside in the fridge. Halve the cucumbers, scrape the seeds out with a spoon, and slice into thin half moons. Put in a colander in the sink and sprinkle over with salt. Let rest for 10 minutes, then rinse and squeeze out the water. Set aside in the fridge. Soak the wakame in a cup of water until they have expanded, about five minutes. Drain and chill.

Make the dressing by dissolving the dashi in the hot water in the bottom of a big mixing bowl. Add the rest of the liquids and stir to combine.

Cook the somen noodles by dropping them into a pot of boiling water for two minutes. Drain and cool the noodles in a colander under cold running tap water.

Mix all the ingredients together in the dressing and save some spring onion for garnish. Serve cold with a sprinkling of seven-spice mix.


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