Thai Shrimp Salad With Coconut Dressing

Thai Shrimp Salad with Coconut-Chili-Dressing
Thai Shrimp Salad with Coconut-Chili Dressing. D.Schmidt for
  • 11 mins
  • Prep: 8 mins,
  • Cook: 3 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 3

A special Thai salad that tastes amazing and is simple to make too?  Yes!  And the dressing is one you may want to use on other salads or as a fresh sauce over your summer grilling favorites.  As a bonus, the dressing is oil-free, keeping the fat content to a minimum - and the taste?  Maximum, of course - this is a Thai dish, isn't it?  If you're a chili fan, include a few strips of fresh-cut chili in with your garden greens.  Other Thai additions include fresh chopped coriander or basil and roasted nuts.  We like to add cubes of fresh mango to it as well, but that is strictly optional. Here we've included two different ways to prepare the shrimp depending on how much time you want to spend in the kitchen.  If you prefer a lower fat dish, we suggest you poach the shrimp - this is both healthier and easier; however, if you like the stir-fried taste, you may want to stir-fry it (see both methods below). Pair with a glass of your favorite white wine and ENJOY!

What You'll Need

  • 12 to 15 shrimp (medium raw, shells removed except tails)
  • fresh salad greens, enough for 2 to 3 people
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • For the Toppings: 
  • 1 handful basil (or coriander fresh)
  • Optional: 1 chopped fresh red chili, seeds removed
  • Optional: 1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted nuts (cashews, peanuts, or other of your choice)
  • For the Dressing: 
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat or lite)
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (apple cider or your favorite vinegar)
  • 1 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp. onion (purple, minced)
  • 1/3 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, a dash
  • For Stir-Frying Shrimp
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • For Poaching Shrimp
  • Garnish: a little pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce ​(or more to taste)

How to Make It

  1. First to make the dressing, combine all DRESSING ingredients together in a cup.  Taste-test for salt/flavor, adding more salt until you get a nice tangy flavorful dressing.  Set aside.
  2. Prepare the salad by combining all salad ingredients together in a bowl, except for the toppings (basil or coriander, chili, and nuts).  Plate up the salad dividing into 2 to 3 portions.  Prepare toppings and have them ready to go.
  1. To prepare shrimp (stir-frying method): Heat a frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.  Add oil and swirl around, then add the garlic and onion.  Stir-fry 30 seconds, then add shrimp.  Stir-fry until shrimp turn pink and plump.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with fish sauce, stirring well. Taste-test the shrimp, adding more fish sauce until the desired flavor is reached.  If you happen to over-salt shrimp with too much fish sauce, sprinkle over some fresh lime or lemon juice.  To prepare shrimp by poaching (easy method):  Bring to boil a medium pot of salted water. Dunk in shrimp and cook until pink and plump - this only takes 2 minutes or so.  Drain shrimp well and toss with fish sauce.
  2. Set hot shrimp over prepared portions of salad.  Top with chopped basil and coriander and sprinkle over nuts. Serve with the dressing and ENJOY! 

Another Serving Method: If you'd like to serve your salad already prepared without needing to dress it at the table, toss it in the salad bowl with the dressing, then portion out onto plates and add the cooked shrimp.  Avoid tossing too early, as the dressing will make the greens wilt quite quickly.