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Coconut Shrimp Salad
Coconut Shrimp Salad Photo courtesy of Jake Gartland

We’re always looking for ways to explore new culinary horizons--whether we’re eating Persian burgers or making an Indian-inspired chicken salad. And yet our exposure to Cambodian cooking was nonexistent until we discovered Num Pang. At the New York City sandwich shop, owners Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz serve Cambodian-style sandwiches and sides like this flavorful coconut shrimp salad. In the signature dish, crisp cabbage, sweet coconut flakes and jumbo shrimp mingle with a spicy vinaigrette to create a summer salad made for enjoying on the patio with a chilled beer or crisp white wine.

Makes 4 servings (plus about 1 1/4 cups dressing)

Chive-Apple Cider Vinaigrette

⅓ cup thinly sliced chives

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup apple cider

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil


Coconut Shrimp Salad

3 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce

3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage, preferably a mix of napa and savoy

¾ cup thinly sliced red cabbage

¾ cup soy sprouts

½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

½ cup finely chopped Thai basil

½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves

12 large deveined tail-on cooked shrimp

6 scallions, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

½ cup coconut flakes, toasted

1. Make the vinaigrette: In a blender, combine the chives with the brown sugar, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, black pepper, apple cider, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce; blend until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until combined. Season to taste with salt, then set aside.

2. Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce with the green cabbage, red cabbage, soy sprouts, red bell pepper, basil and cilantro.

3. Pour the reserved dressing over the salad to taste and toss until well combined. Divide the salad among four plates. Top each serving with 3 shrimp. Garnish with the scallions and coconut flakes before serving.

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