Asian Grilled Shrimp Salad

This is one of those “well, duh” recipes — simple, but so very easy and satisfying that I’m just going to risk getting “duh”-ed at to remind you that you should make this a few times a month, particularly if you have easy access to good shrimp.  Proof that it’s easy?  We had it as a “working lunch” while in the midst of buttoning the boat up for an approaching storm last summer.  (We were tied up in the slip, but “storms” in New Orleans are something you take seriously no matter what.)  Captain Peter threw the shrimp on the stern rail grill while he adjusted lines and fenders, and I whipped the dressing and salad together while I secured things down below and checked seacocks.  With all squared away, we were able to kick back with a lovely lunch in the cockpit before the winds picked up and the clouds let loose.

Asian Grilled Shrimp Salad

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Good sized bag or bunch bitter salad greens, like arugula or dandelion
1 good-sized red onion
1 small or half a large red bell pepper
4 green onions
1 pound medium-sized shrimp
Sea salt and fresh black pepper

For vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1  tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
A few dashes Tabasco

4 tablespoons sesame seeds, to finish

As with so many recipes down here on the Gulf, you start with unbelievably gorgeous shrimp, fresh-caught that day, from your local market.  Yeah, we pay for it with summer heat, but the livin’ is easy.  You might also notice upon closer look that our shrimp don’t need deveining; I have no idea how they do that.  Start by peeling and deveining (as necessary) your shrimp.  Save those heads and shells for stock!

Give the shrimp a light rub of olive oil as you thread them on skewers and salt and pepper them.  Pass ’em up to the Captain.

A few minutes later he’ll pass ’em back down the companionway, beautifully seared.

Meanwhile, whip up your vinaigrette, starting by peeling and finely mincing your ginger. If you remotely like the taste of ginger, go long here … it’s the kick in the salad and so good with the bitter greens and creamy shrimp.  I used a good inch-and-a-half long piece of a root about the same in diameter and really had closer to 2 tablespoons minced, and zero regrets.  Add the rest of your vinaigrette ingredients and whisk — or shake, if you use a mason jar like I do.

Toast your sesame seeds, if they didn’t come that way — you can do this in a dry frying pan over high heat, or a 350 degree oven.  In either method, watch carefully…they start to turn and are done pretty quickly.

Toss the greens and other vegetables together.

Toss with the vinaigrette and let sit for a few minutes while you admire.

Top with the shrimp and toasted sesame seeds and enjoy, then batten down those hatches!

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