The bowl of green peppers was sitting pretty on the kitchen counter. The harvest from the jalapeño plant was a trophy of the success of my garden. Those peppers quietly called out to be used. Morning brought the surprise of a color change. One of them had transformed from green to red. The now colorful trophy became a sign to put the peppers to use. An overfilled recipe binder was pulled from the pantry. A few pages into the salad section is where the selection was found. Thai Noodle Salad With Shrimp was soon prepared and there was one less jalapeño in the bowl.
The lime cilantro vinaigrette is what makes this noodle salad. It has brightness of citrus, pepper heat, honey sweetness, and a touch of nutty peanut flavor. A whirl in the blender puts it all together. You can make it in advance for the flavors to marry and develop further. I plan to double or triple the amount next time. It’s needed if you have leftovers. Pasta soaks up the vinaigrette and sticks together. A little re-hydrating splash and toss is all it needs.
Thai Noodle Salad With Shrimp is the second recipe with my harvest. The first is spicy grilled corn salad. I have plans for kicking up the heat in a few more recipes. Red jalapeños would also kick up the color in a dish too. Experimentation and adaption in cooking is so much fun. How often do you change up a recipe? Is it to take advantage of the season’s produce or to use up food in the pantry? Either way, it’s how new recipes are developed and sometimes turn into all-time favorites. So go have fun in your kitchen and get creative!
- 8 ounces uncooked vermicelli pasta
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1½ teaspoons sesame oil
- ½ cup matchstick carrots (or 2 grated carrots)
- ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
- ¾ to 1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse.
- Add cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, fish sauce, sriracha, peanut butter, honey, and sesame oil to a blender. Blend until smooth to make a vinaigrette.
- Add the cooked pasta, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, shrimp, and vinaigrette to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top. Serve immediately.
Recipe inspired by one in the October 2006 edition of Southern Living magazine.