Asian Cucumber Salad with Shrimp

Cucumbers offer a fresh and delicious flavor and texture and somehow always remind me of summer.  I know that is kind of unusual since cucumbers of one of those things that can be found year round.

I love Asian food.  This simple Asian cucumber salad is full of flavor.  The sesame oil, vinegar, sugar and ginger create a wonderful flavor.  The cucumbers, sweet pepper and onion deliver a very nice texture…and the shrimp are simply indulgent.  You could substitute sea scallops for the shrimp is you have a desire to try something different.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds cucumber
  • 1 small red pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar or 1/2 cup white vinegar diluted with 1/4 cup water
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sesame tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
  • 1 medium to large Vidalia onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped), optional
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds.

Directions

  • Slice cucumbers thinly.  (With thick cucumbers, peel, halve lengthwise, and scoop out seeds before slicing.) Dice red pepper.
  • Mix vinegar, ginger, sugar and salt, and toss with cucumbers and pepper. Let stand for 30 to 60 minutes. (Refrigerate if marinating for more than an hour in warm weather.)
  • Just before serving, drain excess liquid.
  • Put 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet, heat over medium-high heat. Wait a minute, then add shrimp. Sear for about 2 minutes a side, then remove to a plate.
  • Add remaining oil and onions. Cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir onions into cucumbers, top with shrimp, garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

 

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