Chopped Thai Shrimp Salad with Garlic Lime Dressing

This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units). It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews. Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.

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Serves: 4-6 servings (I got five huge meal-sized salads)


For the Garlic Lime Dressing:

½ cup olive oil (or other oil)
¼ cup white wine vinegar
juice of two limes (lemons also work)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic
1 serrano pepper, keeping the ribs and seeds if you like spicy
1 cup packed fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, green onions, parsley)
½ teaspoon salt

For the Salad

oil for the pan
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 lb. shrimp
4 cups spinach or other greens
4 large carrots, peeled
2 cups edamame, shelled and cooked
¾ cup cashews
fresh wonton wrappers + oil for frying if you want to REALLY take it over the top


Dressing: Pulse all the ingredients except the herbs together in a food processor or blender. Add the herbs and pulse until they are just green specks (not green puree) in the dressing. Add salt, taste, and adjust. Set aside.
Shrimp: Heat a little bit of oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Toss in the garlic and the serrano pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant, being careful not to burn or brown the garlic. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with a little salt, and turn up the heat a little bit – enough to cook the shrimp but not so much that you burn the garlic. Saute for a few minutes – when the shrimp is no longer translucent, remove from the pan and set aside until cool enough to handle. Roughly chop the shrimp.
Veggies: Chop the veggies very finely – I do this by just running each ingredient (cashews first, then edamame, carrots last) through the food processor a bit. It gets everything to have that nice “chopped salad” texture without taking a ton of time.
Serve: Toss the chopped veggies, chopped shrimp, greens, and dressing together. Top with wonton strips if you have them (see notes).

Crispy Wonton Strips: heat oil in a heavy duty frying pan over medium low heat, about 1½ inches deep. Cut fresh wonton wrappers into strips. When the oil is hot (it’s ready when a drop of water sizzles across the top), add the wonton strips and gently flip every 30 seconds to 1 minute until very light golden brown. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt. And now – good luck not eating every last one.