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The Lighter Side

No Frying, No Fooling

September 11, 2002|DONNA DEANE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A salad like this could be a lot heavier, but I've kept it light by using a small amount of oil in the dressing and noodles that aren't deep-fried. The crisp lettuce and fresh vegetables add texture, while cooked shrimp makes this a substantial salad indeed.

If you prefer, you can substitute lobster or crab meat. For even more flavor, punch up the wasabi--make the dressing as hot and spicy as you'd like.

Yakisoba noodles, usually sold in refrigerated packets of three, can be found at well-stocked supermarkets and at Asian markets. Wasabi and mirin also can be found in these stores.

Japanese Shrimp and Noodle Salad

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided

1/4 cup water

2 (5.6-ounce) packets fresh yakisoba noodles

1/2 head iceberg lettuce

1/2 Japanese cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced

1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 carrot, shredded

1 cup pea pods cut lengthwise into strips

1 tomato, cut into thin slices, then in halves

1/2 pound cooked shrimp, peeled

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons mirin

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste, or to taste

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced ginger root

Salt

Cracked pepper

Toast the sesame seeds in a small nonstick skillet until lightly browned, about 1 minute, watching carefully so they don't burn. Remove them from the skillet, placing on a paper towel to cool.

Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and the water in a skillet to a simmer. Add the noodles (discard the seasoning packets) and cover loosely to steam the noodles, about 1 minute. Uncover and stir the noodles, spreading them around the pan until they have separated and are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces to measure 4 cups and place in a large bowl. Stir in the cucumber, celery, carrot, pea pods and tomato. Toss in the noodles, shrimp and sesame seeds.

For the salad dressing, combine the rice vinegar, the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce, wasabi, garlic and ginger.

Pour over the greens and noodles and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper to taste.

4 servings. Each serving: 232 calories; 967 mg sodium; 111 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 31 grams carbohydrates; 19 grams protein; 3.21 grams fiber.

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