Vietnamese-Inspired Shrimp and Cabbage Salad

Recently I was invited by LaFortune Jeannette Djabea, the founder and owner of MOLA Foods, to develop some recipes for a cookbook inspired by her unique and flavorful bottled spice blends. The spice blends, cookbook, and other products are available at the MOLA website.

This salad is just what I’m looking for in these post-holiday days. It’s light and crisp, the opposite of most of what I’ve been eating lately. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, this salad is perfect for warm summer days, as the shrimp cooks quickly without heating up the kitchen. It is just as delicious cold as it is warm, and it is also good the next day. The Vietnamese-Inspired Spice Blend is refreshing, but potent; if you like a bit less spice or heat, feel free to use less of the spice blend in either the shrimp or dressing, or both.

For the shrimp:

  • 12 ounces 26-35 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons MOLA Vietnamese-Inspired Blend
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the salad:

  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons MOLA Vietnamese-Inspired Blend
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the Vietnamese-Inspired Spice Blend and the oil. Add the shrimp, and toss to coat thoroughly with the seasoned oil.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, cilantro leaves, and scallions until mixed.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, spice blend, soy sauce, sesame oil, and vegetable oil until well blended.
  4. Pour the salad dressing over the cabbage mixture, and toss to coat evenly.
  5. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet, in a single layer, and cook just until pink and beginning to curl up. Turn over after 2 minutes, to cook evenly. Remove from the pan to prevent overcooking, and serve over the cabbage salad, with rice or noodles.

This dish can also be served chilled. Dress the salad before you refrigerate it. Refrigerate the cooked shrimp until it’s time to serve.

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