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Shrimp and Vegetable Salad with Herb Dressing

Salads, Pickles, and Other Cold Foods

Shrimp and Vegetable Salad with Herb Dressing
Salad ingredients:
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/3 pound thin rice noodles, softened in hot water for fifteen to twenty minutes then drained
3 carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 cups)
2 and 1/2 cups rinsed leafy lettuce, drained and cut into thin julienne shreds
2 and 1/2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped scallions, tops only
Dressing ingredients:
1 and 1/4 teaspoons crushed dried chiles or dried chile flakes
5 limes or 2 and 1/2 lemons, juiced (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup fish sauce, or more to taste
1/3 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons minced garlic
Preparation:
1. Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise along the back.
2. Boil four cups water then add the shrimp. When the water returns to a boil, turn off the heat. Let the shrimp stay in that water only for two minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water. Be sure they are well drained.
3. Boil two quarts of water and add the softened rice stick noodles. Mix them while they cook until just tender, about ten seconds or so, then drain thoroughly and rinse them under cold water and drain again. Cut the noodles into three-inch lengths and arrange on a deep serving platter.
4. Arrange the shrimp in the center with the carrots, lettuce, and bean sprouts in concentric circles around them. Leave some noodles to be the outside concentric circle.
5. For the dressing, soak the chiles in the lime juice for two or three minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved, then pour into a serving bowl. It can be used at room temperature or used when chilled.
6. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro, basil, and scallions on top of the shrimp and vegetables, then spoon the dressing over the salad. If preferred, it can be serve it on the side.

                                                                                                                                                       
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