Marinated Shrimp and Cucumber Salad
This light and refreshing recipe by JBF Award winner Alex Guarnaschelli pairs marinated cucumbers with ginger shrimp and creamy avocado. At her JBF Taste America cooking demo in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Guarnaschelli remarked, "I love a microplane for ginger. You get pure pulp and leave the stringy stuff behind."
- 2 hothouse cucumbers, washed, dried, and ends trimmed
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons plus an extra splash rice wine vinegar
- 2 pounds (approximately 12 to 15) peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 avocado, halved and pitted
- Pinch coarse sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Marinate the cucumbers: place the cucumbers on a flat surface and cut them into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season them lightly on both sides with salt. Toss them in a bowl with the rice wine vinegar and refrigerate.
Cook the shrimp and assemble the salad: add the shrimp to a bowl with a good sprinkle of kosher salt, the olive oil, and the grated ginger. Toss to coat the shrimp. On a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack, arrange the shrimp (with space between each) in a single layer. Place the tray in the oven and roast the shrimp for 8 to 10 minutes. They should feel fairly firm and be pink in color. Remove from the oven and immediately toss them into the bowl with the cucumbers. Make sure you pour any cooking liquids from the shrimp into the bowl as well.
Use a tablespoon to scoop out the avocado into small chunks. Season them with the coarse salt and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Toss them in bowl with the shrimp and cucumbers. Serve immediately.
A note on cucumber shopping: hothouse (or English) cucumbers are sold both waxed and unwaxed. The unwaxed ones usually come tightly wrapped in plastic. Go for those. Check for any discoloration (like inconsistent light color streaks) or soft spots. These cucumbers also have very little seeds and they don’t need to be scooped out. Keeping the center of the cucumber makes them a juicier choice than slicing cucumbers. Yes, hothouse cucumbers are more expensive but they are worth it for their taste and texture!