This sprightly Thai shrimp salad is presented in the bowl of a bent spoon at Zola. Use 8 conventional or fancy spoons just big enough to hold one bite. The colorful tidbit lives up to its French translation of an amuse-bouche (pronounced ah-mooze boosh) and does precisely what it should: amuse the mouth.
Sambal oelek is an Indonesian paste of chili peppers, brown sugar and salt that is available at most Indonesian or Asian markets and some grocery stores.
Yield: Makes amuse-bouche servings
- For the vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced scallions
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup soya or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon chili paste, such as sambal oelek
- For the salad
- 8 small peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 4-by-4-inch wonton wrappers, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1/3 cup shredded cucumber
- 1/3 cup shredded red cabbage
- Black sesame seeds
- 8 cilantro leaves, for garnish
For the vinaigrette: Combine the first 10 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook just until the mixture starts to bubble, then immediately remove from the heat. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate. When the mixture has cooled, whisk in the soya or canola oil and the chili paste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
For the salad: Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes, then drain and cool. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the wonton strips on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned. Set aside.
Combine the cucumber, red cabbage, carrot and vinaigrette in a medium bowl; cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
To assemble: Divide among the 8 spoons. Place 1 cooked shrimp on top of each portion of salad. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and a splash of the residual vinaigrette that has collected in the salad bowl.
Just before serving, garnish with a crisp wonton strip and a cilantro leaf.
Adapted from chef Frank Morales at Zola.
Tested by Leigh Lambert.
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