It’s no secret that I love chicken salad. Love, love, love. My favorite thing is it’s versatility and how many different types of ingredients you can bring together to make a totally unique recipe every time. Well, I’m taking full advantage of that liberty for this recipe post. See, I’ve spent the month of February avoiding meat, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to enjoy chicken-salad-like goodness. To make a meat-free-friendly version, I’m swapping out the chicken completely in this recipe for Spicy Cilantro Shrimp Salad.
To be honest, shrimp salad is even easier than chicken salad. Shrimp cooks so quickly! Tossed with a little salt, pepper and olive oil and roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes is all it takes to get perfectly cooked shrimp.
That’s the exact right amount of time you need to mix together the sauce ingredients – mayo, sriracha, cumin, rice vinegar, cilantro and green onion. All pantry staples in my house, honestly, so all the easier!
I am also a huge fan of adding nuts or seeds to my chicken, er, shrimp salads. They add the perfect textural contrast needed in every dish. So I also take a few minutes to toast some almonds to add to the mix.
As I was mixing everything together, I just kept thinking of tacos. Surely it was the cilantro and Sriracha! Since I alway have taco shells in the fridge, I decided to take this meal to the next level. I quickly fried up a corn tortilla shell in a little bit of vegetable oil to make a perfectly golden, crispy tostada to serve my shrimp salad on. Who needs bread when you can have crispy tortillas? I mean, right?!?
The avocado, spinach and tostada are totally optional, but highly recommended for this yummy shrimp salad. And just for the record, this recipe works great with chicken, too. You know, if you’re not going meat-free at this moment!
A spicy take on shrimp salad, perfect for serving on a bed of baby spinach or crispy corn tortillas, or both!
1/3 cup sliced or crushed almonds
1 Pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined (without tails is easiest)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1–2 tablespoons sriracha
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
For serving, optional:
Crispy Corn Tortillas
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the almonds in a small saute pan and set over medium heat. Toast until fragrant and golden, about 3-5 minutes. Shaking the pan every so often to prevent burning. Once done, transfer to a clean plate and let cool.
Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. If your shrimp have tails, remove them. Arrange shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
Set shrimp in preheated oven and bake until pink, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temp.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the mayo, sriracha, vinegar, chopped cilantro, green onions and ground and cumin. Place in the refrigerator until shrimp and almonds are both cool.
Once shrimp is cool to the touch, chop into small bite-sized pieces. Fold into the mayo mixture along with the toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with baby spinach and avocado on a crispy corn tortilla, if desired.