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May 19, 2009
After writing about the scallion pancakes I managed to make despite messing up the timing, there were requests for a sauce to go with the pancakes, as well as for the recipe for the Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad we'd also had that night.
First for the sauce: the recipe didn't suggest a specific sauce, so Joshua, my cooking companion that night, made a dipping sauce of soy, a splash of sesame oil, sliced scallions and a tiny squeeze of sriracha, which is not at all typical, I'm sure, but we're both of the belief that almost everything tastes better with sriracha.
As for the salad, like the pancakes, the recipe for this salad comes from Nina Simonds and her wonderful book, A Spoonful of Ginger. And, like the pancakes, the salad was terrific. A mix of beautifully arranged rice noodles, quickly boiled shrimp, grated carrots, shredded lettuce, bean sprouts and bunches of herbs, it was all moistened with a sweet and sour dressing that I'd be happy to have with just about anything. (The peanuts in the picture were our own add-in.)
SHRIMP AND VEGETABLE SALAD WITH A FRESH HERB DRESSING
Adapted from A Spoonful of Ginger by Nina Simonds
Makes 6 servings
For the salad:
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/3 pound thin rice stick noodles, softened in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes and drained
3 carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 cups leafy lettuce, rinsed, drained and cut into thin julienne shreds
2 1/2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped scallion greens
For the dressing:
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed dried chiles or dried chile flakes
Juice of 5 limes or 2 1/2 lemons (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup fish sauce, or more to taste
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
Using a sharp knife, slice the shrimp in half lengthwise along the back. Heat 4 cups water in a saucepan until boiling, add the shrimp and cook about 1 1/2 minutes, after the water has reached a boil. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain again.
In a large stockpot, heat 2 quarts water until boiling. Add the softened rice stick noodles and swirl in the hot water. Cook for 10 seconds, or until just tender. Drain thoroughly in a colander and rinse under cold water. Arrange the noodles on a deep serving platter.
Arrange the shrimp in the center of the platter with the carrots, lettuce and bean sprouts in concentric circles around the shrimp.
In a medium bowl, soak the crushed red chiles or dried chile flakes in the lime juice for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the dressing into a serving bowl.
Sprinkle the chopped cilantro, basil and scallions on top of the shrimp and vegetables. Spoon the dressing over the salad or serve it on the side at room temperature or chilled.
A couple of weeks ago it was biscuits, which I'd created for Parade magazine, and today it's raisin scones, the simplest kind, the kind you drop from a spoon - no patting, no rolling, no cutting, no problem.
When I wrote about the biscuits, several of you mentioned their kissing-cousin relationship to scones, pointing out that they're almost the same, but that scones get an egg and biscuits don't, and you were right. While there are subtle differences in the amounts of sugar or milk, what's remarkable is that two things made from essentially the same ingredients can turn out to be so different in texture. Where the hallmark of biscuits is their flakiness, scones get high marks for being cakey.
If you're new to scones, start right here - these are the easiest scones, bar none. As I often say about making biscuits and scones, the key is benign neglect: don't be too thorough. Use your fingertips (or a pastry blender) to cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients and don't get hung up on getting anything even: you want to have clumps and flakes of butter and flour. And go easy when you mix in the milk and egg.
Click here for a quick rundown on making biscuits - which is the same rundown you need for scones.
And to get my recipe for drop-them-from-a-spoon Raisin Scones, go over to the Parade website.
Tags: A Spoonful of Ginger
, Nina Simonds
, Parade magazine
, Raisin Scones
, Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad
Salads & Sides
| May 19, 2009 6:54 AM
The salad looks fabulous! Thanks for posting the recipe.
I also agree that things taste better with a bit of sriracha.
| May 19, 2009 9:56 AM
White on Rice Couple recently posted a recipe for homemade sriracha. It looks good. Diane isn't from Thailand, but she is from Vietnam, so I would trust her with this one.
| May 19, 2009 10:17 AM
very nice blog, very good post, saludos. Lucas from Hostel Colonial, Buenos Aires, Argentina, http://hostelbuenosaires.blogspot.com
Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf
| May 19, 2009 2:14 PM
Oooh, scones ! I haven't visited the scone folder in my baking files in a while - thanks for bringing them to the forefront ! That said, I think the files will still stay where they are. I've got the perfect recipe right here !
| May 20, 2009 12:01 AM
these look great dorie. I don't know what to try first. these or the biscuits!
| May 20, 2009 1:03 AM
Siracha is my secret sauce! Nice article in NYT on Siracha. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/dining/20united.html?pagewanted=2
| May 20, 2009 1:54 AM
Wonderful! Scones are one of my favourite quick recipes to make...and I agree, spoon dropped scones are the way to go :) Thank you for sharing, as always!
The Antiques Diva
| May 20, 2009 5:28 AM
You've made my day!! I have a dozen deadlines (okay only 2, but as I'm avoiding them they feel like a dozen) and your recipe has provided the perfect excuse for procrastination... I'm off to make scones!!!
Laura [What I Like]
| May 20, 2009 9:42 AM
Thank you for this recipe...perfect for the summery weather we're having here in New York! Until reading that NYT article this morning I had no idea that Sriracha was an American concoction...it is no less delicious for it though.
| May 20, 2009 12:22 PM
Thanks for sharing the recipes. The salad is perfect for summer and I am always up for a good scone.
| May 20, 2009 12:57 PM
Fabulous! I absolutely love this kind of salad and I just added A Spoonful of Ginger to my Amazon shopping list. Now off to check out those pancakes.
| May 20, 2009 3:13 PM
Thank you so much for posting these recipes! The salad and scones look fantastic and delicious. Can't wait to try them both.
Hawaii Daily Photo
| May 20, 2009 9:16 PM
That salad looks delicious and I have always loved tea time. Now I will have to try this raisin scones recipe with a nice cup of tea. By the way, I love your site.
Mahalo, Hawaii Daily Photo
| May 21, 2009 12:36 PM
Thanks so much for sharing your sauce and salad additions to go with those lovely looking pancakes. Also those scones look amazing. I love sultanas. I can well imagine how tasty these are fresh out of the oven, split and spread with some ice cold butter. Ohh, all that buttery goodness soaking into that lovely fruity and craggy scone. Yummo!
| May 22, 2009 2:30 AM
It's definitely an unconventional use of Sriracha sauce in salad dressing! I'm Thai and mostly we use it as a dipping sauce or eat with omelette straight from the bottle. Never thought anyone would go as far as trying to make them at home, but basically it's a combination of chilli, garlic, sugar, vinegar and salt. The original one that I grew up with is this. http://gmsauce.com/srirajat.html
| May 23, 2009 7:14 AM
The minute I saw your recipe for scallion pancakes, I ordered the cookbook from Amazon. It is chock full of fabulous recipes. I'm going to make the pancakes this weekend. Many thanks!
| May 23, 2009 2:47 PM
The salad is beautiful, and just perfect for a lovely light lunch. Thank you! (And who doesn't want a raisin scone for breakfast with a good cup of coffee?)
| May 23, 2009 10:33 PM
Um, there are no herbs in the fresh herb dressing.....
| May 24, 2009 3:17 AM
Thanks for all your terrific comments. Isn't it funny how we seem to be caught in a sriracha moment, with my posting about my family's ongoing love affair with the sauce, White on Rice doing the seemingly impossible by posting a recipe for homemade sriracha, and John T. Edge doing a big story on sriracha for The New York Times!
I'm so late posting a comment -- or even posting another post (I'm swamped with work now, sorry) -- that I can only hope that lots of you have made the biscuits and scones by now and, most important, that you've liked them.
Lily mentioned that there were no herbs in the dressing for the shrimp and rice noodle salad. Technically, she's right and maybe Nina Simonds should have given the recipe another name. But if you take a look at the ingredient list, there are lots of herbs that get sprinkled over the salad and that then get mixed with the dressing. Lily, thanks for being a careful reader.
| May 25, 2009 9:53 AM
I have never made scones and love them so I will certainly try this! Thanks for sharing!
| May 25, 2009 9:55 AM
I made the scones for our Memorial Day breakfast. They were slightly crunchy on the peaky parts and had a delicate and delicious crumb on the inside. My husband slathered his with butter, but I ate mine without any so that I could savor all the homemade goodness. For the next baking I'm going to try fresh, well drained cherries. Our trees are loaded with fruit for the second year in a row and I'm trying to come up with new uses. This seems perfect. Thanks for another great (and easy) recipe.