This simple no-cook Asian-inspired shrimp salad is full of flavor and comes together in just minutes. We use frozen shrimp, loads of veggies, fresh citrus, and a sugar-free sesame dressing to pack a flavorful punch without a lot of work.
Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
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I am always trying to create new recipes that have minimal or no-cook time and come together in under 30 minutes. Which is why we love this cold shrimp salad!
The idea came from a "healthy" sesame-ginger dressing I bought at the store. It tasted great but was loaded with sugar. I created my own version with orange juice and an extra kick of ginger.
Asian Shrimp Salad Ingredients and Substitutions
One of the great things about this salad is how flexible it is. Let's start with the dressing.
For the salad, there is a lot of wiggle room in terms of what veggies and fruits you use. But first, let's start with the shrimp.
Shrimp- I typically used frozen peeled and deveined pre-cooked shrimp that just need to be thawed out. But if your shrimp is uncooked simply salt and pepper the thawed shrimp and cook with some EVOO in a frying pan until opaque.
Not a shrimp fan? You can substitute crab, chicken, or even fried tofu.
Green Leaf Lettuce- We prefer romaine or butter lettuce. You can use any lettuce you like but spinach, napa cabbage, and other light leaves work better than strong flavors like arugula or kale.
Red Cabbage- You can use any type of cabbage but we love the bright color red cabbage brings to the shrimp salad.
Sugar Snap Peas- Using these uncooked may be new to some people but they are crunchy and delicious. You can substitute frozen peas or snow peas if you live.
Carrots & Bell Peppers- Any color will do. Not much to report here. Not sure which cut to use? This how to cut carrots tutorial will break it down.
Cilantro- You either love it or think it takes like soap. If you are in the soap category substitute Thai basil, regular basil or parsley. Maybe even a little mint if you are feeling crazy.
Oranges- I prefer blood oranges, so that is what I use. But any variety will due, even canned mandarin oranges.
Scallions- I prefer scallions on this dish. But red onion works as well. You can cut the scallions in a variety of ways to make them extra pretty.
Sesame Salad Dressing
Orange Juice- Fresh squeezed or from a bottle, just make sure it has no added sugar. Out of OJ? Check out our list of the best substitutes for orange juice in cooking.
Rice Wine Vinegar- This is an ingredient you either always have or never buy. Try red wine vinegar or cider vinegar if that is what you have on hand.
Sesame Oil & Sesame Seeds- Good quality, and watch the expiration date. Sesame oil has a tendency to turn rancid if not stored properly. For the seeds, you can use white, black, or a mix.
Tamari- AKA gluten-free soy sauce. Soy sauce is typically made of more wheat than soy! If you aren't concerned about gluten then use your preferred soy sauce.
Aromatics & Seasonings- Fresh is best here. Powdered ginger is great for baking and dry rubs. Not so good for salad dressing. If you want a punchier flavor, add minced shallot as well.
Note that on the salad dressing, we salt to taste. Different brands of soy sauce/ tamari vary widely in the amount of sodium. Even though we typically use a low-sodium tamari I never salt this dressing.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
This salad is very simple to make but here are a few tips and tricks.
- Don't dress the salad greens with the dressing. The citrus breaks down the lettuce very quickly making for a very soggy salad by the end.
- Skip the EVOO, and don't substitute for the sesame oil. It just isn't the same.
- If you want to meal prep the salad, keep the dressing separate until you are ready to eat. We love these little sauce cups for transporting salad dressing to work.
- The sugar-free sesame dressing will keep for a week in the fridge.
- Make it spicy by adding crushed red pepper to the sesame dressing.
- Try using leftover gyoza dipping sauce in place of the dressing.
Try some of our other favorite quick & easy recipes:
- Lemon Artichoke Zucchini Noodles
- Five Spice Crispy Shrimp
- Crockpot Citrus Shredded Beef (perfect for taco night!)
- Sheet Pan Pork Chops with Acorn Squash
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Citrus and Sesame Shrimp Salad
Sugar Free Sesame Dressing
Asian Shrimp Salad
- 3 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped or torn into pieces
- 6 oz cooked frozen shrimp, thawed
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced
- 1 carrot, julienned
- ½ red bell pepper, julienned
- 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 orange, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoon scallions, thinly sliced
- sesame seeds for garnish
For the Sesame Dressing
- Combine all ingredients (except salt and pepper), whisk until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.¼ cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon tamari gluten free soy sauce, 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated, 1 clove garlic, finely minced, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted, kosher salt
For the Shrimp Salad
- Divide the lettuce between two large plates.3 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped or torn into pieces
- In a mixing bowl combine all the shrimp, cabbage snap peas, carrots, bell pepper, cilantro and prepared sesame dressing. Gently toss to combine.6 oz cooked frozen shrimp, thawed, 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced, 1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced, 1 carrot, julienned, ½ red bell pepper, julienned, 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, 2 tablespoon scallions, thinly sliced
- Garnish with orange slices, scallions and sesame seeds.sesame seeds, 1 orange, peeled and sliced
- For a spicy kick add ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper to the salad dressing.
- Salt proportion is not provided due to the vary content of sodium in different brands of tamri and soy sauce.
- See full post for directions on cooking raw shrimp, if needed.