This shrimp salad recipe creates a light and refreshing salad with a slightly spicy dressing. It’s quick to make, easy to transport and packed with veggies.
Cold shrimp salad is a great idea to bring some bright colors and flavors to your table any time of year. The sauce with Serrano chile peppers and lime juice is just tangy enough to offset the shrimp and cucumbers.
This works great as an appetizer or a light lunch. It’s low in calories and has lots of fresh whole ingredients.
How do you make a cold shrimp salad recipe?
For this shrimp cucumber salad, you need to use shrimp that is peeled, deveined with the tails off and cooked. You can purchase shrimp this way and simply add it to your salad. But once you learn to peel and devein shrimp, you’ll be able to use it for other recipes too like this Zesty Shrimp Salad. If you need to prepare your shrimp, this is the easiest way:
- Thaw the shrimp if you are using frozen by letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight. If you need a faster method, you can put the shrimp in a bowl of cool water for about 15 minutes.
- To peel the shrimp, pull off the legs first. Starting at the underside, put your thumbs under the shell and crack it open. It will then easily pull off.
- Pinch the tail right where it meets the body and pull it off. You don’t always need to do this when cooking shrimp. However, for this recipe, we want the shells removed before serving.
- To devein shrimp, make a small cut in the back of the shrimp and pull the vein out with the tip of your knife.
- Cook the shrimp. Season both sides with salt and pepper and cook them in olive oil over medium high heat. Shrimp cooks quickly, about two minutes per side. It should be opaque when it is ready.
- Allow the shrimp to cool before using it in this salad.
Now that your shrimp are prepared, you just combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix the dressing and pour it over all the veggies and shrimp.
What goes with cold shrimp?
A typical cold shrimp salad includes cocktail dipping sauce. We’re making it much more elegant and healthy with veggies and a light dressing. I use English cucumbers, green onions and bell pepper. Other raw veggies that will taste great with shrimp are:
- Black olives
- Snap peas
- Cherry tomatoes
- Jalapeños if you like it spicy
How long is shrimp cucumber salad good for?
If you aren’t eating this right away or you have leftovers, it needs to be refrigerated. Stored this way, the best shrimp salad will last for three to four days.
That makes this a great recipe to make ahead. It will work for a potluck dinner or as meal prep. You can have four healthy lunches prepared in just 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Watch how to make this below!
Cucumber Shrimp Salad
- 1 lb medium shrimp cooked (See Note 1)
- 2 English cucumbers thinly sliced and halved
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Serrano chile pepper seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup lime juice (See Note 2)
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 8 mint leaves chopped
- In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce (optional), salt, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds and mint. Stir in the garlic and chile and set aside.
- Im a medium sized bowl add the shrimp, cucumbers, cilantro, green onion and bell pepper. Pour dressing over and toss to mix. Serve with more cilantro and or mint leaves with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Refrigerate covered if not eating right away.
- Shrimp need to be deveined, shelled with tails removed prior to cooking OR use already cooked and thawed as in this recipe. If cooking fresh or thawed, uncooked: Season shrimp on both sides with the salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil starts to shimmer add shrimp and sear both sides until golden, about 2 minutes each side (shrimp should be opaque). Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.
- Fresh or bottled, but fresh is always preferred. It usually takes about 2-3 limes.