Pacific Rim Shrimp Salad


Sublime Smoke

Published by Harvard Common Press

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Shrimp salads roam the globe in appeal. This one glistens with sharp and smart tastes from the far shores of the Pacific.

NotesMirin, a syrupy golden wine, is fermented from Japan’s ubiquitous glutinous rice. The alcohol content is low but the flavor lush. Look for the inexpensive wine in glass bottles in the Asian food section of a well-stocked grocery store or in any Asian market. Substitute sake, another rice wine, if you can’t locate mirin, and add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Most liquor stores carry sake.


Cooking Methodsmoking


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, healthy, lactose-free, low calorie, low carb


Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecrunchy, herby, savory, smoky, sweet, tangy, tart, umami

Type of Dishsalad


  • 1½ pounds medium shrimp, peeled and, if you wish, deveined
  • ½ cup mirin (see Notes)
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fruit vinegar (such as raspberry or passion fruit, preferably, or cider)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ½ pound snow peas, sliced in matchsticks
  • 3 green onions, sliced in matchsticks
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced in matchsticks
  • 1 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • ½ cup salted cashews or peanuts, for garnish


  1. Bring your smoker to its appropriate cooking temperature.

  2. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the mirin, vinegar, oil, and garlic. Let the shrimp sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Transfer the shrimp to the smoker, preferably on a small grill rack, grill basket, or sheet of heavy-duty foil. Smoke them until just cooked through and fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes at a temperature of 225° F to 250° F. The shrimp are ready when opaque and slightly firm, with lightly pink exteriors.

  4. When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, slice each in half lengthwise. Place the shrimp in a bowl and gently mix in the remaining salad ingredients. Refrigerate the salad covered for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Serve chilled, topped with the nuts.


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