Spicy Thai Shrimp and Cucumber Salad

Spicy Thai Shrimp & Cucumber Salad

1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 to 2 red bird chiles
4 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar

8 cups water
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail left intact
Ice water
1 cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
½ cup fried shallots, sliced* (optional)

1.Grind the garlic and bird chiles in a mortar and pestle or finely chop into a paste; put in a small mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar; whisk to dissolve the sugar.
2.Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the shrimp and cook until they curl and turn pink, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water to stop them from overcooking. Drain.
3.Combine the shrimp, cucumber, shallot, mint, and cilantro with the dressing. Sprinkle with the friend shallots and serve.

*Sliced friend shallots are sold in plastic jars at most Asian markets. To make them yourself, heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a small saucepan over high heat until hot. Thinly slice 3 to 4 shallots, toss them in a few tablespoons of cornstarch, shake off the excess, and fry in the oil until crisp and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Use Immediately.


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