Sabor de soledad: mango-cucumber salad with sambal shrimp as inspired by Stephanie Izard.

Mango-cucumber salad with sambal shrimp

As I’m writing this, Michael is at the airport, headed to San Antonio for trip number two of three he’s taking this month for work, so I’ve been busy figuring out my meal plan for when he’s gone. This is going to be the longest trip of the three, thankfully, but of course now we have this potential storm to contend with I’m both hopeful for a snow day or two but not necessarily looking forward to riding it out by myself. (The only relief, to be honest, is that with his car at the airport I can park in the garage during the worst of it, but I still plan on doing some shoveling if only to make life easier later on.) So this week will entail a potentially snowy sabor de soledad, and I’m actually quite excited about the menu I’ve planned.

First up is a re imagination of a soup into a salad. One of my favorite summertime soups to make is Stephanie Izard’s mango-marcona almond gazpacho, and a few weeks ago as I was figuring out what to make I realized that you could take most of the ingredients in it and turn it into a bright, festive salad. Her original recipe also calls for coating shrimp in sambal and using them as a garnish on the soup–something I normally don’t do–but it felt extremely appropriate here instead as it made it more of a composed meal. (If you rewatch old episodes of Top Chef like I do, you might recognize those shrimp from the episode where she had to collaborate with Dale and Lisa on a fire-inspired dish. One thing I really like about this cookbook is that she shares a few of the more notable recipes from her season on the show, but in a low-key way.)

The only ingredients for the soup that didn’t make it into the salad were the bread–I wasn’t in the mood for croutons–and the Marcona almonds, as I didn’t have any in the house because I’m pretty sure I used up what we had to make a batch of the gazpacho not that long ago. Meanwhile, I’m really mad at myself for not trying the sambal shrimp earlier; they are easy as anything to make, and really add a great spicy contrast to the sweetness of the mango.

Mango-cucumber salad with sambal shrimp
Makes one salad that can easily be increased for more servings

  • 1/4 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1 orange, sectioned with juice reserved for dressing
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil, plus 1 T for shrimp
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 6 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp sambal (or more/less to taste as it’s spicy)
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Combine the cucumber, mango, and orange sections in a bowl. Make the dressing by combining the orange juice, sherry vinegar, and one clove of the minced garlic into a bowl and season with salt; then carefully whisk in olive oil until everything is emulsified. Toss well with cucumber, mango, and oranges and set aside.

Season the shrimp with salt and then add the sambal and the other reserved clove of garlic into a bowl and toss it well to coat. Add the tablespoon of olive oil to a small pan on medium-high heat and add the shrimp, cooking about one to two minutes per side until pink on both sides. Add shrimp on top of salad and serve immediately.

  1. Looks so delicious, must try, lovely post!

  2. OMG this storm though!!
    How many inches do you guys have right now? I’ve got about a foot outside my apt right now so currently on travel site trying to find my next vacation. I am so OVER this.
    This salad is quite pretty though, in line with this here vacation i’m planning 😀
    Shovel carefully and with earphones full of music ❤ ❤

    • We ended up with more ice than snow, so I just spent the better part of an hour shoveling out street parking spaces and part of the street that our driveway is connected to so I can get out tomorrow morning. I hear you on wanting to plan some travel–I need plans to go somewhere warm and awesome too because this is nonsense!

  3. Darya said:

    Looks really delicious. Good luck with the snowstorm!

    • Thanks! It’s not nearly as bad as last year’s actual blizzard, but we ended up with more ice than expected which is never good either so I’m treating myself to wine ASAP.

  4. this looks so amazing, I for sure need to give this a try 🙂

    I was wondering if you were on FB at all? It would be amazing if you could share your recipe in our group, would love for you to join our community of food lovers! Check us out here:

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