...but I digress.
I decided on shrimp because it's lean, light, and fresh. Just what I wanted. I know I'm lucky because I live in Louisiana and shrimp is always super fresh and priced fairly low. If you aren't so lucky, check out your freezer aisle for the best prices. Shrimp thaws quickly under cool running water and I suggest rinsing it anyway, so you can kill both birds with one stone.
I was also lucky because I scored a bunch of red bell peppers 10/$10. You don't have to use red bell peppers, or the exact mix of vegetables that I used. Choose your add-ins based on what is available to you at a good price and what you enjoy. Some other great add-ins for this salad are: peanuts, sliced almonds, cashews, edamame, avocado, cucumber, mango, or mandarine oranges.
Oh, one more thing. I used beans that I had cooked from dry and then froze in place of canned beans. That definitely saved some money and helped make up for the (relatively) high cost of the shrimp.
Shrimp & Rice Salad
Total Recipe cost: $8.10
Servings Per Recipe: 6 (1.5 cups each)
Cost per serving: $1.35
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 25 min. Total: 40 min.
|INGREDIENTS FOR THE RICE:||COST|
|1.5 cups||jasmine rice||$0.26|
|1/3 cup||rice vinegar||$0.66|
|INGREDIENTS FOR THE SHRIMP:||COST|
|1 lb.||91/130 count shrimp||$4.79|
|1 Tbsp||vegetable oil||$0.04|
|a pinch each||salt, garlic powder, cayenne||$0.05|
|INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALAD:||COST|
|1.5 cups |
(or one can)
|1 medium||red bell pepper||$1.00|
|1 medium||green onions||$0.17|
|1/4 bunch||fresh cilantro||$0.21|
STEP 1: Begin to cook the rice. Place the rice and 2.25 cups of water in a medium pot. Place a lid on top and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed for at least 10 more minutes (can sit longer if needed).
STEP 2: While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Cut the bell pepper into small pieces. Slice the green onions. Peel and shred the carrot using a cheese grater. Pull the cilantro leaves off of the stems. Rinse the black beans and and drain of excess water.
STEP 3: Rinse the shrimp and drain away the excess water. Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the drained shrimp along with a pinch of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Saute the shrimp over medium heat just until they have all turned pink and are no longer transparent (this should take less than 5 minutes). Turn the heat off and let the shrimp sit until you're ready to add them to the salad.
STEP 4: Prepare the seasoning for the rice. In a small bowl combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and one teaspoon of salt. Stir to dissolve as much as possible (it won't likely all dissolve, that's okay).
STEP 5: Fluff the rice with a fork and then transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the rice vinegar mixture over top and then gently stir or fold it into the rice. Continue until all of the rice vinegar mixture has been folded in.
STEP 6: Stir the black beans into the rice mixture, and then the vegetables and shrimp. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Either eat plain or drizzle soy sauce, sriracha, oyster sauce, or hoisin over top.
Step By Step Photos
Start the jasmine rice first because it takes the longest to cook. Place 1.5 cups of rice in a medium pot along with 2.25 cups of water. Place a lid on top and then bring it up to a rolling boil over high heat. Just as soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, simply turn the heat off and don't touch if for at least 10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, chop up all of the vegetables. I used red bell pepper, carrot, green onion, black beans, and cilantro. Use whatever you have available to you at a good price. Some other add-ins that would be a good flavor match are: peanuts, sliced almonds, cashews, edamame, avocado, cucumber, mango, or mandarine oranges.
I rinsed and drained the black beans, sliced the green onions, chopped the bell pepper into small pieces, shredded the carrots on a cheese grater, and pulled the cilantro leaves from the stems. I didn't even bother chopping the cilantro, just roughly pulled the leaves off.
This is the shrimp I used. Yes, I know I'm lucky. Check your freezer aisle for the best deals. Whenever you buy shrimp, you'll notice some numbers by it. This one says "91/130" this refers to the number of shrimp per pound. Larger shrimp will have smaller numbers, like 30/40. This salad was really chock full of shrimp, so if you need to cut costs even more, you could maybe even use just a half pound.
Rinse your shrimp. It's just a good idea. This shrimp smelled so nice and fresh, almost kind of sweet. Not fishy at all. Ahhhhhh.
Shrimp cooks really really fast. If you keep cooking past the point where it just turns pink and opaque, it will just shrink up and get more and more tough as the water cooks out. Therefore, only cook it until it has all turned pink. Just toss it in a skillet with a little vegetable oil, a pinch of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne, and saute until pink.
See? Now it's done and that took less than 5 minutes. Try not to nibble on them... they're quite nibble-worthy.
So now the rice is done cooking (it has sat undisturbed for at least 10 minutes after the heat was turned off) and it's time to give it the sushi rice treatment. What does that mean? That means we're going to toss it in a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. This gives the rice a wonderful flavor, glossy appearance, and nice texture. So, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, and one teaspoon of salt. It's okay if it doesn't all dissolve.
Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl. Sprinkle on about 1/3 of the rice vinegar mixture and then fold or gently stir it in. Repeat until you have added all of the rice vinegar mixture. The rice should still be hot while you do this. Can you see how it's slightly glossy in picture?
Next I stirred in the black beans to help bring down the temperature of the rice a bit. I didn't want the rice piping hot when I added the vegetables because I didn't want them to "cook".
Lastly, stir in the rest of the vegetables and the shrimp. I did not pour on the left over juice in the skillet from the shrimp because I did not want an overly shrimpy flavor. Stir everything until combined and you're good to go!
I found that I like a little sriracha and soy sauce on this, but it's good plain too!