Different regions in the South are known for certain flavors and dishes. Louisiana is well-known for their Cajun and Creole recipes like gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée and more! Many old-school Cajun recipes take hours to simmer and meld flavors together, but you can shorten that time with the right spices and the freshest ingredients.
Summer days call for refreshing meals and it doesn’t get more refreshing than the Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers our friend Joy from Pure Joy Living used for inspiration in her recipe for Fried Shrimp & Cucumber Salad. Not only are Uno Bites™ a nutritious on-the-go snack, but they are also perfect for salads too! Cucumbers are 95% water, so they are naturally hydrating. Who couldn’t use a little more hydration on a hot summer day?
Joy set out to make a recipe with our Uno Bites™ that she could incorporate into a meal that her whole family would enjoy. She starts out by slicing up the cucumbers. You can use a mandolin or a chef’s knife and thinly slice the cucumbers into the size you would like for your salad. Then, in a small mixing bowl, she combines red pepper flakes, sugar, garlic, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, olive oil and red onion. One thing she stresses is that grating the garlic is much tastier for a raw application like this. It releases its juices and has a stronger flavor. She also suggests cutting the red onion into strings with a mandolin or chef’s knife instead of dicing it. It’s all about flavor! You whisk the ingredients together and then add in the cucumbers. Toss everything together to combine, and then set it aside to allow the flavors to meld together as you’re preparing your shrimp.
To fry the shrimp, you’ll need a heavy bottom pan – like a cast iron pot or frying pan. You will also need a quality oil to fry the shrimp in. Joy suggests peanut oil or canola oil and you will need enough to cover the bottom of your pot, plus fill it about 2 inches. Then you need to mix up your flour and Cajun seasoning, prep your shrimp if it needs peeling and deveining, and get a plate or baking pan ready with some paper towel to transfer the shrimp after they’re done cooking.
Heat the oil to 350° F. You will need a thermometer to check that the temperature is right. Place a few shrimp into the flour mixture at a time. You do not want to crowd the pot with too many and cooking the shrimp in batches is highly recommended. Too many shrimp in the pot at once will lead to soggy, messy shrimp. Take each shrimp, shake a little flour off and then carefully place it in the oil. Line the shrimp around the pot so they are spaced out. Fry each shrimp until they’re golden brown and then place them on the paper towel lined plate or tray so the oil is soaked up.
There are several ways that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. To make this into an appetizer, you can place a few shrimp on a plate and sprinkle some cucumbers on top and around the shrimp. To enjoy this as a salad, you can make a small bed of cucumber salad and place the shrimp on top. Or to enjoy it as a light meal, skewer 3 to 6 shrimp per person and serve with the cucumber salad.
It’s that easy! In less than 30 minutes, you can have a delicious, refreshing, Cajun inspired meal or appetizer on the table. This would pair well with some of our other summer meals like our Shishito Pepper & Beef Skewers, Grilled Cauliflower Steaks, or Mango Chutney Chicken. Don’t forget our incredible snacking line up to put out as veggie tray, that includes our award-winning Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers and our Sangria® Medley Tomatoes!
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