Dried Shrimp and Sprouts Salad is a perfect salad if you want to consume a large amount of bean sprouts at once. The generous amount of dried shrimp adds a great flavour and umami to this salad. I like the colour combination too.
This Japanese dried shrimp is called ‘hoshi sakura ebi’ (干し桜海老). I talked about it in my post Shrimp Flavoured Steamed Eggplant and said that I could not get Japanese dried shrimp here. Most of the dried shrimps I could get at Asian grocery stores did not have a reddish pink colour like sakura ebi, but I recently found a Korean version of dried shrimp that had a bright orange colour.
I was so pleased to have found them that I had to buy them and make a dish using them. Today’s dish, Dried Shrimp and Sprouts Salad makes the colour of the dried shrimp stand out.
What’s in my Dried Shrimp and Sprouts Salad
My salad consists of three salad ingredients. The dressing has a good dashi flavour and does not have acidity at all.
- Dried baby shrimp (not rock-hard meaty ones)
- Bean sprouts
- Snow pea sprouts
- Dashi stock
- Soy sauce
I bought a bag of dried baby shrimp from a Korean grocery store (left bag in the photo below). I think they are the closest to the Japanese version – hoshi sakura ebi (right photo below). The bright orange colour stands out in the salad. You can also use Chinese dried shrimps, although the colour of the shrimp is not as bright as the Korean version.
I subsequently found a bag of Japanese dried shrimp (middle photo above) from a Japanese grocery store. This is not hoshi sakura ebi, but the paper-thin texture is similar.
I used snow pea sprouts to go with the bean sprouts as the size of the sprouts are comparable. You could use other sprouts but then you should use them fresh instead of blanching them. They are so tiny and fragile.
To enhance the flavour of the dressing without making it too salty, I made a strong dashi stock by using a larger quantity of bonito flakes and konbu. If you are using dashi stock powder, increase the quantity of the powder.
How to Make Dried Shrimp and Sprouts Salad
Salads are usually quick to make, and this is no exception, even if you need to blanch the sprouts and roast the dried shrimp.
- Blanch bean sprouts and snow pea sprouts. Let them cool.
- Dry roast shrimp. Let them cool.
- Place the shrimp between the baking paper and gently flatten them by rolling a rolling pin or a round bottle.
- Mix sprouts and shrimp in a bowl.
- Mix the Dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.
After blanching the sprouts, let them cool down naturally. Do not put them in cold water to speed up the cooling process. The sprouts become too soggy, and you will have to squeeze the water out, which crushes the sprout stems.
I needed to flatten the dried shrimp slightly because the Korean dried shrimps that I bought were not paper-thin like the Japanese sakura ebi, particularly the head.
If you are using Japanese dried shrimp, aka hoshi sakura ebi, or another kind of paper-thin dried shrimp, you don’t need to flatten them.
Dried Shrimp and Sprouts Salad is a very lightly dressed salad because you don’t want to lose the wonderful flavour of the shrimp. It is an oil-free healthy salad, and you can make this salad a day or two ahead.
Dried Shrimp and Sprouts Salad is a perfect salad if you want to consume a large amount of bean sprouts at once. The generous amount of dried shrimp adds a great flavour to this salad. I like the colour combination too.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 15g/0.5oz dried baby shrimp (not meaty ones, note 1)
- 150g/5.3oz bean sprouts
- 50g/1.8oz snow pea sprouts (note 2)
Cut the snow pea sprouts in half if they are longer than 6cm.
Bring sufficient amount of water in a medium-size pot to a boil. Add bean sprouts and snow peas sprouts to the boiling water.
When the water starts boiling again, drain into a sieve and let them cool down. Spreading the sprouts thinly will speed up the cooling process.
Heat a frying pan at low heat. Add the dried shrimp and roast for 10 minutes. Stir or toss occasionally to avoid roasting the same side of the shrimp too long.
Transfer the shrimp to a sheet of baking paper. Let them cool down.
Place another sheet of baking paper over the shrimp and gently roll a rolling pin (or a round bottle) over the baking paper, flattening the thick part of the shrimp (note 4).
Put the sprouts and shrimp in a bowl and mix, ensuring that snow pea sprouts are untangled and scattered evenly.
Mix the Dressing ingredients in a small jar. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
1. If I could, I would use Japanese dried baby shrimp called ‘hoshi sakura ebi’, but I could not find them anywhere. They are paper-thin and not so crunchy. So, I used Korean dried baby shrimp, which are bright orange (see the sample photo in post) and not paper-thin. You can buy them from Korean grocery stores or possibly other Asian grocery stores.
If you can’t get the Korean version, you can use Chinese dried shrimp that are not as bright in colour but paper-thin.
Note: I subsequently found a pack of Japanese paper-thin dried shrimp from a Japanese grocery store. They are not sakura ebi but the size and texture are very similar. See the photo in post.
2. Snow pea sprouts are comparable in size to bean sprouts. You can also blanch them. You can use other kinds of sprouts such as broccoli sprouts.
If you are using sprouts other than snow pea sprouts, you don’t need to blanch them as they are so tiny.
3. Since the flavour of the dressing is quite light, I made a strong dashi stock to give more umami to it. Increase the quantity of bonito flakes and konbu by about 50% using the method in Home Style Japanese Dashi Stock.
If you are using instant dashi stock powder, you can increase the amount of powder to make the stock stronger.
4. Do not over-crush the prawns. The idea is to flatten the thick part of the shrimp, particularly the head, while retaining the shape of the shrimp where possible (see the step-by-step photo).
If you are using paper-thin dried shrimp, you don’t need to do this.
5. You can make this salad a day or two ahead. Store the sprouts in the fridge but the shrimps should not be in the fridge. Dress the salad just before serving.
6. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 126g calories: 69kcal fat: 0.6g (1%) saturated fat: 0.1g (1%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g monounsaturated fat: 0.1g cholesterol: 16mg (5%) sodium: 249mg (10%) potassium: 252mg (7%) carbohydrates: 12g (4%) dietary fibre: 1.4g (6%) sugar: 3.6g protein: 6.7g vitamin a: 2% vitamin c: 21% calcium: 2.1% iron: 7.3%