Table Recipes: Shrimp and Popcorn Salad

By franco on 18 October, 2008

Shrimp and Popcorn Salad from Yummy Magazine
Shrimp and Popcorn Salad

“A popcorn what?!”

My wife asked incredulously, probably wondering if all those headstands had finally damaged my brain. A’s reaction is not completely without reason. Honestly speaking, who would have thought that it was even possible to make a salad out of popcorn?

I didn’t. But I was intrigued enough to try out this recipe.

Yummy magazine’s Chef Jun-Jun De Guzman (who learned this dish from Chef Richard Ruben, the Green Market Guru) emphasizes two points: to let the citrus dressing stand of at least two hours (I recommend overnight) to help develop the mixture’s flavors and to use popcorn with no flavorings, artificial or otherwise.

For your information, I substituted the recommended lime juice with lemon juice. I just couldn’t find limes anywhere. Also, I lessened the shrimp by half from the original recipe and added 1 ¼ cup of popcorn. I’ll explain about the popcorn later.

Shrimp and Popcorn Salad
Adapted from Yummy Magazine, October issue

  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500 grams shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 bundle spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 piece bird’s eye chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and cubed
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked microwave popcorn, natural
  • salt to taste

In medium bowl, mix together the juices, garlic, red onions and olive oil. Place in a refrigerator overnight to allow their flavors to develop.

Once the shrimp has been shelled and deveined, place them in steamer. Once the shrimps have turned a bright orange, remove immediately. Cooking time is about three minutes.

Dress the spring onions, chili, tomato, cucumber and shrimp with the juice mixture. Season with salt then add the cilantro leaves. Chill.

Just before serving, toss the shrimp mixture with the cooked popcorn. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

When you toss the dressing with the popcorn, something unexpected happens. The popcorn absorbs the citrus mixture and shrinks. Thus, it is imperative that you serve this dish immediately or else the popcorn will become too soggy. And the taste? Essentially, it is citrus-flavored seafood salad. But what truly makes this dish unique is the texture of the popcorn–a slight crunch with an orange-lemon zing.

My mother said never to play with my food. But she never said not have fun while cooking.





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  • OCTOBER 19, 2008 7:11 AM

    katrina said...

    This sounds incredible -- I love all the flavors in it, and it's crunchy, too! I think I'll attempt it. Just a couple of questions from someone who doesn't cook, so I'm sorry if they're dumb: I don't have a steamer. Can I just sautee the shrimp instead? Also, should the popcorn be freshly made and still hot when I toss it in the dressing, or should I cool it first (though that would mean the popcorn might lose its crunch).

    It was nice to see you at Starbucks yesterday, but you disappeared so quickly. Ian was looking for you -- he said he really wanted to meet you, and he asked Mila and me to tell you so. :-)

  • OCTOBER 19, 2008 1:52 PM

    paoix said...

    this is quite a combo. i can't wrap my head around it. it's quite ingenious

  • OCTOBER 20, 2008 3:10 AM

    Franco said...

    Hi Katrina. First your questions. Yes, you can sauté instead of steam. Just watch for color change and immediately pull the shrimp out as soon as they turn a bright orange. Please cool the popcorn before using mixing it with the dressing. The salad is served slightly cool.

    So sorry. I had to leave early. Believe it or not, I had to cook. :) I was in-charge of Sunday family dinner. Major stress-out. I would have loved to hang out with all of you. Maybe some other time. :)

    Hi Paoix. So strange and unusual, I just couldn't resist try out this recipe.

  • OCTOBER 20, 2008 4:39 AM

    mtan said...

    At first I thought you were using corn grits, but you did use popcorn!! How cool is that! Love the idea of making all the other ingredients work together first, then throw in some popcorn in the microwave and toss.
    We weren't sure it was you at first, but good thing Lori pointed you out during the talk. Good to see you and hope you and Ian get to meet in person soon.

  • OCTOBER 20, 2008 9:21 AM

    info said...

    I like the picture and the unusual pairing... similar to the weird ones really talented chefs think of which turn out to be a revelation.

  • OCTOBER 22, 2008 4:41 AM

    Lynn said...

    This recipe looks so good. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing :)

  • OCTOBER 26, 2008 10:25 AM

    mrslavendula said...

    great picture! im sure the dish is as good as it looks

  • OCTOBER 27, 2008 2:52 AM

    Franco said...

    Hi Mila. I really wanted to hang out with all of you. Oh well, some other time perhaps. :)

    Hi info. Thanks. It just sounded too weird not to try :)

    Hi lynn. You're welcome.

    Hi Mrs Lavendula. Thank you. I'm not sure if everyone will like it but I think worth a try. :)

  • OCTOBER 31, 2008 2:51 AM

    Sweet Bird said...

    Wow, this is so fun! I'm definitely craving both shrimp and popcorn now...

  • DECEMBER 13, 2008 9:19 AM

    Katrina said...

    I finally made this salad the other night, and it turned out great! We both really liked it -- tastes fresh and bright because of the citrus and cilantro, yet the popcorn makes it heavy enough to eat as a (light) main course. So, thanks! :-)

    Just one question: I noticed that in the instructions, you mentioned cucumber; but there's none in the ingredient list. I didn't add it, but for the next time, how much cucumber should I use?

  • DECEMBER 13, 2008 12:39 PM

    Franco said...

    Hi Katrina. Thanks for pointing out the missing ingredient. I've made the correction.