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The WGS September recipe: Avocado-Shrimp Salad - from Frankie Harvey

shrimp kl

While recently visiting the beautiful and amazing country of Aruba, we took the opportunity to eat out where the locals love to eat. There was one dish in particular – Avocado-Shrimp Salad – that showed up on nearly every menu, so I ordered it at four restaurants to see how it differed from place to place. Each preparation seemed to use the same ingredients, but it was presented in a way unique to that restaurant or Chef. While each dish was delicious, we weren’t really wowed with any one in particular.

After experiencing these different interpretations, I got to thinking about what it was that I really wanted out of this dish that left me not-quite-satisfied. I realized I was missing balance – I wanted the dish to let each flavor stand on its own. One version was heavy on sharp, white onion; one lost the shrimp in the celery; one was a soupier preparation; and one used crab instead of shrimp.

So, once we returned home, I kept thinking about how I could showcase a more balanced version of this incredible combination of textures and flavors, and after a few attempts, I ended up with two versions that we love. This recipe takes on the traditional preparation as we had it in Aruba; in the other, I grill the avocadoes, but that’s another post!


2 – Large avocadoes*
16 – Extra large shrimp; cooked, peeled, deveined, and cut into small pieces; reserve 4 whole shrimp with tail on, skewered, for garnish
1/4 – Red onion, small dice
1/3 C – Jicama, small dice
1 – Ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 – Jalapeño, diced (seed if less heat desired)
1/2 – Red pepper, diced1 T – Freshly grated ginger
Zest of one lime
Juice of two limes
Cilantro leaves
Avocado oil, sesame oil, or grapeseed oil
Green peppercorns, crushed
Optional (add and/or substitute):
Celery leaves, for garnish
Whole kernel corn
Grilled corn, cut from the husk
Diced tomatoes
Green onion/chives
Toasted sesame seeds

Serves 4

If you use frozen shrimp, rinse then let thaw slightly. Drain well, and pat dry.

Cut shrimp, removing the tails, and place in a large bowl. Add ingredients you’re using to the shrimp, and stir in lime juice, lime zest, salt, and a drizzle of oil. Mix, cover, and place in refrigerator.

When ready to serve, cut the avocados in half lengthwise, and remove the pit. Slice a small piece off the bottom of each avocado half so that it sits flat on your plate. Drizzle with lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Fill each half with the shrimp mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with cilantro leaves and skewered whole shrimp.

*I don’t recommend Haas for this recipe unless you’re making an appetizer instead of a meal.

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