If you’re looking for a quick, light lunch for those warm summer days, look no further than your freezer and pantry to deliver something insanely satisfying in just a few minutes time.
Here on the Texas/Oklahoma border, summer has been late arriving. We finally got one of the first really “summery” days about a week ago, and the thought of noshing something heavy in 90°F weather was more than I could bear. The heat of the day called for something on the lighter side, but a quick check of the cupboards wasn’t revealing much in the way of “light”, and we hadn’t been doing too many salads when the wind was blowing and torrential rains were falling.
The answer to my culinary dilemma presented itself in the form of a partial bag of frozen shrimp, a bit of cilantro I had from a previous entrée and a half-lemon I had left over from a vinaigrette I’d made the night before. Just add some noodles and you’ve got yourself a light-refreshing lunch with all the flavor you could ask for. In this case I turned to my old standby of Ramen noodles, but this would work equally as well with linguine or angel hair pasta.
- 1/4 to 1/2 lb frozen shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail off. (If they’re tail on, be careful when eating, or remove them post cooking!)
- 1 packet Ramen noodles, or the noodle of your choice.
- 1 small bunch cilantro, approx 1/8 cup, chopped roughly.
- The Juice of 1/2 lemon.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a rolling boil, add ramen noodles, cover and remove from heat.
- On a separate burner, heat oil in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add frozen shrimp, turning once at about 3 minutes, then cook until just done. (About another 2 minutes.) Remove shrimp from pan, reserving liquid. (There will be quite a bit, since the shrimp were still frozen.)
- Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to sauté pan, reduce heat to a simmer and reduce by 1/2.
- Drain noodles and plate, add shrimp back to sauce and toss until heated well, pour shrimp and sauce over noodles, sprinkle with cilantro.
- Serve warm and enjoy.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
While this was exceptionally flavorful, I think if I was going to do it again I would have cooked some garlic with the shrimp, and perhaps added a few crushed red pepper flakes just to give it some zing.
All-in-all though, this was a wonderful lunch, and more than filling enough to carry me through the day until dinner, though it could easily be served as the main course in a dinner meal with the addition of some snow peas and green onions.
Give this one a whirl the next time you’re strapped for lunch ideas, I think you’ll enjoy it!