Monday, August 12, 2013

CPK-Style Miso Salad

A good friend and I have been getting together at the California Pizza Kitchen for lunch twice a year to celebrate our birthdays. Last year when we got together, we found out that our favorite California Pizza Kitchen salad had been taken off the menu! We had been getting the Miso Salad for many years. At first the salad came with shrimp and crabmeat, and then it just came with shrimp...and then it didn't come at all. How devastating! The last time we went, I ordered something different and recreated it at home - that was the quinoa salad with arugula. My friend and I decided that we should try to recreate the Miso Salad too. We finally got around to getting together last Friday afternoon. We both found a couple recipes on the web, and we ended up adapting from this recipe. I couldn't find white miso paste, so I settled on brown miso paste. It did the trick! We used to always wonder why the salad was so expensive at the CPK, and now we know why - the ingredients are very pricey! But it was well worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed the salad. We left off the crabmeat too because we couldn't find a good price, but if you can find it cheap I'm sure it would be a nice addition to the salad. Backfin crabmeat would probably be best for the salad. The Miso salad is a beautiful salad full of crunch, yummy flavor, and health benefits. I can't wait to make it again! Enjoy.

Recipe for CPK-Style Miso Salad with Shrimp 

2 cups of frozen edamame (soybeans)
1 head of Napa cabbage
1/3 cup of cilantro leaves (stems removed)
1 Daikon radish (white radish), peeled
Me so hungry for Miso salad! 
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 very small red cabbage
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
2 avocados, cut into smallish cubes
Fried or baked noodles for topping
25 - 30 medium sized quick thaw & fully cooked frozen shrimp

For the Miso Dressing
1 Tbsp. of brown rice miso paste
2 Tbsp. of honey
1 Tbsp. of sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. of rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. of canola oil
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook the edamame according to package directions to desired tenderness. Drain water and put into a small bowl. Allow to cool.

Wash the cabbages, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, and radish thoroughly. Chop the Napa cabbage into desired sized pieces and then put into a large salad bowl. Add the cilantro to the bowl with the cabbage. Cut the radish into thirds and then put into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse a few times until it is chopped to desired size, then add to the salad bowl. Clean out the bowl with a paper towel to get any radish pieces out, and then slice the carrots in half and put into the processor. Pulse a few times until chopped to desired size, add to salad bowl, and clean out processor. Cut the tough end off of the red cabbage. Put it into the food processor (cutting down if necessary) and pulse until the cabbage is chopped to desired size (I like it chopped pretty small). Add the chopped red cabbage to the salad bowl. Clean out the food processor (you will be using it again for the dressing). Slice the cucumbers in half and then into quarters, and add to the salad bowl. Add the cooled edamame to the salad. Stir the salad so that all the veggies are incorporated.

Make the dressing. Add all the dressing ingredients to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse several times until the dressing is smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. This should make enough dressing for each serving of salad (1 Tbsp. of dressing per salad). If you want more dressing, double the recipe.

Thaw the frozen shrimp according to package directions (probably by running under ice cold water for several minutes).

Divide salad amongst plates. Top each salad with dressing and use a fork to toss. Then top each salad with avocado, noodles, and shrimp. Sprinkle each salad with a little salt and pepper, if desired. Although I like shrimp, this salad is still excellent without it. Leave if off if you are vegetarian or allergic to shellfish!

Salad serves 4 - 6. 

*If you want to do leftovers, you can save the salad for up to a couple days. Store in an airtight container in fridge. Do not save shrimp or cut avocado. Add fresh avocado slices and shrimp when you reserve. You can also save the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge.*

Recipe Adapted from: Tasty Kitchen