Cajun Rice Salad with Shrimp and Okra

In this salad, okra is cooked quickly to keep it from becoming mushy, yet long enough to release the natural thickeners that help form a salad dressing and keep the rice moist.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

Cajun Seasoning:

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed between fingers)

1 teaspoon hot paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, optional

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1 pound raw peeled, tail-off shrimp (31 to 40 shrimp per pound), thawed if frozen

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups (7 ounces) fresh or frozen okra, sliced 3/4-inch thick (if frozen, do not thaw)

1 large orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 

Directions

  1. For the Cajun seasoning: Combine the garlic powder, oregano, paprika, allspice, if using, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  2. For the salad: Combine 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning with the rice and cook according to the rice package directions. Set aside in a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the shrimp, lemon juice, oil and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning; cover the bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a 1-inch opening for a vent. Microwave at 80-percent power, stirring once per minute, until the shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and the cooking liquid to the rice. (Save the remainder of the Cajun seasoning for another use.)
  4. In a small saucepan, bring the okra and 1/2 cup water to a boil; cook until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Add to the shrimp and rice.
  5. Stir the bell pepper and parsley into the rice salad and serve at room temperature.

Cook’s Note

This salad is even better the second day, but the okra will lose its brilliant green color from the acidic lemon juice in the dressing. If you plan to make it ahead, keep the okra separate from the salad and add it before serving. Leftover Cajun seasoning can be used on scrambled eggs, fish, roasted tomatoes or any veggies.

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