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[Diana’s Table] Shrimp wrap with spicy mustard dressing

Shrimp wrap with spicy mustard dressing (Diana’s Table)
Shrimp wrap with spicy mustard dressing (Diana’s Table)

This is my interpretation of a traditional Korean dish called chilled shrimp salad with seasonal vegetables. Usually, shrimp is mixed with cut bamboo shoots, Asian pears, cucumbers and jellyfish. Depending on the availability of seasonal vegetables, we add carrots, bell peppers or mushrooms. As shrimp is considered an expensive delicacy, it is a popular dish for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays.

As a chilled dish, it is usually served in the summer. But, I like to make this dish in the winter months when the Asian pears are in season. The sweet freshness of the pears balances well with the shrimp and cucumbers. While it makes a beautiful main dish, I also like to present it as an appetizer depending on the number of guests. It can be plated individually with two or three pieces per person or plated on a big platter to ensure the wow factor.

Fresh shrimp can be used but I find that frozen cocktail shrimp works just as well as long as you season the shrimp first. This way, you can save time and eliminate the hassle of cooking and cooling the shrimp. In terms of size, select medium-sized to large shrimp as you will need to stuff its back with pears and cucumbers. You don’t want to choose shrimps that are too big or too small.

In lieu of traditional jellyfish, I use konyaku noodles that are easily found in your local supermarket. It has a chewy taste but absorbs the flavor of spicy mustard dressing well. They are very low in calories and do not fight with the fresh tastes of pears and cucumbers. They are ideal to hold all the ingredients together, resulting in an exquisite harmony of colors and tastes. 
Shrimp wrap with spicy mustard dressing (Diana’s Table)
Shrimp wrap with spicy mustard dressing (Diana’s Table)

Ingredients for shrimp wrap with spicy mustard dressing

20 pieces of frozen cocktail shrimp, medium size

1/2 Asian pear, peeled and julienned

1/2 cucumber, julienne the outer skin only

1 package, konyaku noodles

2 tablespoon, olive oil

Pinch of salt and pepper

3 tablespoon chopped pine nuts


1. Thaw frozen cocktail shrimp as per instruction on the package. Make a deep cut into the shrimp back, making sure not to cut all the way through. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper to shrimp and toss well. Marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Thinly julienne cut cucumbers and Asian pears.

3. Stuff the shrimp back with cucumbers and Asian pears.

4. Tie the shrimp together with a few strands of konyaku noodles.

5. Plate and serve with mustard dressing.

6. Top with chopped pine nuts, if available.

Spicy mustard dressing

3 tablespoon yellow spicy mustard

2 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoon honey or sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoon, lemon juice

1 teaspoon, minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon, salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and set aside.

For the mustard dressing, I use a Korean hot yellow mustard which comes in a tube. You can also use English hot mustards but I find them to be less spicy. Be careful when using Korean mustard, as it can be quite hot and spicy.

I usually make this dish for the holidays, serving it as an appetizer at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is also a must for a New Year’s lunch. As it can be made ahead and served cold, it is also great for parties, adding to the festivities of the special occasion with its freshness and colors. I hope that you will try it this year to ward off the COVID-19 blues and to share the holiday spirit with family and friends.


Diana Kang is a lifestyle contents creator specializing in Korean food and food culture. She has worked as an executive producer of the PBS series on Korean food, “Kimchi Chronicles,” and has written regular columns on celebrity chefs, specialty ingredients and family recipes. --Ed.