Brined Shrimp & Tomato Salad from Tiffani Faison

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In this spicy seasonal salad from chef Tiffani Faison (of Sweet Cheeks Q, Tiger Mama and Orfano fame), Thai flavors merge seamlessly with bright heirloom tomatoes and brined shrimp for a dish that’s just as well suited for a patio dinner party as it is for a quick weeknight meal. Hit the local farmer’s market for freshly picked tomatoes and be sure to start out conservatively with Thai chilies; they pack a lot of heat and can always be added (but not subtracted) from the sauce.


Servings: 4


For the shrimp brine
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
For the salad
  • 1 pound large shell-on shrimp, quick brined
  • 3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 6 Thai chilies, smashed
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon scallions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro stems, thinly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fried shallots


For the shrimp brine
  1. Combine salt and sugar and combine with hot tap water. Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
  2. Submerge shrimp in brine for at least four hours, or overnight. Remove shrimp from the brine 10 minutes before cooking and pat dry.
For the salad
  1. Slice tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan until shimmering then add garlic. When the garlic begins to brown, add shrimp and chilies, and immediately remove from heat.
  3. Continue to stir the ingredients and add fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar.
  4. Once combined, return the pan to the heat and add basil and cilantro stems. Stir until shrimp are cooked through, turning from translucent to bright pink and white.
To serve
  1. Spoon mixture over tomatoes and garnish with chives, cilantro leaves and shallots.

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