Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

This Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad has cucumbers, baby kale, shrimp, and avocado with a creamy miso dressing. SO YUMMAY. |

One thing about this Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing: must. eat. now.

One thing about me at a restaurant: I’m an obsessive pre-orderer. The beautiful thing about the fancy techno world of today is that menus are available online, right from my phone, so no matter where I am (at the grocery store? on the elliptical? cleaning the basement, like all the one times per five years that I do that?) I can look up a menu and place my mental pre-order. It’s either more fun or less fun to decide what I’m going to order before I even get to the restaurant, but I must do it. I have to. It’s just a thing.

I’m sure it’s totally fun for the people I dine with (read: Bjork) when I do this. We get in the car to drive to the restaurant and before we’ve even pulled out of the driveway, I’m asking him what he’s going to order, and he’s giving me THAT look, and I remember, oh yeah, you don’t understand the concept of the pre-order (ahem, weirdo) and you definitely haven’t even looked at the menu. And it’s really likely that you’re not even sure what kind of food is served at this restaurant, but you’re just chill. I think it’s called laid back? I don’t know, it’s foreign to me.

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad wth Miso Dressing - fresh, green, crunchy-delicious. |

This salad reminds me of one of my most locked-in-pre-orders of all time from California Pizza Kitchen. That’s right, I just brough CPK to the blog. I was never a huge huuuge fan of CPK but let me tell you what I was a huge huuuge fan of: their miso shrimp and crab salad. Oh my good greens. It was deliciously fresh, crispy, and wonderful. Or is it still? I guess all the CPK’s in our neck of the woods have since closed down, but they probably still exist somewhere, right? Go order this salad if they do.

So this is a completely simplified version, because maybe I didn’t happen to remember to look for a daikon radish at the grocery store this weekend, okay? And maybe my thumb was too tired from phone usage to shred carrots. AND MAYBE I LIKE SIMPLE. Whatever the reason. I just kept this shrimp and avocado salad really basic.

Shrimp (spicy, because duh)


Spinach or Baby Kale


and Miso Dressing

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad wth Miso Dressing - fresh, green, crunchy-delicious. |

Right? Like that’s totally doable. I might also want to recommend this: homemade wonton strips. Just cut wonton wrappers into strips and fry them in a little bit of oil over low heat; drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. You will most likely find yourself in the same predicament that we did, which was sitting down to a big bowl of shrimp and avocado salad only to find that OOPS we ate all the wonton strips already. 900% addicting.

I kid you not – after frying the strips and prepping the salad, we literally only had one single golden salty fried wonton strip left. Bjork let me put it on my salad. Self-sacrificial romance. ❤

One final note about the dressing: it’s a MISO DRESSING. It’s not too hard to find miso paste (I shop at a very regular grocery store and it was right there in the refrigerated food section) but it does have a really unique taste. If you’re not sure, or if you are very sure that you don’t like miso, maybe start with something more like this Chopped Thai Chicken Salad dressing. That’s pretty much a guaranteed pre-order for your own personal kitchen forever.

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad wth Miso Dressing - fresh, green, crunchy-delicious. |

4.9 from 25 reviews
Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing
Serves: 4
For the salad:
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ pound raw shrimp, tails removed
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1½ cups sliced avocados (2 small)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 cups chopped spinach or baby kale
  • fresh chopped cilantro for topping
  • peanuts for topping
For the dressing:
  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh peeled ginger
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1½ tablespoons white miso (it's like a paste - you can buy it at many regular grocery stores)
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shrimp; sprinkle with the chili powder and cayenne directly in the pan. Saute for a few minutes on each side until the shrimp are no longer clear and have a nice golden color on the outside.
  2. Cut the avocados in half; cut lines through the avocado vertically and horizontally and scoop the flesh out with a spoon (like this). Peel and dice the cucumber. Chop the spinach or baby kale into small bite sized pieces. Arrange in a bowl with the shrimp.
  3. Puree all the dressing ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately (or store the individual parts separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve). Top with fresh cilantro and peanuts for crunch.
Use more shrimp to make it more shrimpy! Use less avocado to cut the fat down.

Nutrition shrimp salad
This Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad has cucumbers, baby kale, shrimp, and avocado with a creamy miso dressing. SO YUMMAY. |
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  1. Yes to pre ordering! My hubby hates it. I love it.
    Spicy shrimp, miso dressing and creamy avocado?! So. much. yum.
    Love this salad.

  2. This looks wonderful and I keep seeing miso, miso everywhere and have yet to try it!! Making this dressing this week.

  3. So glad I saw this before I headed to the grocery store later today! Crossing my finger to find the miso paste. This looks delicious and I would love to be able to make it for my lunches this week!

  4. suddenly craving a big old salad for lunch! and spicy shrimp definitely tops this off =) YUMMY!

  5. This looks like such a delicious salad!! I love miso dressings when I’m out to eat, but I have never actually used it at home. I should really get some though b/c I always think it tastes so delicious! And I’m with you on the pre-ordering thing. I look at restauranat menus like 10 times before I go :)

  6. Miso in salad dressing definitely make this salad one to keep in recipe achieves. So creamy and fresh; I would gladly eat this everyday this week!

  7. I am a pre-order type of person too. I usually have my entree narrowed down to 2-3 choices before we arrive.

    This salad with miso dressing looks great.

  8. you pretty described me and the boyfriend before going to eat..only on Friday, he didnt tell me where we were going just so i wont look up menu online..on that note, i love this salad at CPK.

  9. Gorgeous salad! And I was thinking of making a miso dressing too..why haven’t I already? Ha..and there is still a CPK like 5 minutes from me but I never go there because I figure I can make the same things at home..ya know? But gahh..this salad!

  10. I always pre-order and so does the hubby! It makes it so much easier!

    This salad looks amazing, Lindsay! Yum!

  11. I love these salad bowls you make with all the ingredients in separate little areas! That would be great for my hubby who is one of those people who likes to eat the different foods on his plate separately (I hope he doesn’t read this … haha!) Wonderful combination of ingredients here, too … and what a creative idea to add miso dressing. Fabulous!

  12. I AM SO WITH YOU ON THE PRE-ORDERING! We went out last night and I literally knew the exact item I wanted before we went in. I asked my fiancé what he was getting about 6 hours before we went, and was then confused when he said he didn’t know. SO WITH YOU.

  13. I love all the shrimp people are posting today for Mardi Gras! And I can’t wait to try this combination of spicy shrimp, miso, kale and avocado. It’s basically like you looked in my fridge and said, “Hmm, what could I make with all of this?” 😛

  14. Good golly miss molly. I LOVE shrimp and could eat it for-ev-er. This looks soooo good! Pinned!

  15. Cassandra says:

    Also a fan of the mental pre-order, for sure. The miso shrimp salad was my fav at CPK, but they’ve taken it off the menu! At least all the CPK’s I’ve been to in the past year don’t have it anymore, so I’d assume it no longer exists on any CPK menu, unfortunately :( I’ve messed with trying to re-create it, too, and have come pretty close. Definitely going to try yours!

  16. YUM. This looks amazing and perfect for a healthy lunch/weeknight meal! Thanks for sharing. You are not alone in the whole “pre-order” thing! I’ve done it for years and don’t know how people just blindly go into a restaurant :)

  17. I always pre-order mentally because, I always order the same thing. Like, always. Even if it’s something new it’s along the same lines, like “must have roasted tomatoes”. This salad looks amazing and I so love miso dressing.

  18. I just have to make this, looks amazing. Pinned.

  19. This looks divine! I love pre-ordering. My husband thinks I’m hilarious but at least others do it too…

  20. Love how basic this recipe is and all the flavors. Spicy, crunchy, creamy… and whatever miso tastes like. I’ve never had it before but love all the other flavors, so totally tasting it!

    P.S. I’m a total pre-orderer too… I mean it just makes sense.

  21. Looks so delicious! But was wondering, will this only work with white miso? Thanks! :)

  22. Lindsay, come visit me and I will take you to as many CPK’s as you want!! Out here in California, they still exist (I know, I know — big surprise), and there’s basically one at every mall. So we could go to like 10 different malls to make sure you get your fill of their awesome salad — and then compare each one to determine which restaurant makes it best. Because foodies totally do that, right? No? Just me? Oops…

    And I am totally a pre-order person too. I mean, it’s basically a rule! You have to make sure you preview the menu because (a) then you get to see pictures of all the options ahead of time and (b) you know whether you need to save room for an appetizer and entrée, or an entrée and dessert, or just make a meal of appetizers and desserts. And you’d never know any of that if you just waited until you got there! 😉

  23. I’m always one to research the menu before going to eat! I’m sure my wife enjoys it as much as Bjork does!

  24. you and my husband are 2 peas in a pod. I totally give him the same look. He’ll be glad he’s not alone.

    Great looking salad.


  25. I love a little spice in my salad, and am always looking for different salad ideas! This looks amazing!

  26. I love all of these flavors. Have yet to try miso paste but I’ve seen it all the time on the Food Network and I’m definitely intrigued!

  27. Yum! I’ve never. ever. in the history of dining out. pre-ordered. I don’t know if this makes me laid back or just unmotivated. It’s an interesting concept though.:)
    This salad looks fantastic. LOVE spicy shrimp!!

  28. Whoa, this looks so appetizing! I hate cooking seafood, but like eating it,I’m going to have to get over it and try this. I had a fav restaurant as well, always had in my mind what we would eat long before we got there.

  29. I am totally a pre-orderer too! My husband also happens to be one, so before we go out to eat we are usually fighting over the computer to get to the menu! Also, that shrimp looks amazing and now my mouth is watering!

  30. Love your blurb; mental pre-order…yes I do it too! Never had a name for it before though! And I get your misery over the magical disappearing wonton strips: I suffer the same thing with tempura prawns. People used to sneak in and steal them while I was cooking. My family would each count their portion religiously to make sure it was a fair, equal share.

    Salad looks terrific and fresh. I’m not sure if I like miso all that much but I can see how avocado, shrimp and greens would go well.

  31. Ooh, yes please! That huge pile of beautiful greens looks so amazing for the beginning of spring. And how long has it been since I ate shrimp? A couple weeks, at least. WAY too long, is what I’m saying. Must try! :)

  32. Oh … CPK … ours closed, too. Sad face.

    I don’t know if I’m a pre-orderer like you are, but I definitely like to have an idea of what I want. I get incredibly stressed out if I don’t know what I want when the waitress comes. Like, really stressed. And then I just quick order something I probably really didn’t want. Ugh. I think I really need to adopt your method. This will save my sanity. Thank you, Lindsay, thank you.

  33. If you can not have soy, what would you suggest using instead of the miso? I have never had it before so have no idea what it tastes like. Umami? Tangy? I know I could make a similarly creamy dressing with tahini…

    Regardless, this looks AMAZING.

  34. LOVE the sound of this – shrimp and avocados two of my favorite ingredients of all time. We’re currently renting an apt in Malaysia and our first trip to the grocery store ended in completely heartbreak — not an avocado in sight. Will have to keep looking though so I can making this delicious salad!

    • I bet they’ll come in – in the Philippines it was like all or nothing. When they were in season, they were ABUNDANT.

      • Fingers crossed!! Can’t imagine living without avocados for 45 days! Though I am enjoying the fresh and delicious mangos — so can’t say it’s all bad : )

  35. Haha, YES. My husband and I are both obsessive pre-orderers. Last night, as we were putting our coats on to head to dinner, we were already talking about what we would order when we got to the restaurant. So dorky.

    Lindsay – nobody makes salad look more cravable than you. You are so talented!

  36. This salad looks phenomenal!

  37. WOW You really know how to make a girl hungry !!! :) Looks delicious!

  38. This looks oh so perfect and combines all of my favorite things. That shrimp is cooked to perfection!

  39. i just found this on the glitter guide.
    it looks absolutely fantastic!

  40. Garlic is only listed in the dressing. How much goes into the shrimp/does it matter?

  41. Well i added 1/2tsp. Of garlic maybe a little less..didn’t want to over power it
    We loved it…it’s a keeper…just delicious !!!!!! Yum!

  42. Can’t wait to make this with gluten-free miso (barley-free). Others are made with rice or soy. Thanks!

  43. This dish looks so amazing! I wouldn’t change a thing about. Love the colors. And miso the best.

  44. hahaha I almost snorted at your pre-order comment because I do the same exact thing! My husband so doesn’t get it :) This salad looks divine. With shrimp and avocado it has me dreaming of summer time!

  45. Made this tonight with a few modifications, based on what was at hand. Use grapefruit instead of lime juice…..honey instead of agave….Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Cashews instead of peanuts. OH MY GOSH……SOOOOOO GOOD.

  46. Ok this salad looks incredible, and this blog is just too cute! I had to include this salad in our Feature Friday post today for “20 Delectable Salads” Here is the link, I hope you can stop by!

  47. I just made this today for lunch. It. was. FANTASTIC. Next time, I may cut back on the cayenne (whoa!). I also used maple syrup instead of agave. Agave is marketed as a healthy-ish sweetener, but it is a highly processed sugar. Best to go with maple syrup or raw honey. I plan on making this all Summer long (if it ever gets here!). Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  48. Yes loved that Miso Shrimp and Crab salad! And they still have em around Cali but they got rid of that thing and replaced with a bunch of mediocre salads. Whyyyyy :(

  49. What store bought dressing would be a good substitute for the miso? Or one that would compliment the shrimp

  50. My husband and I were talking yesterday about how we were seriously craving some different flavors in our life…and then I found this recipe! I made it for some friends that came over for dinner, and everyone kept saying over and over how amazing it was. Truly, it was mind-blowingly good. Thank you for this gem of a recipe!!!!

  51. Larisa Schabel says:

    I was in search of something fresh and healthy after Easter feast. Came across this recipe on Pinterest and just had to make it. I made this last night, this salad is refreshing but yet so full of flavors. My husband said that it was the best shrimp meal he’s had! Yum, and thank you!

  52. Made this tonight and it was SO YUMMY!!!! Thanks for an easy and delicious recipe! My husband also loved it. Said it was “top 5”. Thanks! :)

  53. Thank you for such an awesome recipe! I made this tonight and it was so good… loved the shrimp and the dressing was so flavorful. This is going into the “Keepers” file. Thanks again!

  54. I really like your style. I tried a handful of your recipes (if you want which ones; email me). They were really good. With this post though, you gotta tone down the OCD, other people DO NOT understand pre-conception etc. you need to bring them into your world slowly.

    Great photos btw.

  55. The miso dressing is a keeper! Loved the wontons and the shrimp. Will definitely add this to my list of favorites.

  56. I love the idea of all of these ingredients as a salad in general, and the miso sounds so good! I made this tonight except that the only miso at my Safeway was a GIANT container, which I couldn’t justify buying as I don’t eat that much food with miso. I subbed about a tablespoon of avocado and some basil in the dressing and it was delicious. Obviously a different flavor but still fresh and tasty :) I would recommend for someone who is not a fan of miso!

  57. We made tonight and LOVED this salad. We used no oil in dressing and no butter for cooking. Dressing was delicious!!! We also added cabbage to the lettuce mix for crunch and then also some green onions, basil, and wonton strips to the mix!! Thank you so much for the recipe and I can’t wait to try more!!! :)

  58. This sounds delicious. I have so much miso paste in my fridge. I’ll have to make this dressing for all sorts of salads…although the spicy shrimp with avocado sounds like a perfect combo!

  59. I just made this and it is really SO good! We ate it all up. The miso dressing is great. Thank you!

  60. Amber Slamp says:

    This recipe is amazing! Thank you for sharing

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  62. This salad is so awesome!! Quick question: does the calorie count per serving include the dressing or not? Going thru a calorie counting phase! :) Thanks!!!

  63. Oh yummmm!! On the menu this week. Sidenote: where did you get this bowl? I’ve seen them a lot recently and they really are the perfect salad bowl.. Not too deep..

  64. Hello, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am also cheerful to share my knowledge here with friends.

  65. Lindsay – this recipe was spectacular. I made it last night. DELICIOUS! Pinned and going into my book of favs.

  66. LOVE this salad ! Hands down one of the best salad recipes I have tried , and I’m hard to please ! Mom of an executive chef at a very prominent restaurant in Providence ( I taught him everything he knows ! ) My 18 mos old Grandson even loved it. This ones a keeper , can’t wait to make it again .

  67. Florence Kerns says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s SO GOOD! I’ve made it twice in the past week!

  68. This looks and sounds delicious. And I love your food photography.

  69. My husband and I have never had quite such amazing little shrimp. They were perfectly spiced and just super incredible.

    I had to alter the dressing a bit because the hubby can’t have fresh ginger (appears to be allergic), so I used ground ginger. I also couldn’t find miso, so I had to leave it out. And lastly, I used honey instead of agave. The dressing was super delicious even with these few changes…actually it was even MORE incredible a day or two later. Yum!

  70. Shrimp is full of awesome protein + avocado for healthy, nourishing fats + kale for vitamins? This is sure to make you feel amazing!!

  71. Loved this! just made it for lunch today. I’ve had your recipe pinned for some time and just got around to it. delicious:)

  72. i found this recipe through a buzzfeed food article on avocados –


    the version i made was slightly different based on what i had on hand – pink radishes instead of cucumber, raw spinach and mixed greens together, cayenne + smoked paprika for the shrimp, spring onion tops in addition to cilantro, and yellow miso instead of white.

    the dressing was incredible and tied all the ingredients together perfectly. i might try and add cold soba next time for a heartier soba salad hybrid. not usually big on salad recipes, but this one i will definitely be revisiting in future.

    thank you!

  73. I have a question about the miso paste…have you ever tried it with red miso? Just curious, as at the moment I don’t have white miso paste. Do you think it would change the taste very much?

  74. Nicole English says:

    What oil is good to use for the salad dressing?

  75. looks so tasty.

  76. Can’t say enough amazing things about this salad. It’s seriously one of our favorites!!!!

  77. Desiree says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing such a simple, yet yummy, recipe for shrimp! Tonight was my first time cooking it at’s first shrimp! Lol :) I’m one of those people that loves seafood at restaurants, but finds it intimidating to cook at home. However, tonight the shrimp came out exactly like your picture and it was so beyond delicious! I can’t wait to try it in shrimp tacos with avocado, and the pepper jack pasta I make. Thanks again! :)

  78. Ever since I found this recipe this summer, I have been having it for lunch almost every single day. I crave it like crazy. I now usually throw chicken on top instead of making the shrimp (which was great but I’m lazy) and add raw zucchini and sugar snap peas. The dressing is to die for. I don’t know how I lived without this salad!

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