spicy shrimp noodles

Hi from Midway Airport! Waiting to catch a flight to San Francisco.

I just spent 24 hours in a suburb of Chicago to work a training event for audiology students. They were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about ear stuff and it was adorable. They were also definitely under the impression that having a job like mine which requires a great deal of travel is highly glamorous.

Who wants to rain on an ear nerd happiness parade? Definitely not me. But, spoiler alert: not glamorous. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But traveling really opens your eyes to the lowest of low of humanity.

Here are a few of my main air travel grievances:

  1. Without fail, there will be people in the TSA pre-check line who do not have TSA pre-check. And when they are told by the security officer that their boarding pass does not say TSA pre-check and therefore they need to turn around and wait in the regular line, it is somehow always the security officer’s fault. No, how about you learn to read the signs? I also once saw a lady approach without identification. She gave the security officer some other kind of ID, probably her employee badge from wherever she works. But it could have been a Costco card, I wasn’t close enough to see. He turned her down and she got all huffy about it. Did she really think that was going to fly? (LOL pun not intended but I’m keeping it.)
  2. People who stand on the moving walkway. Or on escalators. Or just stop walking in the middle of everything and make people go around them. MOVE.
  3. Public restrooms. I guess airport restrooms aren’t necessarily any worse than the average public restroom, but I need to know if there is a culture out there that teaches their members not to flush the toilet. I’m just trying to understand.
  4. When people are mean to parents with misbehaving children on planes. Don’t you think those parents already feel awful that their kid is being so annoying? Put some headphones in and deal with it. You were probably a super rotten toddler.
  5. People who try to get away with “family pre-boarding” when their kids are like 12. If your son or daughter is old enough to have their own cell phone, they don’t need to board a plane before the rest of us. And they probably don’t want to sit with you anyway.

I think that’s a good list for today. And given that I just paid $19 for a very mediocre turkey sandwich and a bottle of water, here’s a much better dinner option for you to make at home.


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Spicy Shrimp Noodles (serves 2)

adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

2 packages of noodles- I used cellophane noodles but rice noodles or even ramen or soba would be good

1/2 lb shrimp

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

3 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

for the shrimp marinade

2 1/2 tsp sriracha

1 tsp sugar

for the dressing

1 1/2 tsp sriracha

2 tbsp fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

4 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

3 tsp sugar

3 tbsp water

I bought wild caught shrimp with the peels still attached, so peeling and cleaning the shrimp was the longest part of this recipe. You can definitely buy peeled shrimp (even frozen- gasp) to save yourself some time. Just make sure they’re uncooked. Toss the shrimp in the sriracha and sugar mixture.

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You can either skewer them and grill them (would have done this if I had a grill) or sear them in a cast iron skillet with a little canola oil. Shrimp cook really fast- maybe 1-2 minutes on each side. And there is nothing worse than overcooked shrimp so be conservative on your cooking time.


Cook the noodles according to directions. Assemble your “dressing.” I never measure anything which is probably the way to make yourself the worst and most unhelpful food blogger ever. The measurements I gave above are from the recipe in Rachael Ray’s magazine, so you can go with that. I find fish sauce to be really overpowering so I probably went lighter on that and heavier on the sriracha.

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Assemble! Noodles, sliced cucumbers, sliced jalapenos, scallions, chopped peanuts (Rach recommends honey roasted but I hate those so I just did regular salted), shrimp. Pour over some of that dressing and serve with a lime wedge.


In hindsight this would have made more sense in a bowl for ease of tossing, but I’m all about that presentation.


Don’t worry, I’ll be in a better mood once I get on the plane. I have drink tickets.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Caitlin says:

    I can’t wait to try this with fresh jalapeños and cucumbers from the garden. And the airport list! Ha! Definitely #3-4. Just tack on people that try to walk Starbucks through security!

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