Crunchy Chinese Shrimp

Chef Terry Zila prepares a State Fair inspired meal just in case you can’t make it out to the fair!

Makes 12 balls

For the Shrimp paste:

8 ounces raw shrimp
Scant 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon egg white, lightly beaten
⅛ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
¼  teaspoon sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon green onion, green part only

6 Chinese spring roll skins, 8-inch squares
Peanut oil for deep-frying

Serve with Sweet Chile Garlic Sauce

  1. Place the shrimp in a strainer, toss with ½ teaspoon salt to refresh, then rinse. Pat with paper towel to remove excess moisture and roughly chop the shrimp into large pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the remaining ½ teaspoon salt with the egg white, pepper, sugar, both the sesame and peanut oils, and cornstarch. Add the shrimp, and stir to combine well.
  3. Transfer to a small or large food processor. Grind to a coarse texture, pausing to scrape as needed, before adding the chives. Grind the shrimp a little longer to produce a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to firm up enough to handle. You can also refrigerate the mixture overnight.
  4. Separate each spring roll skin and then cut each into ¼ inch wide ribbons. Set aside.
  5. Divide the mixture into 12 portions and, with damp hands, roll into 12 balls, 1-inch in diameter each.
  6. Make a small pile of the ribbons and drop the ball onto the pile. Roll each shrimp ball around so the ribbons adhere to surface of the balls. Repeat with the remaining shrimp balls.
  7. Heat the peanut oil in a deep fat fryer to 350ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with 4 to 5 layers of paper towel. .
  8. Fry the shrimp balls, about 4 to 6 at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and slightly puffed, occasionally turning the balls with a frying spider. Remove to drain on the rack. Return the oil to temperature between batches.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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