A lot of people think peeling shrimp is difficult. Not if you do it the right way. Use your thumb to open up the shell one by one from the head side all the way to the tail. Then you should be able to pull out the shrimp meat completely. There you go.
Stick a toothpick on the back of the shrimp and pull out the vein. You usually save some money by peeling and deveining shrimp yourself. So it is not a bad thing to learn.
Besides that, you will also need a small piece of skinless pork belly. Get a fatty piece. The shrimp and fish are really lean. A little fat will give you a better mouthfeel. Slice the pork belly and pre-diced it into these little pieces.
Roughly cut the fish fillet into small pieces. I am using trout today. I just like to add another type of protein in this recipe so the kind of fish doesn’t matter that much. You can use whatever you like.
Place the pork belly, fish fillet and 2/3 of the shrimp into a tray. Pop the tray into the freezer for 40 minutes to drop down the temperature.
Leave 1/3 of the shrimp on the cutting board. Roughly diced them. Doesn’t need to be super fine. These small bits of shrimp will give so much texture to the final product. Set it aside.
Now, let’s make my favorite aromatic water. You will need 5 cloves of garlic, 5 small slices of ginger, and 1/4 cup of water. Blend them into a puree. Pour that into a sauce bowl. Then Keep adding 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine, some white pepper to taste and 2 tsp of fish sauce. You might ask me, isn’t that a Thai ingredient? Actually, fish sauce is quite popular in northern China. Especially in Chao shan cuisine. Mix that well. We gonna pop this into the freezer as well just to keep it at a low temperature.
The meat has been sitting in the freezer for 40 minutes now, take a look. It is cold but not completely frozen. Part of the edge is half frozen. That is exactly what we want. The purpose of doing this is that when you turn on the food processor. The machine will produce heat while working which can slightly cook the seafood so the ingredients need to be as cold as possible.
Add pork belly, fish fillet and 2/3 of the shrimp into the machine. Along with 1 egg white, 2.5 tbsp of potato starch, 1 tbsp of sweet potato starch. You can switch them with the same amount of cornstarch. The texture might be a little different but It is not gonna change the final taste so don’t worry about it too much. Add some crushed ice, this is also to help to low down the temperature and prevent the ingredients from the heat. Last, pour in the sauce we just made. Cover the lid and blend everything together. Make sure the ice is melted completely. Total I let the machine run for about 4 minutes. Now we gonna add in the diced shrimp. Mix that in well and set it aside.
Get a pot of water. Manage the temperature around 160 We want to pouch the shrimp balls instead of boiling them. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can take a look of the pot, there should some small bubbles rising up from the edge of the pot. When you see that, the temperature is good.
Ok, let’s get ready to make the shrimp balls. Wet your hand with some water so the meat won't stick to your hand. Grab some shrimp paste and squeeze it into balls. Scoop it out with a spoon. Release it in the warm water. You just keep doing that until you finish.
Once you are done, turn the heat to high and bring it to a slight boil. Not a full boil. Turn off the heat and put all the shrimp balls into the ice bath to stop the cooking process immediately. Wait for it to cool down completely. What you have made here, is a half done food product. You can not eat them like this, you need to cook them furthermore. A good shrimp balls should be a little dense but not rubbery. Open it up, you can see those little bits of shrimp, looks really nice.
Now you have your shrimp balls made and let me show you how to use it as an ingredient to complete a meal.
You can make a stir fry with it. Just slice it and brown them like how you will brown sausage slices. Sprinkle whatever seasoning you like. The shrimp balls are delicious as itself so no matter how you cook it, it is gonna taste good. Look at this, nicely seared. And it is very tender. Taste so good.
Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking. I will make a quick noodles soup. Add some chicken stock, this the egg dumpling that made not so long ago, use 2 pieces of that. And few of the shrimp balls. By the way, they are freezer friendly, don’t need to defrost, just cook them directly. Bring this to a boil. You can use any type of noodle, I am using instant noodles. Yes, there times that I am lazy and I just want to eat something. Cook the noodles until it reaches the tenderness you like. I just grab any season I have on the counter. A little bit garlic, some soy sauce, some oyster sauce, a big spoonful of chili oil, actually 2 spoonfuls. Put in the noodles. I will use the stock to blanch a few pieces of greens to balance the diet. This is quick, easy, and surprisingly delicious noodle soup.
There are many ways to eat these shrimp balls. I hope you give it a try soon and discover your own ways. As always, the recipe is in the description down below the video. You can go check that out.