Chinese-style shrimp balls with shrimp sauce

Ingredients

  1. Shrimp balls
  2. 600 grams shrimp
  3. 2 tsp potato starch or corn starch
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 egg white
  6. 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  7. 1/4 tsp white pepper (original recipe says 1/8)
  8. Shrimp sauce
  9. Shells, tails, and heads from the shrimp
  10. 2 tbs minced garlic
  11. 2 tbs minced ginger
  12. 4 tbs chopped green onions
  13. 1 small pinch chili flakes (optional)
  14. 1 cup chicken broth
  15. 1-2 tbs oil
  16. Corn starch slurry

Steps

  1. Peel and devein shrimp. Reserve shells, tails, and heads for the sauce.

  2. Mix the shrimp, salt, and 1 tsp of the starch in a bowl. Let sit for seven minutes.

  3. After seven minutes, thoroughly rinse off the shrimp, then pat dry with paper towels. Once the shrimp are dry, chop them up roughly put them in a bowl, and mash them into a paste.

  4. Add in the remaining 1 tsp of starch, egg white, sesame oil, and pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined. IMPORTANT: stir in ONE DIRECTION only. This is key for the consistency of the paste.

  5. Once combined, gather up the paste in one hand and throw it hard back into the bowl (not baseball pitcher hard but with some real force). THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT. I believe this is to help break down the proteins and give the balls that firm consistency. Do this at least six times and until paste is sticky (I did it more like ten or twelve).

  6. Cover shrimp mixture and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  7. While the shrimp mixture chills, make the sauce.

  8. Over medium heat, cook the garlic, ginger, and green onions in the oil until fragrant (about 30 secs to one minute). Add in the reserved shells, tails, and heads, and cook until they turn color. As they cook, press down on them to extract max flavor.

  9. Add in chicken stock (and chili flakes, if you like spicy), turn up the heat to a near boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer until sauce reduces, around 20 minutes. Continue to press on the shells, etc. and add more stock if reducing too quickly.

  10. When reduced by half or more, strain the sauce and reserve the liquid.

  11. Take the shrimp paste out of the fridge, form it into balls, and then steam them over high heat for five minutes. You should get about twelve balls in total if you make a full batch.

  12. While the balls cook, put the sauce in a pan, gently simmer, and add a little slurry to thicken it up a bit (easy to overdo this).

  13. Remove balls from steamer, pour sauce over them, garnish as you like (I used ginger and cilantro), and serve.

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