This Japanese-type snack or starter does need a deft hand at the deep fryer, and it's best to drop the mixture into hot oil with a spoon. Something really different! Serve with sweet chilli sauce. Prep time does not include cleaning the shrimps, and tiny shrimps are usually sold ready-cleaned. Number of servings will depend on whether you serve it for a family, or as part of a seafood buffet. The recipe makes about 18 - 22 snacks.
- 2 slices white bread, thickly cut, crusts removed (at least 1-inch thick)
- 3 tablespoons chicken broth (chicken stock)
- 1 lb shrimp, tiny, raw, peeled, headless, chop if necessary (500g)
- 4 water chestnuts, very finely chopped (from a tin)
- 1 tablespoon ginger, fresh and very finely chopped. (Or grate it)
- 1 pinch salt (seasoning salt of choice, but remember broth can be salty)
- 3 -4 drops hot sauce
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites, beaten until stiff, not dry
- oil, for deep-frying
- Save yourself endless trouble in peeling, and buy packets of raw, tiny shrimp. The cooked ones (which are always very pink) do not taste as good as raw. Defrost and drain well, and pat with kitchen paper to remove excess liquid.
- Tear the bread into a small bowl with the chicken broth or stock, and let bread absorb the liquid.
- Lift the soaked bread into a bowl, leaving excess liquid behind but do not squeeze out the broth. Break up the wet bread as much as possible, and add to the shrimps.
- Mix in all the ingredients except the beaten egg white. The ginger and chestnuts should be really fine: do it by chopping them on a board with a carving knife, as you've seen the TV chefs do!
- Heat oil to a depth of about 4 inches: when a cube of bread is dropped in and sizzles, the oil is ready.
- Stir the beaten egg whites into the shrimp mixture.
- It's fairly impossible to shape the mixture into balls, but a dessertspoon works well. Drop dessertspoons of the mixture into the oil in batches. Fry until the bites are golden brown and rise to the surface, else use a slotted spoon to turn them very carefully in the hot oil.
- Keep warm until serving, and serve with sweet chilli sauce as a dip.
- Servings are hard to guess, especially if you have this as part of a seafood buffet. Recipe makes roughly 20 little "cakes" or bites.