Recipe courtesy of Jimmy Pang

Phoenix Tail Prawn

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 9 servings, with 2 pieces per serving
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Ingredients

2 pounds headless green shrimp with shell (about 76)

2 tablespoons corn oil

Oil or shortening, for deep-frying

Seasonings (A):

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon potato starch

1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar

Seasonings (B):

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon table salt

1 tablespoon white granulated sugar

1 tablespoon potato starch

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion

Batter:

1/2 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon potato starch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups cold water

2 tablespoons corn oil

Directions

  1. Peel and de-vein all the shrimps, saving the tail shells on 18 of them; the rest with tail shells off. Make a cross-wise cut about 1/3 deep on the belly of each of the 18 shrimps, so shrimp will not curl up after being fried. Wash all 2 pounds of shrimps, then drain and pat dry with paper towel. Add seasonings (A) to the 18 tail-on shrimp and mix thoroughly, then set aside. Put the rest of the shrimps (no tail shells) into a mini food processor, add seasonings (B), except the cilantro and green onions, then blend at high speed for 90 seconds, or until it forms into a fine, smooth paste. Then add the cilantro and green onion, and continue blending for a few seconds more so they are completely mixed into the paste but still maintaining texture and color contrast. Scrape paste out, then form into 18 equal portion balls, each weighing about 1 ounce.
  2. Thoroughly wash hands. Use the corn oil to coat both palms. Put the shrimp paste ball in 1 palm then press 1 tail shell-on shrimp into center. Engulf the shrimp with the paste, turning and smoothing out until the paste is evenly wrapped around the whole length of the shrimp, exposing only the tail shell and resembling the general appearance of a whole shrimp. Put the paste wrapped shrimps on a lightly oiled pan or plate.
  3. Batter: Beat the egg well with a wire whisk. Pour batter ingredients into a mixing bowl in the following order: flour, potato starch, baking powder, egg, and about 1/2 of the water. Gently beat the mixture using a whisk while pouring the water in. Continue beating while you slowly add the rest of the water and finally the oil to form a smooth batter. Set aside.
  4. Preheat frying oil or shortening to 350 degrees F for deep-frying. Dip each paste wrapped shrimp into the batter, coat evenly then deep fry for 3 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Then lay the shrimps on layers of paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve hot with parsley and sweet and sour sauce.

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