Chinese Shrimp Cakes
Shrimp cakes. This is very much a home-cooking dish and popular in coastal cities in China where shrimp are plentiful.
- 1 pound shrimp
- (450g, thawed, peeled and deveined)
- 1 small carrot (about 50g)
- 5 water chestnuts (minced, freshly peeled or from a can)
- ¼ cup cilantro (15 g, finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
- 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 egg white
- 3 tablespoons oil (for pan-frying)
- Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Lightly “smash” them with the side of a knife, and coarsely chop them. Be careful not mince the shrimp into pieces that are too small.
- Split a small carrot (about 50 g) in half crosswise and then lengthwise, and blanch the pieces in boiling water for about 2 minutes until lightly softened. Drain and finely dice the blanched carrot.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the coarsely chopped shrimp, finely diced carrot, minced water chestnuts, ¼ cup cilantro, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper, 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and 1 egg white. Whip everything together for about 5 to 10 minutes in one direction, until the mixture is sticky and all ingredients are well combined. You should be able to gather it into one big smooth ball with a rubber spatula, i.e. it should be sticky and cohesive.
- Now, heat a flat bottomed frying pan over medium high heat (nonstick or cast iron works best), until it starts to smoke lightly. Add 2 tablespoons oil and turn the heat down to medium. Take a large spoonful of the shrimp mixture, and use another spoon to form a ball. You can also do this with oiled hands.
- Drop it into the pan and quickly press it into a disc. (To avoid sticking, you can brush the spoons with oil beforehand.)
- Pan-fry each side for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Add the last tablespoon of oil if needed during pan-frying.
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