Almond Shrimp Balls

Sunday, August 25, 2013


  • ⅔ pound (320 g) medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (net 9 oz / 270 g)
  • Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped, white and green parts
  • Canola oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 handfuls sliced raw almonds
  • Hot sauce, such as Sriracha or chile garlic sauce


  1. Put the shrimp in a colander and toss with a liberal amount of salt. Rinse under lots of cold water, drain well, then blot dry with paper towels.
  2. Coarsely chop the shrimp, then put in a bowl. Add a very generous 1/8 teaspoon of salt, then the pepper, sugar, cornstarch, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine. Put into to a small or regular-size food processor and grind into a stiff and relatively coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the green onion. Cover and set aside, or refrigerate overnight. Use at room temperature or cold. You should have a generous 1 cup.
  3. Heat 1½ inches (7.5 cm) oil in a wok, small saucepan, or deep skillet to about 340°F. If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, stick a dry bamboo chopstick into the oil; if it takes about 1 second for bubbles to rise to the surface and encircle the chopstick, the oil is ready.
  4. While the oil heats up, use two teaspoons to shape the paste into 14 to 16 balls, rolling each one in the sliced almonds as you shape it; gently press the almonds into place. In batches, fry the shrimp balls in the oil for about 1 minute. They should sink to the bottom then eventually float up to the surface. Adjust the heat to maintain the oil temperature. Drain and cool on paper towel for a few minutes before eating with hot sauce.

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