Thousand Corner Shrimp Balls
The authors note that this popular appetizer can be served as a cocktail hors d'oeuvre or as part of a dim sum brunch. Be sure to make a few extra and freeze to use the next time you're preparing soup. Serve the shrimp balls with the dipping sauce below.
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 4 ounces soft tofu
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 bag (1 pound) thinly sliced firm white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Dipping Sauce for Thousand Corner Shrimp Balls:
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 small hot red peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced carrots
Place warm water in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon salt; stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. Leave for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water, drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife or a food processor, cut the shrimp to a paste.
Mash the tofu with a fork in a bowl and add the shrimp, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the egg whites, cornstarch, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, and the pepper. Mix well.
In a wok or a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into very tiny squares (about 1/16 inch). Spread the bread squares on a sheet pan, spoon 1 tablespoon shrimp mixture on the bread squares, and roll into a ball (the bread corners from the little squares should be protruding from the shrimp/tofu ball). Fry 6 balls at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, turning so they brown evenly. Let drain briefly on paper towels.
To prepare the dipping sauce, in a small pan, bring 1/2 cup water, the vinegar, sugar, and garlic to a boil and boil for 2 minutes over high heat. Add the fish sauce, sliced red peppers, and carrots. Remove from the heat and let cool. Cover and chill.