1 lb. prawns or shrimps
3.1/2 oz. fat pork
7 oz. water-chestnuts (optional but recommended)
4 cups peanut oil (consumption about 7%)
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons cornflour in 2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon gourmet powder
1 tablespoon cooking wine
a pinch of pepper
1 tablespoon scallion
2 teaspoons ginger root
1) Remove heads, legs, shells and tails of prawns. Slash lightly along the backs. Put the prawns in a small basin, pour in cold water and while washing them, remove the black line which runs down the back. Drain the prawns.
Pare water-chestnuts, wash and chop them into fine grains.
Crush scallion and ginger with the back of a cleaver and soak them in a little cold water.
2) Shred prawns and fat pork- and then crush them with the back of a cleaver into mash. Put this in a small pot, add water-chestnut, egg-white, salt, cornflour solution, cooking wine, gourmet powder, pepper and the water in which scallion and ginger have been soaked. Mix hard until the prawn mash becomes cohesive and firm.
3) Heat a fry pan on fire. Pour in peanut oil. When this is about to bubble, shape prawn mash into 5/8-inch balls and drop them into the oil for slow frying on- low heat. When all the balls are floating on top of the oil, continue to fry a little and they are ready to serve after draining.
(1) A slight variation will produce another dish: Arrange the shrimp balls on a piece of drenched cloth; garnish each ball by pressing in a red cherry or a few fresh peas; flatten slightly and arrange in dish; steam to cover on high flame for 20' minutes. This dish is called "Steamed Shrimp Cakes" and may be served as it is.
A further variation: Coat the steamed cakes, while still hot, with a layer of cornflour and fry them. The result will be "Fried Shrimp Cakes".
(2) Or the raw balls may be rolled in fine breadcrumbs or raw sesame seeds to form a coating and then fried on medium fire till the coating is crisp. The dish will be "Pearly Shrimp Balls" or "Sesame Shrimp Balls".