Get dinner sizzling with firecracker shrimp

Firecracker shrimp
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or flour
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) water
  • 24 medium tail-on shrimp, shelled (leave tail on) and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sweet chilli sauce, divided
  • 12 eggroll or fresh spring roll wrappers, cut in half diagonally and covered with plastic wrap or a damp cloth
  • High-heat cooking oil for frying
Preparation:
  1. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water to make a slurry.

  2. Lay the shrimp flat on a cutting board and using a sharp paring knife, cut a few nicks on the inside curve of the shrimp. Be careful not to cut through the shrimp. Pat the shrimp very dry.

  3. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup (65 ml) of the sweet chilli sauce on a small plate. Hold the shrimp by its tail and dip both sides of the shrimp in the sweet chilli sauce. Avoid getting the tails wet (if the tail of the shrimp is wet with marinade, it will splatter in the hot oil). Let the shrimp marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.

  4. Use paper towels to pat the shrimp slightly, to soak up the extra marinade. Some of the sticky sweet chilli sauce should still be on the shrimp.

  5. Roll the shrimp in the halved wrappers, following the instructions below.

  6. In a wok, deep fryer or large sauté pan, add 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) of oil and heat it to 375°F (190°C). Add the firecracker shrimp a few at a time to the oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes. Drain on a baking rack and serve with a side of sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
Rolling the shrimp wrapper:
  1. Lay an eggroll or spring roll wrapper on a dry, clean surface. Lay a shrimp with the tail sticking out.

  2. Bring the left corner of the wrapper over the shrimp and begin rolling left to right. Make sure that you are rolling tightly. As you roll, bring the top corner of the wrapper down and over the shrimp. Again, make sure you leave no open pockets of air. Big air pockets and holes will allow oil to seep in.

  3. Continue rolling towards the right. Dip your finger or a pasty brush into the cornstarch slurry and paint the final corner. Roll to seal. Lay the roll seam side down on a dry plate or tray. Repeat with the rest of the shrimp and wrappers. Keep all uncooked Firecracker Shrimp covered with plastic wrap or barely damp towel.

About the book:

Looking to create quick, fresh and simple Asian recipes at home similar to your favorite Asian takeout but too scared to try? Look no further! Jaden Hair's debut title, THE STEAMY KITCHEN COOKBOOK dishes up 101 Asian recipes that are simple enough for tonight's dinner!

Two and a half years ago, Jaden moved from California to a small Florida town without easy access to Asian markets or her Chinese mother's kitchen. Becoming more serious about cooking-and needing a place to jot down all of her mother's kitchen wisdom and recipes-Jaden took her natural talent for making spectacularly simple meals and created from it the award-winning site SteamyKitchen.com and now, THE STEAMY KITCHEN COOKBOOK.

This mouthwatering book offers a feast of contrasts: some very traditional Chinese recipes from Jaden's mother, such as Mom's Famous Crispy Eggrolls; not so traditional but modern take out favorites, like Broccoli Beef or the crowd-favorite Firecracker Shrimp; and some recipes that Jaden's "kidlets" have chosen for you, like Chocolate Wontons and Grilled Pineapple with Chocolate Coconut Rum Sauce-sans the rum for the under-aged crowd, of course!

>> Buy this book on Amazon: The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner

About Jaden Hair:

Jaden Hair is a self-taught cook whose love of good food-a girl's gotta eat!-inspired her to learn how to cook the delicious Chinese recipes her mother had prepared when she was growing up. Jaden teaches cooking classes in Tampa and L.A. and shares her passion about cooking and eating well through a variety of media, including her award-winning steamykitchen.com blog, a weekly column in the Tampa Tribune, the syndicated show "Daytime," a regular live spot on Tampa Bay's CBS10 and as a food writer for Club Med North America.

Jaden lives in Florida with her family.

website: steamykitchen.com

Book signing November 6, 2009
Omnivore Books 6 p.m.
3885 Cesar Chavez St.
San Francisco, CA 94131-2013
(415) 282-4712

Cooking demo and Class November 7, 2009: Sur La Table 6:00 p.m.
Union Square
San Francisco, California 94108
$69.00
Call 1.800.243.0852 any time to sign up
website: cookingclasses.surlatable.com

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