Whether or not bite-size Thai shrimp patties spiked with fish sauce, Vietnamese shrimp paste packed onto sugar cane or Southern American shrimp burgers shot via with mayonnaise, savory shrimp truffles are a tasty staple in coastal areas everywhere in the world.
Unsurprisingly, their flavors fluctuate relying on the place they’re made. You’ll discover them spiced with the likes of white pepper in China, chiles in Latin America or Previous Bay seasoning in South Carolina.
One other level of distinction is the binder — or lack thereof. Some conventional recipes skip it, mashing and pounding the shrimp till they stick collectively on their very own. This ends in a agency, bouncy texture after cooking, with a lovely chew. Different recipes lace some mixture of eggs, flour, cornstarch, bread or cracker crumbs, or rice into the shrimp batter, which make for airier, crumblier truffles which are simpler to brown when cooked at excessive warmth (often deep-fried, pan-fried or grilled).
In my considerably untraditional rendition, I’ve certain the batter with one thing else fully: crumbs pulverized from puffed, crunchy rice truffles.
Though this will likely not appear intuitive, it does make sense, on condition that each rice and crackers are frequent binders. Rice truffles simply mix the 2. You get the gentle taste and gluten-free qualities of the rice together with the crispness of crackers.
Make certain to make use of the pebbly type of rice truffles right here (both thick or skinny), those that vaguely resemble popcorn or Styrofoam. When you may crush up clean, waferlike rice crackers for this, the shrimp truffles gained’t be fairly as ethereal. The fantastic thing about the rice truffles is how all that air trapped within the puffed rice provides the shrimp truffles a lighter, extra ethereal texture.
To make the crumbs, grind the rice truffles in a meals processor or blender. Then, the shrimp and aromatics (I take advantage of a bracing mixture of garlic, basil, cilantro and chiles) might be whirled collectively in the identical container, no want to clean it first.
Chilling the batter for at the very least an hour (or in a single day) makes it simpler to type into truffles. And the fried truffles freeze moderately effectively, although they gained’t be as crisp after thawing. Operating them underneath the broiler helps restore them.
I wish to serve these with an herby, chile-flecked mayonnaise that’s type of like a tartar sauce, however spicier. Then, I nibble them scorching from the pan and dream of the seaside.