Saturday, March 3, 2012

Shrimp Rolls

In additional to the famous eggrolls, there is a lot you can do with the eggroll wrapper, you can pretty much stuff any filling and wrap it up with the thin paper for a nice crisp texture once its fried.
Shrimp Rolls

At almost every Cambodian social gathering at the house, shrimp rolls is a popular appetizer choice.  Its easy to make and almost everybody likes shrimp.  The shrimp rolls are usually the first to go.  Grandma's and mother's often put some aside in fear of the big ticket item running out before their grandkids or kids gets to enjoy some.

I usually make these for Cambodian New Years and bring a tray to the Mo's grandma's house and the Mo's parents house to share with his siblings and cousins.  I also like to make it when we go camping as its a great finger food for the kids and its also easy to prepare.

Shaw's Shrimp Sale $ 9.99 a bag
This week, shrimp was on sale at Shaw's for $9.99 for a 2 pound bag.  The size was 31/40 meaning there are 31-40 pieces of shrimp in a pound.  This was a great price since it is usually 17.99 a bag at regular price.  I can actually but it at the local Cambodian store for $13.99 a bag, so even the sale price was better than the Cambodian store price.  I bought 5 bags and people looked at me like I was crazy.  I actually wanted to buy more, but I think I will just go back later this week.

Generally like to use the one size up, 26-30 which are slightly larger and more plump but this deal was pretty good.  Plus, people talk shit, when you use small shrimps.  They call you cheap for using small shrimp.  Since this is for family, I'm sure they would be more appreciative rather than being critical.

Also, please try to buy shrimps already peeled and deveined.  This saves a tedious step of removing the shell and deveining the shrimp which can get quite messy.

This is the recipe that I learned from my mom.  She would make hundreds of them for our family gatherings.  Today, I made 240 using 3 bags of shrimp.

Shrimp Rolls

Egg Roll Wrapper

  • 50 pieces of raw shrimp, Size 26-30 Preferred but Size 31-40 is fine
  • 1 package of eggroll wrapper, see image
    • This can be purchased at any local Asian store in Lowell, Chinatown or Hmart in Burlington, Ma.  I've also seen them at a variety of Market Baskets.
  • 1 Tablespoon of corn starch
  • Frying oil
  • Mae Ploy Sweet Chili sauce for dipping
  • Optional: Salt & MSG & Garlic Powder
Thaw, wash and drain the raw shrimp.  
Add salt, garlic powder and MSG to taste (Optional). I say this is optional because it really is.  Shrimp already has a strong flavor and the wrapper has salt in it.  Since most people using the dipping sauce also, there is really no need to add the extra ingredients.  I just do it because its a habit.

Mix the cornstarch and two tablespoons of water.  Cook the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds.  This will be the "glue" to bind the wrapper together. 
Argo Cornstarch

Cornstarch water mixture
Cut the square sheets in half from corner to corner to create two triangles.  Peel off one triangle of wrap and place on work surface.  The top of the triangle should be on the side. I prefer to use a cutting board but you can use a plate or your counter top.  

Place shrimp on the bottom of the sheet with the tail sticking slightly off the sheet.  Fold the wrapper an inch above the shrimp.  Start rolling the sheet upwards.  Try to be as tight as possible.  If the shrimp is too big, you might have to snap it in half carefully so that the shrimp still remains as one piece and not two but just more flexible.  This helps with the natural curve of the shrimp and makes it easier to roll the shrimp.

Once you roll to the middle, fold the side triangle to meet the shrimp.  Continue to roll to the top.  Once you are almost at the top, moisten your index finger with the cornstarch mixture and rub it onto the top of the egg roll paper.  

Continue to roll the shrimp up until it attached itself to the cornstarch mixture and is complete.  Plate on a cooksheet to let the cornstarch set.

If you are not going to fry them all right away, place the rolls in freezer bags and freeze immediately.

After all the shrimp roll have been prepared, heat a wok with frying oil.  (I used a small sauce pan here since I was only making 6 and didn't want to waste oil)

Do not heat the oil on high heat, it will burn the oil and the rolls will be burned.  Heat the oil on medium heat for two minutes.  Add the shrimp rolls and cook until they are golden brown.  This should not take more than 10 minutes.  

Serve with the Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce. I also shredded some leftover wrapper and fried them as a garnish.