Today we are making避风塘炒虾, translate as typhoon shelter shrimp. This dish was originally from HK Causeway Bay. It was created by fishermen with limited ingredients on board when they are avoiding the typhoon. Now typhoon shelter has become a style of cooking that features a classic combination of crispy fried garlic, golden breadcrumb, and deep-fried seafood. Sounds so delicious already. The amazing part is that I am going to share a tip to replace the bread crumb and make this a keto-friendly recipe. How exciting！
- 400 grams (12 oz) of peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1/3 tsp of salt
- 1.5 tsp of soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp of Chinese cooking wine
- 1.5 tsp of paprika
- Some black pepper to taste
- A drizzle of vegetable oil
- 30 cloves of garlic, around 2 bulbs
- 3/4 cup of oil
- 1 cup of shaved coconut, bake in a 350 F oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown
- 6 red dried chilies, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 of a small onion, diced
- 1/2 inch of ginger, finely diced
- 2 scallions, diced
- A small bunch of cilantro, diced; separate the stem and leaves
- 4 Thai bird eye chilies, roughly diced
- 1/2 tbsp of fermented soybean
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of sugar
- Some white pepper to taste
I supposed to use head-on and shell-on shrimp for this recipe. That is the style in HK because we believe the shrimp oil from the head will add some nice flavor to the dish. But I couldn’t find any. It is so hard to buy head-on shrimp in the USA. That is why these are peeled and deveined shrimps.
Marinade with 1/3 tsp of salt, 1.5 tsp of soy sauce, 1.5 tsp of Chinese cooking wine, some black pepper to taste, a drizzle of vegetable oil, and 1.5 tsp of paprika; these shrimps are peeled. They won’t look as pink compared to the shell on shrimp so a little bit of paprika will help with the color. Toss to mix thoroughly. Set it aside.
There are 2 ingredients that provide the crispiness for this recipe. The first one is breadcrumbs, What you will do is to toast 1 cup of panko breadcrumb with 1.5 tbsp of cooking oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are nice and golden. I am not going to show you how to do that today because I will replace the breadcrumbs with shaved coconut to make this keto-friendly. And I think that the coconut flavor goes excellent with the shrimp. Just spread it on a metal baking pan. Coconut already contains oil so we don’t need to add oil anymore. Bake this in a 350 F oven for 5-7 minutes. Every oven is different. Please keep an eye on it until it is golden brown.
The second crispy ingredient is fried garlic. We will use 30 cloves, which is about 2 whole bulbs. Chop it in a food processor for a couple of minutes.
Transfer the garlic into a sieve and rinse it with running water. When the garlic is crushed and chopped, it will release a type of chemical called mercaptans, which makes your knife, cutting board sticky. That chemical is what we are trying the rinse off because it will bring a bitter taste when deep-fried. Leave it in the sieve for a few minutes to drain thoroughly.
Add 3/4 cup of cooking oil to the wok along with the garlic. Turn the heat to medium-low. This will take about 8-12 minutes to get the garlic nice and crispy. Be sure to stay next to the stove and stir it constantly. Otherwise, you might burn the garlic. What we are looking for is a light golden color. Don’t fry it too dark as it will get bitter. Turn off the heat. Let it go through a sieve. Set the garlic aside.
Use a paper towel to wipe the garlic bits that are left in the wok because we will pour the oil back in and crank up the heat to high. Wait until the oil is slightly smoking, then add in the marinated shrimp. Fry this for just 2 minutes. Take them out and set the shrimp aside.
You should have some oil left in the wok. Do not waste it because it is garlicky and full of shrimp flavor. Especially if you got the head-on shrimp, it will smell even better. You can use this oil to make noodles, drizzle it over wonton soup, saute vegetables. It is so delicious. Just store it in a sealed container and it will last a couple of months.
Keep 2 tbsp of oil in the wok. Turn the heat to medium. Go in with the red dried chilies, Thai bird eye chilies, ginger, diced onion, the white part of the scallion, cilantro stem, and fermented black soybean. Stir this for a couple of minutes just to release the aroma. Then toss in the shaved and baked coconut, the crispy fried garlic. Season with 1/3 tsp of salt, 1.5 tsp of sugar. Mix until the flavor is well combined. Introduce the shrimp back into the wok, along with the green part of the scallion and the cilantro leaves. Give it a final toss and you are done.
This smells so good. I can’t wait to give it a try. When you take a bite, your mouth is packed with flavors. The combination of different spices, aromatics, shrimp, the coconut is just indescribable. Oh, remember I mentioned that I supposed to use shell-on shrimp, you must think it will be so difficult to peel it. In fact, if you fried it perfectly, the shell should be crispy and flaky that you can just eat it. It is just a personal preference, if you don’t like it, you can peel it.
After you finished eating the meal, if there are some coconut and garlic left in the plate, you can save it and put it on top of noodle soup, or congee. It just adds so much flavor.