STEP-BY-STEP-INSTRUCTIONS WITH PICTURES
You will need 150 grams of peeled and deveined shrimp. Add it to a food processor along with some seasoning: 1/2 tsp of salt, 1.5 tbsp of fish sauce, if you don’t have fish sauce, you can use 1 tsp of salt instead of 1/2 tsp. I just love the funky umami flavor from the fish sauce. Continue by adding 1 tbsp of finely minced garlic, 1/2 tbsp of finely minced ginger, 1/2 tsp of five spice powder, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1/2 tsp of freshly ground white pepper, it should be as fine as possible so it doesn’t affect the texture.
Add in 30 grams of crushed ice. When the machine is running, it creates a lot of heat, adding ice will make sure your shrimp stays fresh and cold.
Turn on the food processor and blend this as fine as possible. If you don’t eat shrimp, you can change it to fish, or squid.
Stop the machine a few times and go in there with your spatula to stir everything. This is the texture that you are looking for - A smooth shrimp paste.
Add the tapioca flour in batches. Give it a rough mix then keep mixing with low speed. Other types of starch such as mung bean starch, potato starch, cornstarch will also work but tapioca is the best because it contains a higher percentage of amylopectin, which makes your shrimp crackers puff up bigger.
Also, depending on the brand and types of starch, you will have a different water absorption rate, the measurement that I gave is for reference. You should adjust the water amount depending on your situation.
Soon, all the flour will form into a dough. Let’s check. If it sticks to your hand, you can add a little more starch. If it is non-stick like that, you can transfer everything onto a working surface. Shape it into a long, even, smooth log. Cut the log into 2 manageable pieces
Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in the logs. In the beginning, they will sink. You have to move them around to prevent them from sticking to the bottom. After a couple of minutes, they will float up, then you can turn the heat to low. Put on the lid and simmer this for at least 30 minutes. This is a very thick dough so it takes a long time to cook it through.
Ok, once they are done cooking, they will look like they are doubled in size. That is normal. Just turn off the heat and transfer them on a rack. Right now, you can not slice them as they are very sticky. We will put them into the fridge uncovered for 30 hours.
After a long time chilling, the logs becomes smaller, the color becomes darker. It is very firm like rubber. We will slice it into 1 mm thick pieces. This requires a good knife and patience. Take it as a chance to practice your knife skills. You could use a slicer if your slicer can do 1mm thick cuts. Do not cut it too thick, otherwise, the crackers will be chewy and tough.
These shrimp tapioca slices need to be fully dehydrated. There are 2 ways to do that.
Method No 1: You can place them on the rack. Put them into a dehydrator. Set the heat to 120 F and let it dehydrate for 4-5 hours.
Method No 2: you can stick them into your oven and set the temperature at the lowest possible. It should be below 150F. If your oven’s temperature is higher than 150 F, you can use a toll to prop the oven door to keep it slightly open so the inside temperature is lower. The oven dehydration method will be a little bit faster, like 3 hours
Method no 3: if you don’t have an oven, and you don’t have a dehydrator, just put it under the ceiling fan overnight.
I will show you how they look when they are done. Once they are dehydrated, they will be much smaller and they feel like plastic now. The next step is to deep fry them.
Bring the oil to 400°F and drop in 6-8 slices of shrimp crackers. They should puff up in just 2 seconds. If it takes longer than 2 seconds, that means either you sliced them too thick or the oil’s temperature is too low. Fish them out and shake off the excess oil. Continue to do the next batch. It is almost satisfying to watch them blossom.
We already season them fully so you do not need to sprinkle any salt and pepper after deep frying. It is so delicious, better than any shrimp crackers that you can get from the store. I suggest you make a big batch because they go really fast. I usually store them in a mason jar and they stay good at room temperature for up to 6 months. This is a great party snack. When your guest come over, heat up the oil, throw them in and they are ready to serve in 5 seconds. Trust me, no one can say no to these lovely treats.