Crystal Jade Shrimp
Arranged on a platter, jade-colored shrimp are surrounded by fluffy egg whites and a circle of tomato slices. Read through the recipe carefully; there are unusual techniques, and it’s better to avoid surprises. Nothing is difficult — but this is probably the first time you have ever used spinach to create a foam to dye shrimp!
- Shrimp - 12 oz medium, tail flippers on, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
- Spinach - 1 lb fresh, stemmed
- Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon
- Egg Whites - 1 egg white plus 4 well-beaten egg whites
- Vegetable Oil - Approximately 3 1/4 cups
- Cornstarch - 1/2 teaspoon, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- Garlic - 1 clove, minced
- Ginger - 1/8 teaspoon, minced fresh
- Rice wine - 1 tablespoon (alt. dry sherry)
- Smoked Ham - 2 oz, 1/4 inch thick, cut into small pieces
- Green Onions - 3, white part only, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- Chicken Stock - 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
- Sesame seed oil - 1 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Tomato - 1 large, thinly sliced
Arrange the butterflied shrimp in rows on a cloth towel. Roll the towel tightly, jelly-roll style, so that the shrimp are flattened inside. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Place the spinach leaves through the feed tube of a food processor with the machine running. When pureed, transfer to a cloth (not terry) towel. Wring the towel so the juice is extracted from the puree, catching the juice. Reserve the juice and discard the spinach. Bring the juice to a boil in a wok or saucepan. Skim off the foam that floats to the surface and place it in a coffee filter positioned over a strainer. Unwrap the shrimp and place in a small mixing bowl.
When most of the liquid has drained out, add the foam to the shrimp and toss. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes so that the green color permeates the shrimp.
Put the shrimp in 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil, and a dash each of salt and white pepper and marinate for at least 30 minutes, covered and refrigerated.
Season the remaining egg whites with a sprinkling of salt and white pepper. Add 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water.
Heat 3 cups of the oil to 375 F in a wok. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until three-quarters done. Gently pour the beaten egg whites around the shrimp in the wok and continue to cook, stirring in a swirling motion, until firm and fluffy. Remove the mixture from the pan and drain.
Clean and reheat the wok with 2 tablespoons oil. Add the garlic, ginger, rice wine, ham, green onions, chicken stock, 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water, sesame seed oil, sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and a dash of white pepper. Stir until smooth.
Return the shrimp and egg whites to the pan and toss. Serve on a platter garnished with sliced tomatoes.