Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Dried shrimp


Kikujiro
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dried shrimp have a concentrated flavor of their own. It is not precisely fresh shrimp flavor...it has a slightly fermented tang, a concentrated essence without the sweetness of fresh shrimp. Kinda like salt cod vs the fresh fish. Rehydrating the shrimp yields a soft, slightly mealy texture, but dried shrimp are quite small, so you dont get much shrimp in any one bite. Dunno what purpose a separate stock would serve, as they're not lacking in flavor. In my culinary tradition, they're not used as a principal protein in a dish, but rather as flavoring.

I do wonder about dry toasting the already dried shrimp, in a similar fashion to dry toasting shrimp paste in SE Asian cooking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thinking eggplant and shrimp go well together, maybe put some ground shrimp powder in the crust mixture before frying.I left the shrimp at my weekend place if i get a chance to go back during the week I will try this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone ever ran the very small ones through a spice grinder and maybe crusted something with them?

Depending on how "dried" your shrimp are, you might fare better with a mortar and pestle rather than a spice grinder...some are pretty flexible, not quite jerky-like in texture.

I can buy powdered dried shrimp at WalMart or just about any supermarket, so I don't need to run them through a spice grinder. You can generally find small whole shrimp, crushed 'fluff' shrimp, and shrimp powder, packaged in little cello bags, stapled to a large cardboard display card. Local dried shrimp are most often sold w/o shells--the imported Asian stuff is usually shell-on.

Here's a link to a 100+ year old dried shrimp maker in Houma, LA: Blum & Bergeron's website will give you an idea of the "usual" sizes and varieties available in south Louisiana.

And here's an interview (see video & overview here, and transcript here) conducted by Sara Roahen/Southern Foodways Alliance with Robert Collins, a dried shrimp producer in Grand Isle, LA.

ETA: the dried shrimp tradition in Louisiana has its roots in fishermen from Manila, who dried shrimp in the sun & open air on raised platforms. A marshland community called Manila Village, north of Grand Isle, was well known for "dancing the shrimp", a custom of walking on the nearly dried shrimp in order to break off the shells. Photo of "dancing the shrimp" here; more background on Filipinos in LA here. Color-enhanced arial photo of Manila village, showing the shrimp drying platforms here.

Edited by HungryC (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

(snip)

Local dried shrimp are most often sold w/o shells--the imported Asian stuff is usually shell-on.

(snip)

Perhaps in New Orleans, where I think you are located?

Personally I see and have seen mostly dried shrimp ["Har Mai"; 蝦米; Yale: ha1 mai5] without shells in all the Chinese/Vietnamese/"ethnic" markets around me where I've lived in the US. (Midwest, NY/NJ area, etc) although shell-on stuff is also available. Certainly in SE Asia (Malaysia, Singapore) most of the stuff sold is without shells. Korean markets might have more shell-on stuff but I'm not certain about that. I do recall the Han Ah Reum stores in NJ having shell-on dried shrimp rather than shell-off although the latter could also be found there.

Many dishes (at least in Cantonese cuisine) in my experience are better made with shell-off dried shrimp, (Example) if not anything else because it is easier and less prickly to eat. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

Fuchsia  Dunlop refers to dried shrimp as one of her "secret ingredients". I use it in my fried rice and congee. I found a wonderful smoked version that may not be authentic, but I love what it does. Do you use dried shrimp? What is your experience with this magical item?

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Har Mai (蝦米) may be a "secret ingredient" to Dunlop, but it is not so to lots of folks in many cuisines around the world.  ;-) 

 

Personally I don't use it that much.  The single most frequent use of it for me would probably be in making a favorite war-horse of a Cantonese home-cooking dish – fuzzy squash with cellophane noodles (大姨媽嫁女 ; although the name doesn't quite match the description in English :-) ).  I've posted on various iterations of this dish that I've made, here on eG. (some examples: here, here, here (scroll down), here; there are many others)  

 

I also use it in various soups and stir-fries especially with certain vegetables. Some vegetables (for me) iinclude edible amaranth either as a stir-fried version or a soupy version (examples here (scroll down), here; there are others), fuzzy squash soup, angled loofah soups and stir-fries (just one example - scroll down).  Or in things like kangkong belacan with, what else, kangkong a.k.a. water spinach a.k.a. ong choy. (See here, here for just two examples)  I do use it in fried rice on occasion (like here, scroll down) but it is relatively rare.  I don't think I've used it in congees.

 

It's used extensively in Nyonya cuisine, as well as in Malay/Indonesian/Thai/etc etc cuisine (look at the wiki article again) as well as in certain kinds of Malaysia-Chinese or Singaporean-Chinese dishes, let alone its extensive use in various regional Chinese cuisines especially in Southern China.  

 

As one example in Malaysian-Chinese cuisine, it's a vital ingredient in the melangé that forms the sauce mixture for what are called "kam heong" (金香) dishes w/ chicken, shellfish, etc in Malaysia – these constitute a fusion of Chinese/Cantonese, Malay and (Southern) Indian cuisines.  I made a riff on Kam Heong clams recently – see here, scroll down a bit.  

 

As for using it simply as a source of umami in a soup, say, when I am not specifically looking for the taste of dried prawns - i tend to use other things like dried scallops, dried oysters, dried cuttlefish or dried squid.  But see my examples above with some soups.

 

One tidbit – it's the ingredient in Katong Laksa (if not all Singapore-style laksa) that gives it its characteristic taste and distinguishes it from other forms of laksa lemak or Penang curry laksa (NOT Penang (assam) laksa, which is a very different creature) or other laksa/curry mee like Sarawak laksa or KL curry mee etc.  Here's a useful discussion – it's long but worth reading if one is interested in SE Asian laksa.

 

Here's a google search for "dried shrimp" on eGullet; another one for "dried prawns"; yet another for "har mai"; and this one using traditional Chinese characters.  Hmm, searching using simplified characters seems to return nothing...

 

Here're a couple of things that incorporated dried shrimp, that I bought commercially, which I've shown on eG - some "vegetarian" buns and some rice noodle rolls (chee cheong fun).

Edited by huiray (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

huiray- It sounds like har mai are not used in inland cuisines. Is this because they are only used as a source of umami in those cuisines. Or, am I really off? Perhaps I have missed something?

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rehydrate and grind the shrimp then ferment it on the counter for a few days and then and keep that on hand  for all things umami, periodically I go through bouts were fish sauce is not "right" ..or enough to finish the flavor and yes it is one of those things when you need it ..it is just the thing you need. 

 

not really cooking I guess but it will make a dinner  for me  grind it up or if they are little leave them whole and sprinkle in with buttered popcorn then add whatever else you want ..seaweed …chile …more butter …garlic …soy ..maggi ..whatever the dried shrimp and popcorn will change your mind about "Popcorn shrimp " that is for sure ..great beer snack ..if my shrimp are tiny and tender I just toast them in the melted butter before I pour it on the popcorn and I use a whirley pop so the popcorn is really greasy and good .

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
  • Like 1
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rehydrate and grind the shrimp then ferment it on the counter for a few days and then and keep that on hand  for all things umami, periodically I go through bouts were fish sauce is not "right" ..or enough to finish the flavor and yes it is one of those things when you need it ..it is just the thing you need. 

 

not really cooking I guess but it will make a dinner  for me  grind it up or if they are little leave them whole and sprinkle in with buttered popcorn then add whatever else you want ..seaweed …chile …more butter …garlic …soy ..maggi ..whatever the dried shrimp and popcorn will change your mind about "Popcorn shrimp " that is for sure ..great beer snack ..if my shrimp are tiny and tender I just toast them in the melted butter before I pour it on the popcorn and I use a whirley pop so the popcorn is really greasy and good .

hummingbirdkiss-

    Would I be correct in assuming that you ferment the shrimp in an acid of some sort?

Also, I love the idea of shrimp and butter on popcorn. I wonder if this would work on baked potatoes, or (glory be!!!) on toast?

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are different types of dried shrimps and their uses are different. The little ones, har mai, is often used to add flavor to a variety of dishes: stir-fry, steamed daikon/taro cakes, etc.

 

The larger dried shrimps can be eaten as jerky (used to get these really large ones in Hong Kong when I was a kid and they're so sweet!) or just steamed with a little soy sauce. They can be added to other dishes as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dehydrated my own wild caught (Canadian, tiny) shrimp recently (as well as freeze dried them). I love the dehydrated ones - very different from the freeze-dried (which rehydrate as though they were fresh, right in your mouth, in seconds). Both are very sweet but the dehydrated has a lovely chewy texture and deeper flavour which is, I think, fairly close to what I could buy in the Chinese grocery. I have some concerns these days about the polluted waters and the farming of Asian shrimp - but I do love the taste of dried shrimp so I need to start using them in some Asian type recipes to see if they really are a decent replacement for me.

 

I should now try powdering them (oh ... you said rehydrate first - before grinding?) and then 'fermenting' the powder (or ground shrimp?) to get even more umami out of them. Hummingbirdkiss - I too would like to know about that secondary process, please (the fermentation). Thanks.

Edited by Deryn (log)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It sounds like har mai are not used in inland cuisines.

 

Not so sure about that. I've been buying them here in Guangxi for years (every supermarket has them) and have had them as far inland as Xi'an. That said, they are more common in Cantonese and SE Asian cuisine.

 

When Ms Dunlop says they are a "secret ingredient", I'm sure she means that few people in the west know of them. Of course, she knows they are used extensively in SE Asia.

 

http://liuzhou.co.uk/wordpress/2012/09/14/friday-food-44-xiapi/

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hummingbirdkiss-

    Would I be correct in assuming that you ferment the shrimp in an acid of some sort?

Also, I love the idea of shrimp and butter on popcorn. I wonder if this would work on baked potatoes, or (glory be!!!) on toast?

no acid it isn't pickled at all  it is fermented so just salt ..it is stinky good ! it takes a total of 3 weeks for it to be perfect and I should not have said a few days I meant a few weeks of fermenting total but I can not see the edit button to fix it above so if you want details… I can detail it… but really if you do a search for Mam Lahong you will find recipes for  it with papaya and that is really a wonderful condiment/ seasoning/ food to have on hand.   I have not tried the dried shrimp on potatoes but really they are shrimpy so anything you like shrimp on those go on :) I like dipping the little things in hot sauce myself and just eating them dried 

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dehydrated my own wild caught (Canadian, tiny) shrimp recently (as well as freeze dried them). I love the dehydrated ones - very different from the freeze-dried (which rehydrate as though they were fresh, right in your mouth, in seconds). Both are very sweet but the dehydrated has a lovely chewy texture and deeper flavour which is, I think, fairly close to what I could buy in the Chinese grocery. I have some concerns these days about the polluted waters and the farming of Asian shrimp - but I do love the taste of dried shrimp so I need to start using them in some Asian type recipes to see if they really are a decent replacement for me.

 

I should now try powdering them (oh ... you said rehydrate first - before grinding?) and then 'fermenting' the powder (or ground shrimp?) to get even more umami out of them. Hummingbirdkiss - I too would like to know about that secondary process, please (the fermentation). Thanks.

Deryn look online for a recipe for Mam La'hong that is what I do it is a must have condiment but maybe try a jar form the market first to see if you like it ? it is soooo good but it is strong and not everyones taste ..(although really I do not get that it is a great big umami bomb ) 

 
  • Like 1
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guys I can not figure out how to edit this to I am replying  three times now how about I just do this ? ….it is a few weeks not a few days (as I first wrote I am sorry I did not proofread)  and if you look online you can find some really good recipes that would be more exact and "safe"r than what I could tell you with out you being here with me when I make it ..i know folks are squeamish about fermenting seafood or fish  but why? (the smell is a deterrent but only if you do not like fish sauce and how can anyone not like fish sauce unless syou are vegan ? just think fish sauce or the Khmer Prahok ..fermentation is simply about the salt and the good bacterial …and waiting unit it is stinky good smelling not rotten ..but there is a fine line so do some research or buy a jar of Mam La Hong see if you like it (how can't you it is so good! ) and then if you do like it make your own because whatever you taste in that jar? it is ten times better at home ..I can the next time I do it try to take photos and post them but so many folks have done that already a quick search and you can find it …so so good you will not want to be with out it once you start making it I promise..you can make fish or shrimp this way...then you keep a pot like sourdough LOL (I always run out and have to start again but have kept and built on it and it was to die for ...) I was taught hands on by a friend like kimchi ..if you have Khmer friends ask them if they make it and maybe they will show you? I would if I could but again Youtube has some more exact videos and recipes are online but mine is just salt and shrimp and time then I add papaya and chiles later to make it more of a condiment 

hummingbird kissI rehydrate and grind the shrimp then ferment it on the counter for a few days and then and keep that on hand  for all things umami, periodically I go through bouts were fish sauce is not "right" ..or enough to finish the flavor and yes it is one of those things when you need it ..it is just the thing you need. 

 

not really cooking I guess but it will make a dinner  for me  grind it up or if they are little leave them whole and sprinkle in with buttered popcorn then add whatever else you want ..seaweed …chile …more butter …garlic …soy ..maggi ..whatever the dried shrimp and popcorn will change your mind about "Popcorn shrimp " that is for sure ..great beer snack ..if my shrimp are tiny and tender I just toast them in the melted butter before I pour it on the popcorn and I use a whirley pop so the popcorn is really greasy and good .

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
  • Like 1
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...