Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shrimp Cakes with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce

Now that Carnival and Mardi Gras have ended, meals in some households will be changing. Fridays between now and Easter Sunday will become meatless. For most who observe, this presents no problem. There are a wealth of recipes, really good recipes, that address the dietary constraints of this period. We've come a long way from grandma's mystery casseroles and overcooked fish. Each year I make it a point to search out, or create, new meatless meals to keep everyone at my table on board without complaint. Today's recipe is not only meatless, it's also easy to make if you have a food processor. All the ingredients you need to prepare this can be found in any well-stocked supermarket. The one item that might sound strange to your ears is ginger juice. It's a bother to find a place that sells it, but it can easily be made at home if you have fresh ginger available to you. To make the juice simply grate ginger and squeeze the juice from it. A garlic press makes easy work of the task. This dish can be on the table within 45 minutes. Bob and I first had these shrimp patties in Beijing. We encountered them over and over again as we crossed the country, though they did get hotter as we moved towards the interior. This dish will serve four people if served with rice and a vegetable or two. Here's the recipe for this surprising good sweet and tangy shrimp dish.

Shrimp Cakes with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce


Shrimp Cakes

1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon ginger juice

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

Oil for deep frying

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons unsweetened rice wine or dry sherry

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cornstarch


1) Place shrimp in bowl of a food processor. Process until a pulp or paste forms. Scrape into a medium bowl.

2) Place egg whites in another. Beat just until frothy. Add cornstarch, ginger and ginger juice and mix to combine.

3) Add egg mixture to shrimp and stir, going in one direction only, until everything is thoroughly mixed.

4) Combine chicken broth, ketchup, vinegar, sherry, sugar salt and cornstarch in a small pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Simmer for 1 minute more. Remove fro heat. but keep warm.

5) Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a wok of deep frying pan. With wet hands, fashion large spoonfuls of shrimp mixture into silver-dollar sized cakes.

6) Working in batches, deep-fry shrimp cakes over moderate heat until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

7) Arrange shrimp cakes on a serving plate. Pour warm sauce over all. Yield: 12-14 shrimp cakes.

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