SWEET AND SOUR SHRIMP
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 tablespoon corn starch
2½ tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (1 cup more later)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce or ¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 cup vegetable oil or enough to cover shrimp
INGREDIENTS – SHRIMP
⅔ cup fine bread crumbs
1 pound shrimp (24-to-32 count), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.
PREPARATION – SAUCE
Mince garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes. Add corn starch and water to cup. Mix with fork until well blended. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to pain. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add tomato, sugar, fish sauce, and white wine vinegar. Bring to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce reduces by one-fourth. Add corn starch/water and Sriracha sauce. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Remove sauce and set aside.
PREPARATION – SHRIMP
Add egg to small bowl. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Add bread crumbs to medium bowl. Dip shrimp in egg. Dredge shrimp through breadcrumbs. Repeat for all shrimp. Add 1 cup oil to pan. Heat oil using medium heat. Oil is ready, when a bread crumb will dance in the oil. Add shrimp. Deep fry at medium heat for 4 minutes or until shrimps are golden brown.
Add sesame seeds to pan. Toast sesame seeds on medium heat for 4 minutes or until they start to brown. Ladle sauce over shrimp. Garnish with sesame seeds. Goes well with rice.
1) Sweet and sour shrimp is one of the world’s tastiest dishes.
2) If you are served this in America, you are a valued guest indeed. If your boss invites over and cooks sweet and sour shrimp for you.
3) However, If you’re served this in Thailand, you might or might not be asked to formally unite your family and their family in a marriage alliance. That’s how tasty this entree is.
4) Of course, people and nations change their outlooks all the time. Nowadays, a repast featuring this shrimp might just mean, “Wow, you are the best folks we’ve ever met. We’ll buy the neighboring house for you so we can all play bridge on Fridays and race elephants on Sunday.”
5) Then again, it might mean that marriage pact. In this case, your family and theirs will naturally try forming a new ruling dynasty.
6) Are you ready to rule Thailand?
7) Think it over carefully. Thailand already has a king and a military that is tied in closely with the monarchy. You will have to defeat them.
8) This means overcoming the King’s hundreds of thousands of supporters.
9) You and your Thai family allies will number ten to hundreds, depending whether on not you count all those in-laws that you don’t really like.
10) You will have to count heavily on the element of surprise.
11) All in all, it seems a rather risky endeavor just for the sake of one meal, no matter how tasty.
12) This is why I’ve written this recipe for you.
13) For serving sweet and sour shrimp in America simply means, “You seem nice. Enjoy my hospitality.”
14) In Britain, it means, “What ho, you’re a splendid sort.”
15) This is why a million Thai tourists travel the US and the UK. It’s just so relaxing to eat your food without the worry of fomenting revolution or making your host thinking you’re gauche in some other way.
16) As Sigmund Freud once said, “Sometimes sweet and sour shrimp is just sweet and sour shrimp.”
17) I know, I know, many people thought he said a “banana” instead of “sweet and sour shrimp,” but that is just a typo. An extraordinary typo, yes, but still a typo.
18) It’s a lot to take in. May I suggest reading What to Serve If You Don’t Want to Start Wars by Raymond Burr Ito.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.