Dried shrimp chips are sold in bags at Vietnamese or any Asian grocery markets. The hard chips are then dip fried in oil, puffing and expanding to about twice the original size. They are very fast to fry, neither messy nor oily. They are used to scoop up salads, or they can be used as snack foods or an accompaniment to cocktails.
1/2 bag of dried shrimp chips
Corn or canola oil for deep frying
Line a large plate with paper towels and place next to the stove. Pour oil to a depth of 3/4 to 1 inch into a wok or 5 quart Dutch oven and heat over medium high heat to 350F on a deep frying thermometer. (If you don’t have a thermometer, stand a dry bamboo chopstick in the oil; if small bubbles immediately gather on the surface around the chopstick, the oil is ready.)
Drop in 3 to 5 chips in each batch, keeping in mind they will be double in size. If you fry too many at a time, they will cook unevenly. Each will sink to the bottom, start to bubble, maybe curl, and then expand before rising to the top, where it will be done. All of this happens in 4 to 5 seconds, so don’t turn away and be fast on taking them out. Once the chips float to the top, let them fry for only a few seconds longer. Don’t let them brown or their delicate flavor will vanish. Using a skimmer, transfer the chips to the towel lined plate to drain. This is fast paced frying, so regulate the heat and adjust the size of your batches so that you are working at a comfortable speed. When the oil gets so hot, and the chips float to the top for you to handle, you can lower the heat to decrease the temperature of the oil.
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Tags: asian cooking, asian food, banh phong tom, chinese recipes, dried shrimp chips, fried shrimp chips, shrimp crackers, viet food, vietnamese cuisine, vietnamese food, Vietnamese prawn crackers, vietnamese recipes