Ebi-shinjo: Shrimp Dumplings

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shinjo_5984

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Success!!! I posted about ebi-shijo (shrimp quenelles) quite a while ago, but I was very disappointed in the way they turned out. A suggested that she had eaten ebi-shinjo that were much simpler, so I approached the re-make of this recipe with that in mind.
comment on that postshinjo_5946I think the biggest problem with the original recipe is that there is just too much liquid.
I didn’t care for the chewy texture of the mushrooms, so I left them out.
I wanted smaller dumplings, so I didn’t boil them wrapped in parchment, nor did I try to deep-fry them. I think these dumplings would have held together in the hot oil, and I may try that some other time; they would make a nice appetizer! Shizuo Tsuji, in his book :Practical Japanese Cooking, has a recipe for crab balls in a clear soup (with a variation for shrimp) which looks interesting—his technique uses plastic wrap to keep the (large) dumplings smooth while cooking in the boiling water.
The shiso flavoring was overwhelming in the original recipe, so I used some lovely garlic chives from my garden just for color.

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shinjo_5958Shrimp Quenelles
Ebi-shinjo
serves 4
a variation from the recipe on page 195
Prepare the Shrimp Batter:
2 Tablespoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
2 Tablespoons water
8 ounces peeled, and deveined shrimp
8 ounces cod
(I had 4 ounces cod and 4 ounces salmon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons finely chopped Chinese Chives
Make a slurry of the potato starch and water.
Put the shrimp and fish into a food prossessor and sprinkle with the salt.
Pulse on and off to coarsely chop the contents, then add the starch slurry.
Process until you have a smooth paste.
Lightly beat the egg whites.
Add about half the egg whites and process.  Process well. Add more egg white to make a soft paste. My fish had been frozen and was a bit watery, so 1 egg white would have been enough.
Stir in the chopped chives.
Cover and chill.
To Cook the dumplings:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Use a soup spoon and a small spatula to form the shrimp mixture into balls about 1½-inches in diameter. Drop into the water, one by one. Use about a quarter of the batter, and let the quenelles cook for about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the dumplings  (as they rise to the surface) to a plate or bowl.
Cook all the shrimp/fish mixture in batches.
Keep the dumplings warm if you are serving them in soup immediately.
But at this point, the shinjo can be covered and chilled to eat later in the day—either warmed up in the soup, or served chilled on a plate with a dipping sauce.
Or, I think you could deep-fry the dumplings.
The Soup:
12 spinach leaves
3 cups dashi
a dash of soy sauce
Blanch the spinach leaves for 2 to 3 minutes. Cool fast in ice water.
Have the dashi and soy sauce ready.
Add the spinach and quenelles, just before you are ready to eat. Warm the soup.
Condiments if serving separately:
3 Tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon mustard
Combine the mustard and soy sauce. Arrange the dumplings on plates. Spoon a little sauce over each.

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shinjo_5964Get Creative!!!


Variations come to mind: pureé only half the shrimp when making the batter. Chop the other half of the shrimp and fold it into the pureé.
Use chopped crab instead of the shrimp. Pureé only the fish.
Pan-frying, rather than deep-frying might work very nicely.
Deep-frying with harusame  noodles would make these dumplings very crunchy, and very impressive.
Or perhaps using finely cut wonton wrappers with the shrimp paste as in this chicken recipe. Or even try deep-frying them???

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