Shrimp balls, two colors エビ団子の二色あげ 

japanese cake
It was getting to be a corn season (it was July when I made this dish). Fresh local corn in husk was reasonably priced and plentiful in the grocery store.  Last week, I got 10 ears of corn. My wife made fresh corn pudding (amazingly, 10 ears only made 5 small ramekins of pudding, so each ramekin had 2 ears worth of corn in it, but it was the pure concentrated essence of corn). This week I bought 5 ears. I did not know what I would make, so I just boiled them in salted water briefly and removed the kernels (by cutting them off using a chef’s knife) (see #1 in the composite picture below). I found this recipe on line and decide to try it. It is essentially ground/chopped shrimp made into a ball covered with chopped corn kernels and soybean (called two tone shrimp balls since one is green and the other yellow). The oil I used may have been a bit too hot since the balls browned quickly. I served them with two kinds of salt; green tea salt and ukari ゆかり(dried powdered red perilla with salt).

This was much more difficult to make than I had thought especially forming the shrimp paste into balls. This may be due to the imprecision of the amount of egg white and potato starch I used.

Ingredients: (the amounts are from the original recipe which reportedly makes 8 small dumplings)

Shrimp, shell off, 120g (I used about 8 medium count frozen shrimp, thawed in running water. I salted them and let them stand for 10-15 minutes before using) 

Egg white:10g、potato starch:1/2 tsp (this was how the amount of specified in the original recipe. I ended up using egg white from one egg and much more potato starch.)

Corn kernel 60g (I just used a part of what is shown in #1)

Soybeans, boiled, shelled 60g (I used frozen soybeans and used only part of what is shown in #2)

Egg white, potato starch, salt

Directions: (I modified the recipe as usual, especially as I had no idea what 10 grams of egg white was. I probably added too much egg white which then forced me add more potato starch).

1. I chopped up both the corn kernels and soybeans. I squeezed out any excess moisture using a paper towel.

2. I finely chopped the shrimp until it stuck together with a paste-like consistency. I added the egg white (about 1 egg worth). After adding the egg white, the shrimp paste became very soft. I added about 2-3 tsp of potato starch and a pinch of salt. 

3. Wetting my fingers, I made small balls (total of 8), dredged them in potato starch, then coated with egg white. I then covered the surface with either the corn or soybeans. It was still rather soft and difficult to make into a ball.

4. I dropped the balls into a 350F oil (#3), which immediately started browning (#4). The oil may have been too hot.

5. I fried them turning several times for 3-4 minutes.

This was a nice dish. It essentially had the nice firm texture of shrimp. The corn variation was the better of the two–the sweetness of the corn perfectly complemented the sweetness of the shrimp. We are not sure about the soybean version. The soybeans did not add much flavor to the dish.  We tried both types of balls with two kinds of salt, green tea and red perilla flavors, both were good. We also tried with soy sauce but the soy sauce overwhelmed the subtle shrimp flavor of the dish. If I make this one again, I may simple mix the corn and/or soybeans into shrimp paste and fry it.

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