While my mom was visiting from Japan during Christmas and New Years, we got to cook together a couple of times. I invited her to be my guest chef so all I needed to do is to take pictures while she’s cooking. If you are a food blogger who takes step-by-step pictures of cooking for every recipe, like Manu of Manu’s Menu, you know how hectic and time-consuming it is having to wash hands after each step in order to take pictures. I thought this was going to be an easy post for me since I can focus on photography.
Unfortunately, I feel like I didn’t do a great job as a photographer for this post’s step-by-step. The lighting was not optimal since it was late in the afternoon and already getting dark. We also got distracted during the cooking process by talking way too much about various subjects. In addition, my mom wasn’t happy when I made her measure the “precise” amount for each of the ingredients and made her pause her motion at each step of the process so I could snap pictures. So I apologize in advance for my step-by-step pictures being blurry today. I didn’t double-check my work while taking pictures quickly and ended up with poor results.
Despite imperfect pictures, Mom’s Shrimp Ball tasted amazing. Very simple ingredients yet it was so flavorful and delicious. She was planning to make her signature shrimp ball using bread cubes, but we didn’t have the right kind of bread at the time so we substituted with regular Panko. The original plan was to make the outer shell just like how Cooking Gallery and Adora’s Box made theirs. Aren’t they cute with these tiny bread cubes all around the shrimp ball? My mom will be back one day and I’ll definitely ask her to make her signature shrimp ball properly next time so I can feature this dish again.
My children enjoyed these shrimp balls a lot. If you are serving for just two, you can cut down the portion in half so you don’t have to cook so many shrimp balls as we did…and this was actually just one of our main dishes. I will be sharing other mom’s recipes in the coming weeks. Have a great weekend!
Mom’s Shrimp Ball
- 1 onion (13 oz, 380 g)
- 1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc)
- 1.4 lb black tiger prawns (peeled and deveined)
- 1 Tbsp potato starch/cornstarch
- 1 knob ginger (1.5 inches, 3.8 cm)
- 3 green onions/scallions
- 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) (separate into egg whites and yolks)
- ½ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1.5-2 Tbsp potato starch/cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil (roasted)
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc) (for deep frying)
- kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- white ground pepper
To Make The Shrimp Balls
- Mince onion. In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium high heat and sauté onion until translucent. Transfer to a plate/bowl and let it cool.
- Meanwhile put prawns in a large bowl and sprinkle corn starch. Rub them with hand and rinse in cold water. This is the best way to clean the shrimp/prawns. Drain well and set aside in a sieve.
- Grind ginger and keep the juice as well.
- Cut a prawn into 3-4 pieces and then pound it with a meat pounder or knife.
- Chop green onions and whisk the egg whites until fluffy.
- Combine shrimp, onion, green onion, ginger, ginger juice and salt, and pepper and mix well. Then add half of egg whites and corn starch. If the mixture is too runny, do not add any more egg whites. Otherwise use it all and adjust the consistency by adding more corn starch. Lastly add egg yolk and mix all together. The consistency should be fluffy but you need to be able to form a ball (but don't make it too hard).
- Oil the plate with sesame oil and make about 1 Tbsp size ball shape.
- Dredge in Panko. Instead of hands, it’s easier to use two forks or spoons, so it doesn’t stick to your hands. Try not to fold Panko inside the ball, and just apply it around the ball.
- Deep-fry the shrimp balls about 4-5 pieces at a time so the oil temperature won’t drop too quickly. If you are new to deep-frying, here's my tip on deep-frying. When golden brown, take them out to a paper towel to drain extra oil. Serve with ketchup and salt & white ground pepper.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month.