We purchased a deep fryer about a month ago. It was a purchase we were trying to avoid for years. But somehow the desire for our very own deep frying device kept nagging at me. I know that people can throw some oil in a heavy-bottom pan, use a thermometer (if you’re so inclined), and deep-fry the heck out of things without the use of another small appliance. But here are two reasons why this doesn’t work for me: 1) I don’t like my home smelling like a fry-shack for 3 days following a deep-frying fiesta and 2) I have no patience to wait around for my oil to come up to the perfect temperature, nor do I have the confidence in my stove to regulate said temperature. Hmm, maybe that’s technically 3 things.
Now some of you health conscious folks out there may say “well why don’t you just not deep-fry anything then?” and I would respond: “quit telling me to not live my damn life you flax-munching fools!” I kid. Seriously though, deep-fried foods hold a special place in my heart (or stomach … or tastebuds). So with a filtered lid to keep out the smell, and a burner that heats oil and cooks food in no time, I’ve been on my way to salty, crunchy, fried food nirvana.
My first venture with the deep fryer was, of course, French Fries. I wasn’t going to mess around. Those potatoes were hand-cut and double-fried to perfection. Threw a little sea salt and malt vinegar (and maybe even a touch of Back Eddy’s) onto those taters and they were ready to eat. But you don’t need a recipe for that. I can easily tell you to google “double-fried french fries” or “home-made fries” or “authentic french fries” I’m sure one of those will get you what you need. Basically you’re looking for something that will first get you to cut the potatoes, then soak them in cold water for 30 minutes – then cook the fries in oil at a lower temperature, then fry them again at a higher temperature. If you get those basic steps from the site you find, you’re on the right track.
One thing I’ve been wanting to try making for sometime is wonton wrapped shrimp. But not any wonton wrapped shrimp. I’ve been dreaming about marinating the shrimp in a mixture of coconut milk, fish sauce, and sambal oelek prior to wrapping them in the thin sheets. I’ve only had plain shrimp wrapped in wontons, so I thought the sweet, spicy, and salty combination added to the shrimp would make them even more divine. To make sure I wasn’t going to be wasting my time the next time I made wonton wrapped shrimp (and yes, of course there would be a next time, because my favourite deep-fried food is shrimp – hands down), I marinated half the batch and left the remaining half plain. Turns out it’s absolutely worth marinating the shrimp.
Coconut Chile Wonton Wrapped Shrimp
1 lb large medium shrimp (30-40 count), peeled and deveined
1 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp sambal oelek
1 Tbsp thai fish sauce
wonton wrappers – approximately 30-40
enough peanut oil to fill a deep fryer or come half-way up a medium-size heavy-bottom pot
Take the tails off the shrimp. Combine the coconut milk, sambal oelek, and fish sauce in a bowl. Add the shrimp to the marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
To wrap the shrimp: place wonton wrappers on your work surface. Place the shrimp in the middle of the wrapper – shake off a bit of the excess marinade, but you still want some so you can taste it. Wet the edges of the wonton wrapper with water. Fold two corners together to form a triangle (try to press out as much air as possible or you’ll end up with a bubble when you fry the shrimp). Fold the other two corners over the wrapped shrimp – you can either leave the shrimp like this or fold the remaining corner over the shrimp to form a little envelope.
Heat oil to 350°F. Working in small batches (to keep the oil temperature constant ) fry the shrimp for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. *You may notice from the photo that I forgot about my batch, as they are slightly more brown than golden – meh, they still tasted delicious!* Drain on paper towel. You can keep the cooked shrimp warm in a 200°F oven.
Makes 30-40 depending on how many shrimp you get in your pound.
You can serve these with any sauce you like. I simply ate them with more sambal (and some sriracha on the plate) because I’m a chile junkie. But you could mix some sambal oelek with honey to make an excellent sweet chile sauce.
* I didn’t bother with making the wonton wrapped shrimp look pretty – I wasn’t messing around here, these were simply for my enjoyment. Perhaps if I was willing to share, I would want to get them ready for their close up. If you want these to look like the cigar-shaped shrimp with the tails sticking out here are some quick steps: start by leaving the tail on (ha) and cutting a small horizontal slit (not all the way through) in the back of the shrimp to help straighten them out. Lay a wonton wrapper diagonally on your work surface, then lay a shrimp on the wrapper horizontally to you with the tail hanging off the left corner of the wonton. Wrap the right corner over the bottom of the shrimp, then wrap the corner closest to you over the shrimp. Lightly wet the remaining corner with some water – tightly wrap the shrimp in the wrapper and there you have it. Fry the same as directed above.