Was talking to Auntie Bea on the phone tonight. She brought up something I had been meaning to ask her about for a while, but I never think of it when talking with her…. A few years ago Auntie Bea invited Mom, Chris and I over for dinner and made shrimp. She was explaining a technique she used, which she had learned in her Chinese cooking class, involving dusting the shrimp with cornstarch to make the crispy and crunchy, and she said, it also enhances the flavor of the shrimp.Now keep in mind, we’re not talking about breaded or coated shrimp – just nice pink, uncoated shrimp. I thought of this some time ago and meant to ask her. The I thought maybe I’d just Google it and see if I found any info, but never got around to that either in this crazy hectic life I’m leading. But fortunately today it came up, because she was telling me she made shrimp the other day, and she then mentioned her special technique. I told her I remember her telling me about this before, but I had been meaning to ask her to refresh my memory on it.
So here’s what she does. First she said its important to always buy shrimp with the shell on. She said they’re just better – tastier I gather, maybe fresher too, not really sure. I think I’d stick with shelled shrimpt though, because I like them just fine and its much less bother. But anyway, she said, soak the shrimp with shells on in water in the fridge overnight. Then remove the shells and devein the shrimp.
Here’s the part I’m interested in. Rinse the shrimp then coat them well in cornstarch. Next, you rinse the cornstarch off again. Then you proceed to cook according to your recipe. The cornstarch induces a chemical reaction, according to her Chinese Cooking Instructor from a few years back, which makes the shrimp crunchy and crispy and enhances the flavor. I will have to try this.