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We’ve been working a lot with wonton wrappers these days because they’re so versatile and easy to use. Recently, my wife Lynn, who is from Thailand, showed us another great way to use the wrappers: as a crispy blanket for marinated shrimp.
These are delicious, and once you get the hang of wrapping the shrimp, they’re easy to do. But don’t try this recipe for the first time when you’re having a party because it takes a little practice.
The wrappers can get undone when you fry them if the wrappers aren’t sealed tight and if you put the shrimp in the hot oil too slowly. You want to put the shrimp into the hot oil gently, but quickly. Final caveat: oil will splash a bit because the shrimp are wet. If you want to cut down on some of the splashing, wipe the marinade off the shrimp before wrapping.
This recipe serves two, allowing for three pieces per person. You can double or triple the recipe for more people.
For this recipe, you need large shrimp, but not so large that the wonton wrapper can’t encase it. Shrimp are sized by the number it takes to make up a pound. We used 13 to 15 count shrimp.
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Thai Shrimp Wraps
Makes 2 servings
6 large shrimp (13 to 15 a pound)
1/2 teaspoon red chili paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce
6 wonton wrappers
Oil for deep frying
- Peel and devein shrimp, leaving on tails. To keep shrimp from curling, use a paring knife to cut small slits along the inside curve of the shrimp, then pull head and tail end to stretch and straighten.
- In a medium bowl, combine chili paste and fish sauce. Add shrimp, stir and refrigerate 10 minutes; do not leave longer or shrimp will get salty.
- Lay a wonton wrapper at an angle on your work surface to form a diamond shape. Lay shrimp in the center, tail up. Fold the bottom point of the wonton wrapper up over the shrimp, then fold sides over to encase. (The wonton wrapper will not cover the entire shrimp – just the bottom half.) For a more secure seal, wet your finger with the shrimp marinade and use it as “glue” to hold the seams together as you wrap.
- In a medium saucepan, add oil to a depth of about 1 ½ inches so the shrimp will be covered in oil when frying. Heat the oil until it reads 350°F on a candy thermometer. (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, test the temperature by adding a leftover unwrapped wonton wrapper into the oil. The oil should gently bubble around the wrapper and the wrapper should turn golden in about 30 seconds. If it turns dark too quickly, the oil is too hot; if it doesn’t bubble, the oil is not hot enough and the wrappers will absorb too much oil, becoming greasy.)
- Fry the shrimp until they turn pink and the wrapper is golden, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove shrimp and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
Other great recipes using wonton wrappers:
- Wonton Cups that you can fill with sweet or savory fillings
- Pumpkin Walnut Ravioli
- Fried Banana Bites
- Rolled Pork Gyoza
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