Fantail shrimp was a popular dish in Chinese restaurants decades ago and is still popular today. Even as a child, I recall my father buying fantail shrimp from the Cantonese restaurants in Chinatown for us.
The shrimp were huge, and the batter was light, just like in this classic recipe for fantail shrimp. In certain takeout places, however, this meal may be overloaded with batter and underloaded with shrimp! As if this dish wasn’t enough to cause to cook it at home.
FANTAIL SHRIMP – WHAT IS IT?
This dish consists of huge butterflied shrimp, batter fried, and served with tangy sauce on the side, making it a popular choice for parties. With fried shrimp, you can’t go wrong. One of the best things about fantail shrimp is that they’re both visually stunning and delicious.
A PU PU PLATTER IS WHAT?
Pu Pu platters, which included a tiny blazing grill, were a popular appetizer combo dish in Polynesian Chinese restaurants.
According to where you lived, you might have been served pork char siu slices or egg rolls or chicken wings or perhaps fantail shrimp on your Pu Pu platter. Fantail shrimp have always been one of my favorites on the Pu Pu dish.
WHAT SIZE ARE SHRIMPS?
When making fantail shrimp, we prefer to use at least 15 centimeters long shrimp. So, in terms of shrimp size, what does this figure mean?
Shrimp are counted in a pound, and the number is known as “count.” This dish can also be made with 16-20-size shrimp, which are more often available.
Choose shrimp that has been sustainably farmed. To identify the best seafood selections when you’re out and about, use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and the Marine Stewardship Council resources.
- 1 lb. of fresh shrimp(headless, unpeeled, 15 size)
- 1/4 tsp. of salt
- 3-4 cups of vegetable oil (or canola oil, for frying)
FOR THE BATTER:
- 3/4 cup of all purpose flour(plus 1/4 cup, divided)
- 1 tbsp. of cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp. of baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. of baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. of white pepper
- 1/4 tsp. of onion powder
- 1/8 tsp. of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil (or canola oil)
- 2/3 cup of ice water
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 tsp. of vegetable oil(or canola oil)
- 2 tbsp. of tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp. of white vinegar
- 1 tsp. of soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp. of sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp. of white pepper
- 1 tsp. of cornstarch (mixed with 1/3 cup water)
HOW TO BUTTERFLY THE SHRIMP:
- Make sure the shrimp aren’t deveined with their backs sliced open, but they should be headless and still have their shells on. The shrimp’s back must be intact before butterflying. Butterflied shrimp can be held together on both sides with this. The tails of the shrimp will also be preserved for the final meal.
- The only part of the shrimp’s shell that should be kept is the end that links to the tail. You can scrape the tails to get rid of any moisture that may have accumulated there.
- In order to see the shrimp’s underbelly, turn it over so that you face it. Hold the shrimp using your one hand and use the point of your knife to break the tail shell.
- Using a steady but gentle pressure, slide the knife into the shrimp, splitting it equally down the middle until the outer membrane is just visible. If necessary, rinse the shrimp to remove any sand or grit.
- The shrimp should be patted dry on both sides and lightly salted with 14 teaspoon of salt (or salt to taste).
MAKING THE BATTER:
- Mix 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and the other dry ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with some cold water and vegetable oil. Set aside for 5 minutes while the batter comes together.
MAKING THE SAUCE:
- Ketchup and 1 teaspoon of oil in a small pot over medium heat are used to make the sauce. Stir in the white vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and the cornstarch mixture after frying for 30 seconds on low heat until it just begins to caramelize.
- Stir the sauce constantly until it reaches a simmering point. Remove it to a serving bowl and set aside when it’s thick enough to coat a spoon.
- In a small pot, heat 3-4 cups of oil to 325 degrees F.
- Shake off any excess flour after lightly dredging the shrimp in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour on a small plate. Let the batter drip off the shrimp after dipping them in it. The amount of batter you use is entirely up to you. Some prefer a light batter, while others prefer a thicker one.
- Place the shrimp in the heated oil with care. Allow one side of the shrimp to cook for a minute, then switch to the other side. To drain, place the shrimp on a platter lined with paper towels once they’ve been browned on all sides. Serve!