Monday, February 13, 2012

Kanpoong Shrimp (sweet, spicy, sour shrimp)

I love ordering kanpoongi (sweet, spicy, sour chicken) as an appetizer when I go to eat jjajangmyun (noodles with black bean sauce). I decided to (attempt to) make kanpoong shrimp at home. Here's what I did:

Ingredients
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup corn starch
1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 long hot pepper, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

sauce--
2 tablespoons hot pepper paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, something clear and fruity is good)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water

2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (for frying)

I started by stirring together the sauce ingredients until combined and smooth.

Then I roughly chopped the vegetables and minced the garlic. You could also add in more vegetables (ones that stir-fry well) if you like (e.g. carrots, eggplant, green beans).
I coated each shrimp in corn starch. Breading things in corn starch is awesome. It's so easy but produces a crispy, delicious crust and it also seals in the moisture so the proteins stay really juicy.

Got a frying pan (you could use a wok instead) nice and hot over medium-high heat and added in some oil. Then I fried the shrimp for just a minute on each side until the starch coating was crisp and toasted and the shrimp turned pink. Then I let them sit on a paper towel to wick away any excess grease.
I added the vegetables and garlic to the leftover oil in the pan and let them stir-fry until the onions turned translucent. Then I added in the sauce mixture and let it warm up.
Meanwhile, I took 1 tablespoon of the corn starch leftover from coating the shrimp and mixed it with 2 tablespoons of water. This mixture is called a slurry and it's used for thickening sauces and the Chinese use it quite often.
I added the slurry to the pan, gave it a little stir and it thickened right away. I let the mixture bubble for a minute or two and then poured it over the plated shrimp (after removing the paper towel).

The shrimp are tender and moist with a crispy exterior and the sweet/sour/spicy sauce has a nice bite. Goes great with rice.

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