- Fried garlic:
- 30 cloves garlic – YES, I said 30!!! – minced
- 6 tbsp minced fermented black beans -黑豆豆豉, Pinyin: hēidòu dòuchǐ (optional but strongly recommended)
- 1 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper (optional but strongly recommended)
- 12 extra large/16 medium of shell-on, head-on shrimps
- 4 tbsp of all-purpose flour + 4 tbsp of fine cornmeal
- 12 dried chiles de arbol (more if you’d like it spicier), cut into small pieces
- 4 large scallions, cut into pieces
- 2 tsp of top-quality fish sauce
- Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- To make the fried garlic: Pulse the peeled garlic cloves and black beans in a food-processor until finely minced (minced, NOT pureed!). On the side, set up a large fine sieve resting over a large bowl. Warm up 1 cup of vegetable oil in a wok/pot over medium-high heat.
- Lower the heat down to medium, then add all the garlic at once. Keep stirring and keep stirring with a wooden spoon (don’t stop stirring or the garlics close to the edge of the wok/pot will brown faster) until the garlic starts to turn pale-golden (think lightly roasted peanuts).
- Turn off the heat completely at this point, and keep stirring with the residual heat. Once the garlic colors into light-golden, immediately drain them through the fine sieve. You want to remove the garlic from the heat just a little earlier than you think, because they will continue to darken into medium-golden once drained. Any darker than a medium golden-brown will taste bitter.
- The fried garlic could be very sticky after cooking, so break it up with a fork and divide in half. Reserve the garlic oil.
- Mix the fried garlic with white pepper, black pepper and Sichuan pepper. Set aside. Have all the dried chili, scallions and fish sauce ready on the side.
- Use a scissor to cut the shrimp-shells open along the back, all the way to the tails.
- Devein the shrimp, put in heavily salted ice water with a large splash of shaoxing rice wine for 20 minutes, then drain (this firms up the shrimp meat and seasons it as well). Evenly mix together 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp of fine cornmeal, season with a small pinch of salt. Light coat the shell of the shrimp in the flour-mixture, then dust off any excess flour. Set aside.
- Heat up 3 tbsp of the reserved garlic oil in a wok/deep skillet on high heat until smoking. Lay the shrimps flat on one side in the wok/skillet to fry, then don’t move them. Once the first side is blistered and crispy, add the diced dried chili and turn them over to fry the other side. It’s important not to stir them or move them around too much, otherwise they won’t fry properly.
- Once both sides are crispy, add the scallions and ½ tsp of fish sauce plus some shaoxing to taste, stir gently and cook until the scallions have just wilted. Now add the fried garlic-mixture (as much as you like of it, to taste – freeze the rest and use for next time!) and the remaining ½ tsp of fish sauce and turn off the heat. Fold gently again to have everything combined.
- Serve immediately, and spoon any excess garlic over rice or congee.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 143.5 kcal
- Sugar: 3.16 g
- Sodium: 1297.57 mg
- Fat: 2.11 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.41 g
- Trans Fat: 0.0 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.23 g
- Fiber: 3.51 g
- Protein: 8.59 g
- Cholesterol: 22.68 mg