Chef Intel
Shape-Shifting Shrimp
Shrimp Crackers from chef Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia in Chicago.
Photo © Sepia

Chefs are pickling, powdering and pulverizing shrimp into inventive dishes.

Shrimp Crackers. Chef Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia in Chicago makes his own version of Asian shrimp crackers. He creates a dough from pureed shrimp, shrimp stock and tapioca starch, then steams and dehydrates it. A quick trip to the deep fryer transforms the dough into puffy, crunchy chips. The finishing touch: a sprinkle of chile-lime salt.

Shrimp Croutons. In Tampa, Florida, The Refinery's Greg Baker mixes ground shrimp into sourdough bread, then turns it into crispy croutons. They're dusted with togarashi (Japanese chile powder) and shrimp powder before being tossed into an extra-briny Caesar salad.

Shrimp Cream. For a modernist twist on shrimp cocktail, chef Erik Anderson of The Catbird Seat in Nashville purees shrimp into a cream and serves it with tomato-cherry snow and spicy Tabasco salt (an homage to cocktail sauce).

Shrimp Pancakes. At Coqueta, Michael Chiarello's new tapas restaurant in San Francisco, glass shrimp—a tiny, translucent variety sometimes used as bait—are folded into a chickpea pancake batter, then fried in cast-iron skillets.

Shrimp Crunchies. Chefs Ann Redding and Matt Danzer of Uncle Boon's in New York City dehydrate seasoned fresh shrimp, then pulverize them into a crunchy all-purpose topping that they call "the Thai equivalent of bacon bits."

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