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Sep 5, 2006 01:41 AM

Dried Shrimp?

Just for the heck of it I tried out a different supermarket today, one that caters heavily to the various local Hispanic communities, and was enjoying "sightseeing" all the unusual foods and mysterious packages when I found myself entranced by a cellophane bag filled with medium-sized head-on dried shrimp. Anyone have a recipe that uses these? Usually I'm dealing with a recipe that uses exotic ingredients that I can't find--this place is a treasure trove of exotic ingredients needing a recipe!

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  1. This should get you started:

    Surprisingly you can find those shrimp in a lot of large grocery stores in the Latino section with the spices.

    Yeah, the Latino markets are great. Usually they will make their own chorizo, which often tastes of chile, cinnamon ... and for the dry variety ... vinegar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      cinnamon...really? is there a special kind to ask for? id be interested in that/

      1. re: kare_raisu

        Each market makes it differently. So try a small piece to check it out. Some markets make two types of chorizo, a fresh chorizo that is refrigerated and a dry version usually dangling like a long-looped snake off a bar on the wall. Here's some of my chorizo adventures

        Usually these markets make tamales, often near the register. Some will make their own moles and salsas that will be on top of the meat counter. Some will even make their own tortillas ... those are usually next to the resister. A few, make their own queso fresco.

        Each market I've visited has some different and unique thing. It's been interesting.

    2. The Chinese use it in wide variety of veggies and soup dishes. One is a napa cabbage cooked in chicken broth and dried shrimp.

      3 Replies
      1. re: theSauce

        I love regular cabbage stir fried with plenty of dried shrimp.

        I re-hydrate the shrimp in water, then sautee the shrimp in oil, add the cabbage, stir fry a little, add the reserved soaking liquid and some salt, cover to let the cabbage steam a little, then stir fry some more. Yum!

        I actually just had myself a very simple meal with cabbage and a side of Chinese sausage and garlic today. Delish!

        I'll also rehydrate them, chop them up, and throw in fried rice for some fishy flavor.

        1. re: Pei

          Are these shrimp still wearing their heads or shells? If so, how do you deal with that?

          1. re: Sharuf

            If you get dried shrimp with the shells/heads still on, you can easily crumble off the shells with your fingers. Commercial producers of dried shrimp in Louisiana tumble the shrimp in large air driers (kinda like clothes driers) that rub off the shells during the drying process.

      2. Never seen 'em with the heads still on, but dried shrimp are a common enough ingredient in cajun cooking. Use as a substitute for fresh shrimp in liquidy things like gumbo, or my favorite dried shrimp recipe: a thick potato stew (or "fricot") with a couple handsful of (headless) dried shrimp thrown in. Also good with smothered squash, or in a rice filling for stuffed green peppers.

        1. I like them in potato pancakes with sausage, mushrooms, corriander, and scallion.