1. Shell and devein shrimp. Then mince or grind with water chestnuts.
2. Beat egg lightly; mince scallion and ginger root; then add to shrimp
mixture along with cornstarch, sherry and salt. Blend to a smooth paste.
3. Shape mixture into walnut-size balls. (To prevent sticking, wet 2
teaspoons in a bowl of cold water; then spoon up a teaspoon of the mixture
and toss it between the 2 spoons to form a round, smooth ball.)
4. Meanwhile heat enough oil to float shrimp balls. Add them a few at a
time. (Don't crowd: allow room for stirring and for even browning.) Reduce
heat to medium and deep-fry, turning shrimp balls occasionally, until
golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling.
5. Repeat process until mixture is used up, reheating oil each time.
6. Serve shrimp balls hot, sprinkled with nutmeg and lemon juice and
garnished with Chinese parsley; or accompanied by a sweet-and-pungent
1. For the shrimp, substitute fresh crabmeat.
2. For the water chestnuts, substitute either 1/2 cup bamboo shoots or 1/4
cup celery, minced.
3. Omit the whole egg. Substitute 1 egg white in step 2; or else dip shrimp
balls in the egg white to coat after step 3.
4. Omit the cornstarch in step 2. After step 3, dredge shrimp balls lightly
in flour; then dip in whole egg, beaten.
5. In step 2, add 2 bacon strips, minced; or 1 or 2 tablespoons unrendered
leaf lard, minced; or 1/4 pound pork, with some fat, minced.
6. In step 2, add any or all of the following: 1/2 garlic clove, minced; a
few sprigs of Chinese parsley, chopped; 1 tablespoon soy sauce; 1/2
teaspoon sugar; a few drops of sesame oil.
7. At the end of step 3, roll each shrimp ball in minced smoked ham (about
2 ounces for 1 pound of shrimp) to coat.
8. Omit step 3. Instead of shaping into balls, drop shrimp mixture directly
into the hot oil from a teaspoon. (Dip teaspoon in cold water each time to