Intro: Master(ing) Yoda Shrimp Chips
I love to experiment with cooking and make it fun. I am also a huge Star Wars Geek so when I was out for Thai food and they served us a bowl of those multi-colored shrimp chips I saw a green one and said "Wow that looks like Yoda!". I figured if I could shape the "dough" more Yoda-like I could cook up a batch of Yoda Shrimp Chips for my next Star Wars Marathon movie night
Even though these are small snacks, inspired by a shrimp, they pack a lot of flavor.. and as master Yoda says:
Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is -Yoda
So below is my first recipe attempt at the ultimate Star Wars snack: Yoda Shrimp Chips
Step 1: Ingredients
The recipe I used was made by blending several recipes I found online. Homemade chips have an amazing shrimp flavour that is much stronger then store bought chips. My chips were not as "puffy" as commercial ones but the flavor made up for it.
1/2 lb raw organic shrimp (flesh only & de-veined)
1/2 lb tapioca flour (Bob's Red Mill brand - available at health food stores)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp white ground pepper
15 drops green food coloring (to Yodify the crackers - I only used about 10 drops but once cooked the color is lighter so I recomend more)
3 cups peanut oil (for deep frying)
Step 2: The Dough
The shrimps do not need be drained dry, just wash and put into a mixer and minced. Finely mince the shrimps. Put the shrimp into your dough mixer, add all the other dry ingredients and mix using the dough hook for 8 minutes or so. If mixture doesn't come together, add 1/2 tbsp of water. If too soft, add a little bit more tapioca flour.
Taste the raw dough. If it's bland, add more seasoning, after frying, the shrimp chips will taste less salty. Put the dough on a clean surface and knead with your hands until dough is very smooth, about 10 minutes (at this time add drops of green food coloring as you knead). When you press the dough with your fingers it should feel like pressing your arm, soft yet firm. If the dough is hard, wet your hands and knead again. If your dough is too hard/dry, the crackers will crack during drying and they'll taste very dry after frying.
Shape dough into two rolls (one half the thickness of the other, press and slap both ends to compact the rolls to remove any air bubbles. Cut the small roll in half and wet the cut size and attach as "ears" on the larger roll. pinch the ears into a "Yoda" shape. When you set the roll on its end it should look like Yodas face.
Step 3: Steaming (like in the Swamps of Dagobah)
The dough needs to be steamed to "cook" the shrimp. As I did not have a steamer I improvised with a pot of water a cake pan and a silicone bundt cake pan. But I recomend getting a real seamer as they are cheap and easier to use. So the way it should be done is: Lay the rolls on a banana leaf which is laid over your steamer in which the water should be boiling. If you can't find banana leaf you can just use foil .
Steam at medium high heat (too high and dough will crack) for 1 hour. Make sure there is a vent in your steamer lid (a bamboo steamer & lid is best) so that the steam does not rise and fall onto the rolls which makes the surface bubbled and wet. When cooked take out of steamer and let cool. When rolls are cool, wrap them in tea towels or foil and put in the fridge to firm up. Leave them overnight & the next morning take rolls out and leave them out 1/2 hour to come to room temperature.
Step 4: Dry (like the Desert Planet Tatooine)
Now we come to the part that was the hardest for me slice the rolls very thinly with a very sharp knife. Cut into thin slices, too thick and they won't puff as well, then lay them on metal sheets / trays.
When all the Yodas were cut I put the tray in my convection oven at the lowest temperature possible leaving the door a quarter of the way open. This will dry the crackers slowly especially with the convection oven fan blowing the air over them.
Step 5: Frying!
I did not get pictures of the actual frying as I did not like to mix boiling oil and expensive electronics. oil splatters on an expensive camera lens is no fun.
Heat your oil to a be pretty hot about 350-400 degrees. You can test the oil with miscuts from when you sliced the chips. When placed in the oil the chips should pretty much start expanding immediately and float to the top. When they stop expanding after 4-7 seconds you can pull them out with a strainer and place them on paper towel to drain the oil.
Fry enough chips to fill a bowl or two, pop your Star Wars Blue Ray into your TV, sit back enjoy the movie and your snacks! May the Force be with you!
This was my first try at making these, I already have a few ideas to improve the process (love to get a yoda cookie cutter to make the shape better (and faster), more food coloring, etc). With a lot of practice, I intend to master Yoda shrimp chips!
No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.
--YODA, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back