Sunday, August 8, 2010
My New Favourite Use for the Microwave - Shrimp Chips
Every time I go for Thai food at my favourite local place - Xaphire,530 Eglinton Ave. W. - I order the delicious shrimp chips (also known as prawn crackers) served with their amazing peanut sauce.
Shrimp chips are the East Asian answer to potato chips. You can buy them pre-packaged in any Asian grocery store but they don't compare to the restaurant ones that arrive at your table fresh from the fryer and piled high in a big bowl. Sometimes they are a variety of completely unnatural confetti colours and sometimes they are more of a natural parchment-like colour, but they are always the consistency of Styrofoam packing peanuts with the subtle flavour of dried shrimp.
One night last week, I was sitting at home craving shrimp chips but trying to talk myself out of it - while they are light and airy, they are deep-fried and quite greasy. Then I remembered hearing somewhere that you could actually microwave shrimp chips. Between you and me, I hardly ever use my microwave. Aside from defrosting frozen soup or a bagel, my 14 year old machine remains relatively idle, but the idea of homemade shrimp chips without the grease was too tempting to resist.
A trip to my local Asian market, $1.49 and 1 minute in the microwave and VOILA - delicious, crispy, fat-free shrimp chips. I took pictures of the box, the uncooked chips and the final product so anyone who isn't familiar won't feel lost.
All you have to do is lay out some of the chips on a microwave-safe plate - make sure they are in a single layer and not touching each other. Place the plate in the microwave and set it for 1 minute on high. You'll see the chips puff and become opaque. Remove the plate from microwave and let chips sit for a minute or two until they cool and totally crisp up. Serve with peanut sauce or your favourite Asian style dip.