For fried garlic, pulse the
Garlic (5 cloves)
in a food processor until finely minced. On the side, set up a large fine sieve resting over a large bowl.
Vegetable Oil (1 cup)
in a wok/pot over medium-high heat. Drop a piece of garlic into the oil, and if it slowly bubbles up and floats to the surface, the oil’s ready (remove the tester-garlic or it’ll burn).
Lower the heat down to medium, then add all the garlic at once. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the garlics start to turn into pale-golden. Turn off the heat completely at this point, and keep stirring with the residual heat.
Once the garlic turns a light-golden, immediately drain them through a fine sieve. You want to remove it from heat just a little earlier because they will continue to darken into medium-golden once drained. You'll have about 1 1/2 cups.
The fried garlic could stick to each other after cooking, so break them up with a fork and divide in half. Freeze half in an air-tight bag for next use. Reserve the garlic oil.
Mix half of the fried garlic with
Ground White Pepper (3/4 tsp)
Ground Black Pepper (1/4 tsp)
, and the zest of a
. Set aside.
Use a scissor to cut the shrimp-shells open along the back, all the way to the tails. Devein the
Extra Large Shell-On, Head-On Shrimp (6)
, then score the meats open with a small knife without cutting through.
All-Purpose Flour (2 Tbsp)
Fine Ground Cornmeal (2 Tbsp)
, season with a small pinch of
Salt (1/2 tsp)
. Light coat the shell of the shrimps in the flour-mixture, then dust off any excess flour. Set aside.
Heat up 3 tablespoons of garlic oil in a wok or deep skillet on high heat until smoking. Lay the shrimps flat on one side in the wok/skillet to fry, then don’t move them. Once the first side is blistered and crispy, add the
Dried Chili Peppers (6)
Turn them over and fry the other sides. It’s important not to stir them or move them around too much, otherwise they won’t fry properly. Once both sides are crispy, add the
Scallions (1 bunch)
Asian Celery (1 stalk)
, and 1/2 tsp of the
Fish Sauce (1 tsp)
Stir gently and cook until the scallions have just wilted. Now turn off the heat completely, and add the fried garlic-mixture, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of fish sauce.
The residual heat is enough to do the rest of the job, but won’t burn the garlic. Fold gently again to have everything combined.
Serve immediately, meaning you suck the heads, chew on their crispy legs, down the meats and spoon the garlic over rice or savoury congee. It is excellent on both.