Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes About

    Loosely Packed Cups

Appears in

Dried shrimp are an important source of flavor as well as protein through most of Southeast Asia. In Burma they are often used powdered. The soft powder gives a subtle depth of flavor and also thickens sauces.

Look for largish dried shrimp, more than ½ inch long if possible, and the darker-colored (more red than pale pink or beige), the better. Try to get shrimp that are a little soft rather than completely hard. The easiest way to grind them is in a food processor (traditionally, they are pounded in a mortar).

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup or more good-quality dried shrimp (see the headnote)

Method

Place the shrimp in a bowl with water to just cover and set aside to soak for 10 minutes (20 minutes if the shrimp are very hard and dry). Drain and pat dry.

Transfer to a food processor and process until reduced to a slightly uneven, fluffy powder, from 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the toughness of the shrimp. Pause and wipe down the sides of the bowl occasionally if necessary. Store in a glass jar.

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