For this method of drying shrimp, I am indebted to
For best results, start with very fresh shrimp. Wash these and bring to a quick boil in salted water, using
For the first day, the shrimp should be turned every half hour. At night or during a rain, remove them to a dry, well-ventilated place; do not merely cover the shrimp with a tarpaulin or other direct covering. If you are really into drying, it’s best to build movable trays with wire or slat bottoms; then the whole tray can be taken inside at night or during a rain. In most areas, you’ll also need a screen cover to keep the flies off the shrimp, or perhaps to keep the seagulls away.
Drying small shrimp will require 3 days in sunny weather, longer if the days are short of sun and wind. When the shrimp are dry and hard, place them in a cloth sack. Beat the sack with a board. This will break the shells. Then winnow the shrimp in a sifting box, made with a wooden frame and
The dried shrimp can be used in soups and stews that will be cooked for some time, or they can be freshened by soaking in water for several hours. Freshened shrimp can be dusted with flour and fried or sautéed in butter, or they can be eaten raw as appetizers.
Asian and regional Mexican cuisines make good use of dried shrimp, which can be purchased in some ethnic markets. Usually, the shrimp are dried with the aid of salt. In addition to shrimp, the Chinese also dry and market oysters, squid, sea cucumbers, and even jellyfish. Scallops are sometimes air-dried.