Food for Thought by Chef Katie Chin

In Chinese, the word for shrimp “Har” sounds like laughter so it’s served at many celebratory occasions. When my divorce was finalized 13 years ago, I remember throwing a Tammy Wynette D-I-V-O-R-C-E style party where I made sure to serve a delicious shrimp dish to mark the celebration. I really wanted to spend some time with friends, the ones that really helped me get through such a challenging time (and if you’re like me, you find out who your true friends are when you go through a divorce). I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than cooking a meal for friends to help celebrate the start of my new chapter. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Firecracker Shrimp the next time you want to celebrate rediscovering U!

Firecracker Shrimp

  • 12 large shrimp, in the shell
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, divided
  • 4 sheets spring roll wrappers
  • 24 carrot strips (3x 1/4inch)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying


Removing the shells and leaving the tail intact, make a deep cut lengthwise down the back of each shrimp; wash out the sand vein. Place warm water in a bowl and add the salt; stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. Leave the shrimp in the salt water for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water, drain, and pat dry on paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt.

  1. Cut each spring roll wrapper into thirds, making 3 long narrow strips.
  2. Place the carrot strips in a small bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon
    garlic salt, and set aside.
  3. Brush the egg at the top of the shrimp. Place 2 carrot strips in the slit of each shrimp. Brush each spring roll strip with egg and roll each shrimp up tightly in the spring roll strip, with the egg holding it together. The tail of the shrimp should be protruding from one end and the carrots from the other – to resemble a firecracker! Continue process until all the wrappers are folded with the shrimp and carrots.
  4. To make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Srircha sauce. Set aside.
  5. In a wok or deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
  6. Fry the shrimp rolls until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turning 2 to 3 times.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
  8. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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