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Shrimp Balls with Soju-Tomato Sauce

These shrimp balls would make a wonderful party appetiser.


  • 1 1/2 pounds Contessa shrimp, peeled

  • 3 shallots, peeled and quartered

  • 3 Thai bird chiles

  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

  • Zest of 2 lemons, juice of 1

  • 4 tablespoons julienned Thai lime leaves

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup rice flour

  • 1 cup canola oil

  • For the Soju Tomato Sauce:

  • One 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) with their liquid

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 8 smashed garlic cloves

  • Crushed hot red pepper

  • 1/4 cup TY KU soju

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil for finishing the sauce

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    In a food processor, combine the shrimp, shallots, chiles, coconut, brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, lime leaves and lime juice. Process until well-combined; the mixture should have the consistency of ground meat. If too thin, add more coconut; if too thick, thin with lime juice and/or oil. Season lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. With wet hands, mold shrimp mixture into balls. Place rice flour in a shallow dish. Add 1/4-inch oil to a large skillet and heat to 325-350 degrees over high heat. Dredge shrimp lollipops in rice flour and shallow-fry them, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool slightly. Salt lightly. Serve with Soju-Tomato Sauce.

  • For the Soju Tomato Sauce::

  • 1.

    Pour the tomatoes and their liquid into food processor. Pulse tomatoes until finely chopped. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add garlic cloves. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes to pan. Bring to a boil, season lightly with salt and generously with crushed red pepper, and boil 2 minutes. Add soju and simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove garlic cloves from sauce and add cream. Add the 2 tablespoons butter or oil, if using, and stir in to incorporate. Check for flavor.


Serves 4 as an appetizer.

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