Shrimp Chips or "Crisps"

  • 01 of 06

    Get Yourself a Box of Uncooked Shrimp Crisps.

    A Box of Shrimp Crisps. D.Schmidt

    Uncooked shrimp chips (also called "prawn crackers") are inexpensive to buy. They come in a colorful box, and can be found at most Asian/Chinese/Vietnamese food stores.

    Choose between plain (these are naturally white, like the ones used in this recipe), or colored chips (these have a mix of colors - white, pink, yellow, blue, etc...).

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Pour Some Cooking Oil into a Frying Pan or Wok.

    Pouring Oil into a Pan. D.Schmidt

    Shrimp chips can be made 2 ways: fried or microwaved. To Microwave the Chips: Simply place some of the chips onto a plate and microwave for 20-30 seconds, until the chips "puff up". While this is a faster and easier method than frying, sometimes not all of the chip will cook properly. As with popcorn, I personally prefer the traditional fried method (despite the extra calories).

    To Fry the Chips: Pour about 3/4 to 1 cup (or roughly 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep) of cooking oil into the bottom...MORE of a wok or small frying pan. Canola oil works well, or any oil that has a high temp. smoking point (here, I am using grapeseed oil).

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Heat the Oil.

    Heating the Oil & Adding the Chips. D.Schmidt

    Place the wok/pan over medium-high heat. The oil is ready when it begins to form snake-like "lines" that move across the bottom of the pan.

    If you're not sure whether the oil is hot enough, drop one chip into the pan. If it immediately begins to sizzle and "open up", your oil is ready. If nothing happens, your oil isn't quite hot enough.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Add the Chips and Wait for Them to "Open".

    Shrimp Chips "Opening Up". D.Schmidt

    When oil is hot, reduce heat to medium. Now begin adding the chips, 2-4 at a time. You will see the chips "opening up", almost like flowers. Note: Have your tongs ready, as the chips cook really fast!

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Remove Chips from Oil.

    Removing Chips from Oil. D.Schmidt

    Once the chips have opened up (this takes only seconds), remove them from the oil. If you leave them too long, they will begin to turn brown and eventually burn. (A little brown on the chips is okay). Place cooked chips on absorbent paper or tea-towel.

    Note: Cooking shrimp chips is a very fast & furious process, but also really fun! I like to get my 10-year-old involved, although I always warn her first about the hot oil (to stand back, and "slide" the chips into the oil from the...MORE top-side of the pan, so the oil doesn't splatter).

    It does help having someone else to add the chips to the oil for you - then all you have to do is keep removing them with your tongs. However, it is also very easy to work alone.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Enjoy Your Shrimp Chips!

    Eating the Shrimp Chips!. D.Schmidt

    Place shrimp chips in a bowl or on a serving plate - preferably while still fresh and warm from the pan. However, these chips will keep for a day or two - just store in a plastic bag.

    Makes an excellent snack for in front of the TV, for a party, or your own version of Happy Hour. My family likes to have them on our deck with a cold drink on a warm afternoon. There's no need to accompany shrimp chips with dipping sauce. They are good on their own. Also, as soon as these chips touch anything...MORE wet (including your tongue), they begin to "melt" - which makes them very fun to eat. They are also super crispy, so they're great if you have the munchies.