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Kim's Shrimp Balls

"My mother slapped the minced shrimp across a chopping board with the side of the cleaver to make it form a paste. I would run to the kitchen when I heard that sound." I. Yang Lin

  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 4 water chestnuts finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 4 scallions, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch


Shell and devein shrimp. Wash carefully, and dry on paper towels. Mince finely. Place half the minced shrimp at end of a large cutting board. Using flat side of a cleaver, draw shrimp across board to smooth into a paste. Repeat with second half of mixture. (If you are using a utensil other than a cleaver, repeat the action.)

Put shrimp in medium mixing bowl. Add water chestnuts and mix into a smooth paste. Make a well in the center. Put in egg and break up with a fork. Add minced scallions, ginger and salt. Stir to combine. Sprinkle in cornstarch and mix well.

Form shrimp into balls one rounded tablespoon at a time.

TO BOIL: Bring 2 quarts of water to the boil. Drop in shrimp balls one at a time. Remove when they float to the surface. Serve with hoisin sauce.

TO FRY: Heat 2 cups peanut oil in a 3 quart saucepan. Drop in shrimp balls, a few at a time. When they become golden and float to the surface, remove them to paper towels to drain. Garnish with scallions and grated lemon peel.

IN SOUP: Pre-cooked shrimp balls may be added to chicken soup with half a bunch of cleaned, chopped spinach or bok choy.

Serves 4 - 6

This recipe from

Contributor: Dr. I.Yang Lin for Kim Lin.

Tip: Unless you are an expert with a cleaver, mince the shrimp in a food processor.

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