Fried Udon-Wrapped Shrimp are an impressive Asian inspired recipe that will certainly bring a few ohs and ahs when they are brought to the table.
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon seasme oil
- 1 Thai bird chili pepper (thinly sliced)
- 6 small Persian cucumbers (about 18 to 20 ounces total)
- 3 scallions (thinly sliced on a diagonal)
- salt and pepper (as needed for seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon bonito flakes (optional)
- 6 ounce chow mein style udon noodles (or other thin noodle such as angel hair pasta)
- 16 large shrimps (peeled and deveined with tails intact)
- peanut, canola or vegetable oil (as needed for frying depending on the size of your vessel)
Prepare the dipping sauce: Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and as many slices of the chili pepper as you like to a lidded jar; shake well to combine. Shake again just before serving.
Prepare the cucumber salad: Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½‑inch half moons. Add the cucumbers and scallions to a bowl, along with ½ cup of the prepared dipping sauce; season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the bonito flakes just before serving (if using).
Prepare the shrimp: Cook the udon according to package instructions. Drain well.
While the udon is still warm straighten out a forkful, then roll this udon (about 12 noodles) around each of the shrimp. Set them aside to cool. The starch will “glue” the noodles in place.
Meanwhile place about 3‑inches of oil into a large deep pot. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Working with 2 or 3 udon-wrapped shrimp at a time deep fry them until the shrimps are cooked and the udon browned, about one and a half minutes (maybe two). Roll them in the oil with a long-handled heat-proof slotted spoon to assure they brown evenly. Remove them from oil as they finish cooking and place on rack to drain. Continue cooking the remaining udon-wrapped shrimp.
To serve: Spread the cucumber salad onto a serving plate, topping it with warm udon-wrapped shrimp. Serve remaining dipping sauce on the side.