The first time I ordered these deep-fried shrimp balls at a dim sum restaurant, they carried the honoric title of “chef’s special balls.” Yes, I just used the word balls twice in one sentence. My husband and I giggled at the English name as we ordered the crisp little wonders, coated with crunchy ribbons of noodles. Those balls were the size of golf balls and a little awkward to manage with chopsticks. I’m sure you’re smirking or laughing aloud by now. Nevertheless, they offered a nice contrast of textures and shrimp flavor. (If you've had this little wonder, what were they called in English and/or Chinese?)
It was probably the name but I’ve didn’t make chef’s special balls at home until earlier this week. Bee Yinn Low’s new Easy Chinese Recipes cookbook inspired me to do so with a recipe for “crunchy shrimp balls” which gave them a little more gravitas and got me over my giggles. (I contributed a cover blurb to the book so suffice it to say, I’ve been pondering these crunchy morsels since I reviewed the galleys months ago.) Bee is the brains behind the super popular Rasa Malaysia blog, a newish mom, and now a cookbook author.