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 Post subject: Shrimp Paste
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:05 pm
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Location: Chico, CA
Steve has really gotten into curries, especially Thai. I have a recipe that calls for shrimp paste in bean oil. I don't have any so are there any good subs?

In a related question, how long do bonito flakes and kombu unopened in original packaging last.Ditto for dried shrimp. I bought some a while back to make dashi, never made it and they got buried behind other stuff. TIA.

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 Post subject: Re: Shrimp Paste
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:03 am
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Location: Portland, OR
Alina,

What do you have on hand? If you have dried shrimp, I'd grind up some with a little fish sauce, salt, and vegetable oil. That assumes your dried shrimp is safe to eat. Otherwise, I'd suggest a mixture of mashed anchovy, fish sauce, salt and oil, but only if it's a very small quantity, because the flavor won't be the same.

Speaking of which: dried shrimp from Asian stores should be refrigerated, since it's not usually completely dehydrated. The kind you get at Latin stores is competely dehydrated so you can keep it in the pantry. In either case, I'd throw it out after 2-3 months. Same with bonito flakes.

Konbu, on the other hand, is usable if sealed for years. It may degrade in flavor a little, but you just use a little bit more.

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 Post subject: Re: Shrimp Paste
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:43 pm 
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I'm surprised that the shrimp paste in bean oil is called for in a curry, as it is a much milder type, usually used in condiments. The kapi is much more intense, and gives Thai curries one of their incredible layers of flavor. In the early days of my Thai experimenting, my friends and I tried anchovy paste in place of the kapi (a book that was otherwise very good had this in place of all shrimp paste in its recipes), and side by side the flavor was definitely lacking something. We were amazed how that disgusting smelling stuff gave things such an incredible flavor to things! That was before the term umami became commonplace.

I always keep my dried shrimp in jars in the freezer. It keeps basically forever there.

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 Post subject: Re: Shrimp Paste
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:05 pm
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Location: Chico, CA
Thanks. I guess it is time for a pantry overhaul. I appreciate the response. The recipe calls for 1 TBS. so I think I'll find another for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Shrimp Paste
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:43 pm 
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Here is my favorite shrimp paste (brand name is not in English), plus a page to show you how many countless varieties there are! This, and the Tra Chang are the two best I have found, and I always "toast" a bunch of it, and keep one container of that ready for use, to save time, plus avoid stinking up the kitchen! Recipes call for wrapping a tb or two (or whatever is used in the dish - often much smaller amounts, when not making curry pastes) in a double layer of foil, then placing in a dry pan over medium heat for 6-7 min, turning frequently, then cooling, before unwrapping, and using in the recipe. This can also be done over an open flame, for 1-1 1/2 min, for the same effect. I usually do this outside - much better to release the fumes out there!

https://www.google.ca/search?q=thai+shr ... 5UgbPcM%3A

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 Post subject: Re: Shrimp Paste
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:35 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
Note that Thai shrimp paste is different from Indonesian shrimp paste, which comes in more of a block form:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... oedang.jpg

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