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Deep-fried rice-paste balls filled with shrimp.
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon coarsely crumbled dried hot red chilies
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 medium-sized bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
- ½ pound uncooked medium-sized shrimp (about 21 to 25 to the pound)
- ½ cup finely chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 eggs combined with 2 tablespoons water and lightly beaten
- 1½ cups fresh soft crumbs made from homemade-type white bread, pulverized in a blender or finely shredded with a fork
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- In a heavy 1½- to 2-quart saucepan, bring the water, chillies, garlic, bay leaf and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil over high heat, and stir in the rice.
- Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the grains are tender but not soft.
- Discard the bay leaf and set the rice aside to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, shell the shrimp.
- Devein them by making a shallow incision down their backs with a small, sharp knife and lifting out the black or white intestinal vein with the point of a knife.
- Wash the shrimp under cold running water.
- Then drop them into enough lightly salted boiling water to cover them completely, and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, or until they turn pink.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to paper towels to drain.
- Cut each one crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces about ½ inch long, and set aside.
- Put the rice through the finest blade of a meat grinder or through a food mill.
- In a deep bowl, combine the rice paste, onions, parsley, egg yolk and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Knead vigorously with both hands to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
- To shape each shrimp ball, moisten your hands with cold water and scoop up about 1½ tablespoons of the rice-paste mixture.
- Pat it into a flattened round, place a piece of shrimp in the center, then pat and press the edges of the round over the shrimp, enclosing it completely.
- Roll the fofo between your palms to form a ball about 1 inch in diameter.
- One at a time, dip the balls into the egg-and-water mixture, then roll them in the crumbs.
- Arrange the balls side by side on a rack set over wax paper and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set the coating.
- When you are ready to cook the fofos, preheat the oven to its lowest setting.
- Line one or two large baking sheets with a double thickness of paper towel and place them in the center of the oven.
- Pour the oil into a deep fryer or large, heavy saucepan to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
- Deep-fry the fofos 5 or 6 at a time, turning them about frequently with a slotted spoon for about 5 minutes, or until they are richly browned on all sides.
- As they brown, transfer them to the lined baking sheets to keep warm in the oven.
- Serve the fofos de arroz while they are still warm, arrange attractively on a heated platter.