FOFOS DE ARROZ (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

pound uncooked medium-sized shrimp (about 21 to 25 to the pound)

cup finely chopped onions

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 egg yolk

3 eggs combined with 2 tablespoons water and lightly beaten

1 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 1- to 2-quart saucepan, bring the water, chillies, garlic, bay leaf and 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 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 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 1 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 375F 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.

 

Makes 24 balls.

 

country : Mozambique

course : side dish

 

source : Recipes : African Cooking (Foods of the World)