Updated: Apr 4, 2022
When most people think of shrimp, they aren't imagining it in dried form. Outside of Louisiana I don't think many Americans are even familiar with dried shrimp. However, they are often found in Chinese, Latin American and West African cuisines.
Dried shrimp can be incorporated into a dish in whole form as a main the ingredient or ground up and used as a seasoning. I mainly grind them in a food processor or blender and use as a seasoning for dishes like West African Gumbo or Guatemalan shrimp chirmol. And they are the "secret ingredient" in my creamy shrimp bisque as well. If you're feeling adventurous, you can snack on these crispy whole. Just grab your favorite all purpose seasoning, toss with the shrimp and munch on.
To make these worth your while, you'll need to brine them and dry them in a dehydrator. You could dry them in our oven, but the results won't be quite the same. Vacuum sealed these shrimp will last up to one year.
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Brine Time: 4 to 6 hours
Poach Time: 5 minutes
Dry Time: Varies depending on the size of the shrimp.
Resources: LEM Products Dehydrator
1 pound shrimp, shells left on
1 quart water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bay leaf
half of one lemon, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Either on the stove top or microwave bring the one quart of water to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the lemon, garlic and bay leaf. Place in the refrigerator until the liquid is chilled.
Add the shrimp to the brine and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
Drain the shrimp and place them in a pot. Add enough water to cover the shrimp. Bring the water to a slow simmer and cook until they are just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Drain the shrimp well and discard the other ingredients. Place the shrimp onto your dehydrator trays, ensuring the shrimp are not touching one another.
Set the dehydrator to 145 degrees and dry them for one hour.
Reduce the temperature to 120 degrees and continue to dry them until they break apart easily. The drying time will vary depending on the size of your shrimp.