So many Southeast Asian cuisines are known for their dishes that incorporate hot, sour, salty and sweet elements. But Burma seems to place no less importance on umami, which is often referred to as the fifth taste.
We’ve already covered two vegan Burmese basics that add some umami (golden crispy shallots and toasted chickpea flour), but this dried shrimp powder might just be the ultimate way to add some funky umami punch to your favorite Burmese dishes.
Although you certainly won’t be doing anything wrong if you just blend up dried shrimp in your food processor or high-speed blender, I’m going to defer to Southeast Asian cuisine expert extraordinaire, Naomi Duguid on how to correctly make shrimp powder at home.
Duguid recommends soaking the shrimp a bit to soften them up, which is helpful if your blender or processor blades aren’t quite as sharp as they once were.
Burmese Shrimp Powder
Yield: approximately 1-1/2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
* 1 cup small dried shrimp, preferably 1/2-inch long or larger
Place the shrimp in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the shrimp in a high-speed blender or food processor. Process until the powder is light and fluffy, stopping occasionally, if necessary, to wipe down the sides of the blender jar or processor bowl.