Shrimp quenelles

Fish meatballs

French people call these quenelles but most Americans might think of them as fish meatballs, or as fish-flavored matzo balls. So whatever. A way to make fish a little fancier. Or, looked at another way, a way to make fish stretch a little further.

How to make shrimp quenelles:

Put on a large pot of water to boil, and start a separate pot of rice on the side (twice as much water as rice, cover, let it come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the water is all soaked up and the rice is soft).

Take half a pound of tiny cooked shrimp and mash them with the immersion blender. Add half a cup of thick drained yogurt, salt, pepper, and an egg white. You can whip the egg white or not. If the mixture is thick enough to form little balls, good. If not, add tablespoons of flour until it gets that thick.

When the water boils, form little balls or logs out of the fish paste and drop them gently in the simmering water. Continue until the pan is crowded or all the fish is gone. Simmer until they float and turn over, about ten minutes. Remove gently with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium-size frying pan or small saucepan, melt 1/4 stick of butter. Add a half a cup of white wine. Then add half a cup of thick yogurt and the leftover egg yolk from the quenelles. Stir until it forms a sauce. Add a teaspoon or two of tomato paste, and stir again. Serve the quenelles over the rice, with the sauce on top.

Vegan or vegetarian?

Nope. How to make it vegetarian? Maybe mix seitan with powdered nori flakes (dried seaweed) to make a seafood-tasting base. Then mix that with the egg and yogurt to make the quenelles. If you used egg replacer, and vegan yogurt, you could make it vegan. Good luck! But it would be easier to just make something else.

Can I keep this for later?

Yes, but the quenelles will be denser and less tasty as leftovers.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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