Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Friday Food 44 – Xiapi

Friday food is a weekly article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This week, xiapi.

Xiapi 虾皮

虾皮 are a type of dried shrimp (actually, technically it’s a prawn). In fact, this type of prawn, the acetes genus, is the world’s most heavily fished species of prawn.

The vast majority are used in the manufacture of the “shrimp paste” found all over East Asia. But they are also sold whole in the salted, dried form.

These things really are small. Here is one next to a single grain of rice.

Top: Grain of Thai Jasmine Rice. Bottom: one Acetes prawn.

Xiapi are used in soups (delicious with seaweed) and in many dim sum items. I like to scatter a few over egg fried rice. Compared to larger dried prawns, these are cheap. A 50g bag cost me ¥3.20 and will last for ages.

Regular dried prawns/shrimp, 虾米, are also widely available. Price depends on size and quality, but an averagely large shrimp costs around 88元 / 500g. It may seems a lot but a little goes a long way. I tend to buy them in bags of around 75g for around 13元. They are a great source of umami in stir fries, soups, egg fried rice and hot pots. Soak for about twenty minutes in hot water before using.

Large Dried Prawns 大虾米

. This entry was posted on Friday, September 14th, 2012 at 10:00 am and is filed under Food and Drink, Friday Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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