1 1/2 lb large shrimp (30), peeled and deveined
8-oz can water chestnuts (1 cup), rinsed and finely chopped
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons finely chopped chilled fresh pork fat or lard (If you don’t have any, ask your grocer’s butcher for some on your shopping trip)
1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry (you can attemtp to sub dry wine, apple juice or chicken broth but there is no good sub for sherry)
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
2 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
About 8 cups vegetable oil
If you prefer not to chop the shrimp up by hand, you can also chop up the shrimp in a food processor or blender if preferred.
In a large bowl, add chopped shrimp, water chestnuts, egg white, pork fat, rice wine, ginger, scallion, salt, and cornstarch.
Beat shrimp mixture vigorously until combined well and compacted.
Form teaspoons of shrimp mixture into balls, arranging in 1 layer on a wax-paper–lined tray.
Coat balls, 1 at a time, in panko, then arrange in 1 layer on another wax-paper–lined tray.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Heat oil in a 5-quart pot until a deep-fat thermometer registers 375°F and fry balls in 4 batches, turning, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden and just cooked through. (Return oil to 375°F between batches.)
Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
When all shrimp balls are fried, reheat on a rack set in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until just hot, about 2 minutes.