Prepare the Shrimp.
Take a small sharp knife and cut right along the back of the shrimp to a depth equal to about 1/2 the depth of the knife edge. This will cause the shrimp to fan out and curl into a nice rounded shape when it is cooked. Some shrimp will have had the intestine removed and some won’t, so if it is still present, you need to remove it.
Pat the surface of the shrimp dry with kitchen paper. The dry shrimp will take up flavor better.
Season the shrimp with the salt and white pepper.
Add a small amount (about 5 ml) of wine to take away the shrimp smell. You do not need to use rice wine; you can use your favorite wine or any you have on hand. I have used sweet sherry in this recipe which has a higher concentration of alcohol and sugar.
Shrimp is very delicate, so it is best to mix in the seasonings with your hands rather than a spoon or other utensil. However, if you really do not want to use your hands, a metal spoon used gently will suffice, but please do not use chopsticks.
Next, pour in half an egg white.
To estimate the right amount of starch, add a small amount and if that is not enough, add in a bit more. You will be estimating here as ‘half an egg white’ is not an exact measure and the two will need to be adjusted to get the consistency right.
Mix again with your hands, and add more starch if necessary.
The aim here is to form a uniform coating of evenly mixed starch and egg white – not too much of either – over the surface of the shrimp.
You will need to pay attention to this so that you can add in either more egg white or more starch to get the right balance. A thin layer is better than thick, so the shrimp is not covered in a thick starchy paste.
Cover the coated shrimp and put them in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Use this time to prepare the other ingredients.
Slice the red pepper, and remove the seeds. Garlic is the main flavor in this recipe, so don’t add too much chili or it will overpower the taste of the shrimp.
Chop the garlic and green onion. Wash and pat dry some fresh spinach leaves, and scatter them onto your serving dish.