0 hours 15 mins
0 hours 50 mins
1 hours 5 mins
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1 30 Oz. Bag frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 Tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
1 Quart Canola Oil
1 Lb. Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined and tail removed
1 Tbsp. Canola oil
2 Cups broccoli florets
1 Cup sliced carrots
1 Snow Peas
1 Cup red and or bell pepper, large chunks
1/2 Onions, sliced
1/4 Cup cashews
3 Tbsp. Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
1/2 Tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 Tsp. Onion powder
1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Toasted sesame seeds
1. Thaw the bag of hash browns then put them in a clean kitchen towel and wring out any excess water. Get them as dry as possible. Add to a bowl and mix in the flour, salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot or deep wok until it reaches 350 degrees.
3. BEFORE the oil comes to temperature, using two metal strainers, dip one into the oil and let excess drip off. Put a quarter of the potatoes into the strainer and press into the bottom and up the sides creating a nest. Dip the second strainer in the oil and let excess drip off. Place on top of the potatoes in the other strainer and press down slightly creating a mold for the nest.
4. When the oil reaches 350 degrees, put the strainers with potatoes into the oil and let it fry until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy. This can take about 8 – 10 minutes. Watch carefully. When done, careful lift the basket out of the oil and let excess drip off. Place on a paper towel lined plate so you can work on removing the nest from the strainers. Remove the top basket carefully so the nest doesn’t break. Gently lift the nest out of the bottom strainer and put on a paper towel lined tray to drain. Immediately sprinkle with some salt. NOTE: removing the potato nest can be tricky…the potatoes tend to stick. I use a small knife to gently separate the potatoes from the wire mesh. Sometimes one strainer releases before the other. You can tap on the strainer to help release the potato nest. I’ve found the first one is often like your first pancake (Either a throw away or in my case, nibbles for the chef!) By the second and third nest, you’ll have your groove so don’t give up! These look great and are really tasty too.
5. Do these steps until all baskets have been made and are put to the side.
6. Time to make your shrimp stir fry. I don’t like my carrots too hard so I usually microwave them in a cup of water for three minutes, drain and then add to my stirfry. Just a tip if you want a softer but still aldente carrot. Add a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet. Put your shrimp, dried with paper towel, in a bowl. Sprinkle with half the ginger, garlic and onion powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook for about one minute on each side. Move to a platter.
7. Heat another tablesppon of oil in the same skillet and add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir for a minute or two until the onion is soft and fragrant. Add the rest of the veggies including the parboiled carrots. Sprinkle with the other half of the onion, garlic and ginger powders. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to help cook/steam the veggies. Stir for a minute or two. Add the teriyaki and hoisin sauces and stir into the veggies. Let cook another minute.
8. Add back the shrimp and any juices from the platter. Add the cashews and mix into the veggies. Cook for one – two minutes until the shrimp are heated through and have finished cooking through.
9. To plate, carefully place the bird nest on a plate, top with some of the stir fry and put the rest around the nest. Sprinkle everything with the toasted sesame seeds. Dig in and enjoy!
NOTE: Very early in my career in advertising, I sold syndicated TV programming around the globe. One of the TV series I sold was WOK WITH YAN a cooking series out of Canada that featured the fine art of Chinese Cooking. The chef gave me his cookbook at the time (Thanks Stephen Yan!) and how to make potato bird nests was in it. I thought it was the coolest thing ever…it made quite a splash when I first started entertaining. I hadn’t made these in years and for some reason I thought of them while working on a brunch menu (It must have been the fact that I was working with hash brown potatoes.) . I make stir frys all the time but haven’t presented them in a bird’s nest in years. So, I thought I’d whip out that old recipe and try them again. I wasn’t disappointed. The nests taste like these Potato Sticks I used to have as a kid… another version of potato chips. I know I didn’t use frozen hash browns when I made them back then (I remember grating my own potatoes.) but I gave the frozen hash brown potatoes a shot and they turned out great. I filled them with stir fry today but the possibilities for fillings are endless.
It is a really cool presentation and they do take a little time to make but they aren’t hard. You just have to fuss a little to get them to release from the strainer molds. But your guests will appreciate the effort. Plus you can make these well in advance. I made these several hours before I served dinner. Stir fry comes together fast so this is actually a pretty fast meal. If you wanted to crisp the nests up before actually using, just pop them in a 350 degree oven for five minutes. Definitely try these and let me know what you think.
If you like this recipe, try some of my other Asian inspired dishes: