1. TO MAKE THE SAUCE: In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and stir until boiling and lightly thickened. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the chili rounds. Let stand for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. (The sauce can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead of serving and kept at room temperature.)
2. TO MAKE THE PORK AND SHRIMP BALLS: Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a food processor, pulse the shrimp until it forms a paste. Add the pork, cilantro, fish sauce, ginger, chili, and garlic. Pulse until combined. Using a heaping tablespoonful for each, form the paste into 1-inch balls and place on the waxed paper. (The balls can be covered and refrigerated for up to 8 hours.)
3. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a jelly roll pan with paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 inches and heat it to 365°F.
4. Place the cornstarch in a deep plate and roll the balls in the cornstarch to coat them evenly. In batches, without crowding, deep-fry the balls until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer the balls to the paper towels to drain. Keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining balls. Serve the hot pork and shrimp balls with the lettuce leaves, so guests can wrap the balls in the leaves and dip the packet into the sauce.
This Pork And Shrimp Balls With Sweet And Spicy Dipping Sauce recipe is from the Fried & True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.
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