It took one simple change for us to achieve these beautiful and delicious noodles. In our past shrimp sheet and noodle preparations we utilized activa RM to bond the shrimp together. Our goal was not to puree the shrimp together and make a homogeneous noodle. Instead, we were driven to make a noodle which looked marbled and had the visual colorization of shrimp. Unfortunately, sprinkling activa over small pieces of shrimp produced great sheets but poor noodles. We were not able to achieve enough flexibility and durability from the noodle with tenderness in the bite.
Recently in a workshop we decided to use activa GS to make the sheets. GS is designed for slurry applications and is brushed onto ingredients. Its bond is more uniform and tends to be stronger than that of RM. Knowing this, we took our shrimp and brushed them evenly with the GS slurry. We put four shrimp in each vacuum bag, sealed it shut and then used a meat mallet to pound the shrimp to the corners of the bag. We refrigerated the shrimp overnight to allow the bond to occur and then cooked the sheets in the bags in a CVap at 55°C for thirty minutes. When the shrimp were cooked we iced them down. We removed the cooled sheets from the bags and cut them into noodles. The noodles were super flexible and they held together wonderfully. And when we ate them they had a perfect snap, like an al dente noodle.
To serve the noodles we warmed them up in XO red sauce, a blend of our home made XO sauce and a red sauce made with charred tomatoes and soffrito. The blend of the two bases on top of the shrimp tagliatelle was seafood amplified. The taste and texture of the hot noodles and decadent sauce made me smile. It is these simple improvements in cooking which push us to explore and reward us for our efforts.