You can of course skip the smoking step if you feel like it, but I think it adds another layer of flavor. Any shrimp will work here, but I used Gulf shrimp.
Cuisine: West African
Keyword: dried foods, shrimp, smoked foods
Author: Hank Shaw
1poundshrimp, shells on
Mix the salt with a quart of water until the salt dissolves. Submerge the shrimp in this brine for at least 4 hours, and overnight is better.
If you want to smoke your shrimp, lay them out in your smoker in one layer. Smoke over the wood of your choice -- I prefer alder or oak -- for 2 hours. Keep the smoker fairly cool, about 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now it's time to dry your shrimp. You can dry them in the hot sun if you live in a hot, dry place. Or in an oven set on its lowest setting. I use a dehydrator. I start it at 135 degrees Fahrenheit, then after an hour or so, drop it to about 110 degrees. The shrimp are done when the snap in half cleanly.
Let them cool to room temperature and pack into a glass jar. I add a silica pack desiccant to prevent any unwanted moisture from building up. They should keep this way a year.
Note that prep time doesn't include brine time, and cook time doesn't include drying time.