It was pretty hard to get my hands on some Hood Canal spot shrimp at ShrimpFest today. There was only one booth selling packages of the coveted shellfish to take home and only one vendor–Uncle Jim’s Smokehouse of Chehalis, Wash. had some cooked shrimp to sample. I had to wait about 20 minutes in line to sample the shrimp, but it was well worth the wait.
Uncle Jim’s Smokehouse primarily serves garlic sausage, but had added a special shrimp selection on the menu fort the festival. Each skewer had five plump, juicy, succulent pieces of shrimp (which were rather large in size, I think they could technically be described as prawns). Each piece was shelled and had spent two hours in a smoker.Then they were dipped into a light, fluffy seasoned batter and deep fried until golden with crispy edges and a pillowy center. The shrimp had the perfect combination of smokey, and salty and sweet flavors and reminded me of hickory smoked bacon, only it was seafood.
The festival continues Sunday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the shrimp skewers, festival organizers say there will be another vendor selling a hood canal shrimp paella, a Spanish rice and seafood dish that is slow-cooked in a pan over an open flame often seasoned with saffron and rosemary.