Time management hint: Before you start , make sure you get your dried scallops (1 oz) soaking in some warm water. They’ll need to be rehydrated and soft enough to chop by the time you’re finishing making the fish-and-shrimp paste.
We’ll get a head start on the marinade first. In a small bowl, combine sugar (1 tsp), salt, chicken bouillon powder (1 tsp), white pepper (0.25 tsp), and cornstarch (3 tbsp).
Peel and clean the shrimp (5 oz). To peel the shell off, twist and wiggle the tail off. Then, hook a finger under the remaining shell and pull it straight off. Then, butterfly each piece of shrimp by slicing it in half. This will expose the veins so they’ll wash right out. Put the sliced shrimp in a bowl of clean water and give them a good rinse with gentle, firm squeezes and swishes. Make sure that the veins wash out.
When the shrimp are clean, remove them from the water and gently squeeze out excess water. Too much water will make the mixture loose and prone to falling apart. Set the shrimp aside.
Slice the fish (12 oz) thinly. Once the fish is all chopped into thin slices, you’re going to start smashing it. It’s best to use the broadest knife you have for this, the closest thing you have to a cleaver.
Grip your cleaver high on the handle, extend your index finger out to push down on the blade, and turn the cleaver horizontally. Carefully smash the fish slices down into the cutting board. You won’t need a lot of sudden, dramatic force, as the fish is delicate and will succumb easily to smashing. Just come down with a bit of force, and then drag the knife back to crush the fish underneath.
The smashed fish slices should begin to form a paste, and as you go through the fish, gather it back up into new piles to smash again. It should get stickier and more paste-like with the second pass.
Set the fish paste aside and mash the shrimp using the same motion; the shrimp doesn’t need any slicing beforehand.
Fold the shrimp over itself and continue mashing for 1-2 minutes; if there are any tendons or connective tissue, you can roughly chop at it to break it down.
Fold your shrimp paste into your fish paste and roughly combine them.
Of course, you can use a food processor to make these pastes. We recommend processing the fish and shrimp separately, and then combining the two pastes.
Mince the rehydrated dried scallops, then fold it in with the rest of your mixture. Then, mash and fold your seafood mixture repeatedly until all the elements are well-combined. Then, set it aside.