At the restaurant in Ottawa where I ate the above dish, it appeared on the dim sum menu as 煎釀茄子 (jiān niàng qiézi). The final two characters mean eggplant while the second character (which contains the wine radical) generally means to ferment or brew, but, in this specific context, it indicates a stuffed vegetable. The character that is a little odd here is the first which means to pan-fry. However, this particular version was, I am fairly sure, actually deep-fried.
The eggplant in question is one of the slender Asian varieties that has been cut into sections on the bias and then slit open to make a pocket for a stuffing of minced shrimp. After frying, the pieces were served in a sweetish, soy based sauce that went really well. The eggplant was nicely tender and I generally enjoyed this but the restaurant was too skimpy with the filling. Eggplant dominated shrimp to an unfortunate degree. When I reproduce this dish (probably using zucchini instead of eggplant), I will be considerably more generous…
A while ago, I downloaded a picture of an interesting looking dish which bore the title ‘Salted Duck Egg Yolk Fried Prawns’. There was no recipe, nor even any description, rather, it was just a picture of a dish enjoyed by someone in a restaurant in, I think, Malaysia or Singapore. Now, I have written about Chinese Salted Duck Egg before and I mentioned that you can purchase them in their raw state, or cooked. I do not know what was used in the dish that inspired this experiment, but I only had the latter on hand and so was limited to using that. Anyway, here is what I did… Continue reading “Salted Duck Egg Fried Shrimp”
Today’s little appetizer is adapted from a Chinese recipe I first tried many, many years ago. I can’t quite recall where I saw it, but I am fairly sure it is Cantonese. Although it is ‘oil sizzled’ the shrimp are actually first steamed with some aromatics, and hot oil is drizzled over them just before serving to really enhance the flavor. Once you have done the finicky part of ‘prepping’ the shrimp, the process is pretty easy… Continue reading “Oil Sizzled Shrimp”
Today’s dish is my own take on an appetizer I was served a while ago in Yellowknife called ‘Flambé Sambuca Shrimp’. Now, I rather ‘panned’ that dish for what I felt was a rather poor execution but, after giving the basic idea a try, I rather owe the cook in question a (partial) apology. One of my criticisms was that the typical anise flavour of Sambuca was entirely absent, leading me to think that they had unfairly skimped on this part of the production. However, in my own attempt, I used quite a bit of the liqueur myself and experienced the very same result. Possibly, it is the flaming of the liquid that causes this? In any event, despite that particular ‘flaw’, I think my effort was the better of the two… Continue reading “Sambuca Flambéed Shrimp”
I had this little appetizer at Diamante during a layover in Yellowknife not long ago. It was described on the menu as ‘Tiger shrimp flambéed in Sambuca and finished with honey lemon cream sauce’ and I wasn’t really sure if the that I would like the strong anise flavour of Sambuca with delicate seafood. As it happened, though, I needn’t have worried as, for the life of me, I couldn’t detect even a hint of the liqueur anywhere in the dish.
Sadly, the above deficiency wasn’t compensated for in the rest of the execution. First, the 8 or 9 Tiger shrimp I was promised turned out to be the very small (and generally tasteless) variety one usually finds in supermarket ‘Shrimp Rings’ destined to be consumed with horseradish based cocktail sauces. The butter based sauce in this particular offering was creamy in texture but it did not seem as though any actual cream was used. It had honey, though, to the point of being almost cloyingly sweet, and while this may have been balanced by the advertised lemon, this also did not seem to be included save for a small section of whole lemon sitting in the sauce.
Anyway, overall, this appetizer was pretty much a disappointment. That being said, though, I am glad I tried it as it inspired me to give the basic idea a try myself. I even brought a little bottle of Sambuca back from Yellowknife to this end and I will post my results in due course.
As I have mentioned before, any dish with ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ in the title generally means that it is made with shrimp and chicken. I put together this particular combination in order to show you the use of my homemade Simple Chili Oil as a dish ingredient rather than as a condiment and I have called it a ‘Kung Pao’ dish even though I stray from the traditional cookery methods a little. In the proper Sichuanese versions of Kung Pao cookery, chilies are fried in very hot until almost black, and the result is a characteristic scorched chili flavor with which the other ingredients are infused… my homemade oil definitely has that quality Continue reading “Kung Pao Dragon & Phoenix”
In Chinese cuisine, the name ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ means that a dish combines Shrimp and Chicken in some way. Today, I have put together a simple illustration of the idea using cucumber, for its pleasing color and texture, and a rich XO Sauce for depth of flavor… Continue reading “XO Dragon and Phoenix”
In Indian cuisine, a Korma (which can be spelled many different ways, including Qorma, Khorma, Kurma, etc.), is a braised dish to which either yoghurt, cream, or coconut milk is added, to yield a smooth and rich finished dish. There are all sorts of variations on the basic theme, and, though the end-result can be quite fiery, in restaurant versions they are typically very mild. Today’s rendition, using shrimp, cauliflower and carrot, falls into that category… Continue reading “Shrimp and Vegetable Korma”
Given my occasional penchant for making up odd names for dishes I create, you may be excused for thinking that ‘Binagoongan’ falls into that category. Actually, the word ‘Binagoongan’ , in Filipino cuisine, means that a given dish is made using a ‘Bagoong ‘, and the pairing of fermented shrimp paste with Pork is a firm favorite in the Philippines.
Naturally, as with all classics, there are countless variations on the basic theme… Some renditions are basically sautés with very little sauce, whilst other are more like braises or stews. Generally, the ingredient list, beyond the pork and shrimp paste, tends toward the simple, with onions garlic, and a little chili being the most common additions. Some, but not all recipes, use tomatoes, whilst sugar and vinegar are almost invariably added in order to offset the saltiness of the Bagoong. Here, I use quite a bit of tomato, and the end result is heavy on the sweet and sour… Continue reading “Pork Binagoongan”
I had a small amount of shrimp leftover in my freezer that needed to be used and so I put together this little Cantonese-style appetizer for a light snack. If you peruse the ingredient list below, it may strike you that Worcestershire Sauce and Ketchup are not particularly Chinese, but, in fact, they are both quite commonly used. Indeed, I would hazard to say that, these days, Worcestershire sauce is probably used more commonly in the far east than it is in the west. In any event, this little dish is dead easy to make and can be put together in very short order… Continue reading “Sweet Sesame Shrimp”