16 September 2007

Imperial Shrimp

It is my personal belief that people who don't like seafood should be beaten with sticks until they reconsider... Fish sticks, that is. Just kidding (obviously). As I was going through the recipes on the eGullet forums, I came upon the Chinese section and chanced upon this gorgeous dish from resident expert Ah Leung. It looked so appetizing, I just had to try it. So I made my way to the Chinese deli (more on that later) to get the numerous sauces I need. That's the total downside to Chinese cooking. You're going to need a whole pantry of sauces that may not see the light of day again (I praise those who manage to go through a bottle of Hoisin Sauce in 2 months). The recipe I've written here is exactly the same as its creator's, but I devised a system so I wouldn't be confused as I went along. (Recipe follows)
Imperial Shrimp
Peel, decapitate, and devein 1/2 kilo of medium shrimp. Stir in a bowl together with 1/5 tsp salt, 2 tsp cooking oil, and 2 tsp cornstarch. Set aside in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Prepare 3 bowls. In Bowl 1, add 5 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1 tsp chili sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee), and 2 tsp Chili Bean Sauce (can find this at the Chinese Deli or at a good supermarket like Megamall Bonus or Unimart). In Bowl 2, add 2 tsp white vinegar, 1 tsp Chinese cooking wine, 1/4 cup chicken broth, 3 tsp sugar, and 15g tomato sauce. In Bowl 3, dissolve 1/2 tsp cornstarch in 2 tsp water.

In a wok over high heat, add 3 tbsp cooking oil and wait till the oil is very hot. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes or until the color is orange-pink. Remove the shrimp from the pan and drain.

In the same wok, pour in the contents of Bowl 1 and cook for 15 seconds. Pour in the contents of Bowl 2 and bring to a boil. Pour in Bowl 3 to thicken the sauce. Add the parcooked shrimp back in the wok. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Transfer toa serving dish and top with chopped green onions.

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