5 Ingredients, an Urban Family series where we sit down with a Shanghai-based chef and ask for a family-friendly meal using 5 Ingredients easily found in Shanghai; let us help you start the week with a simple five-step recipe!
This week we talked to Anthony Zhao chef and restaurant owner of The Rice Garden. Born and bred in Shanghai, Anthony has one 5 year old daughter Phoenix, with his talented wife Crystyl Mo, also a food professional as well as an entrepreneur and life coach. Anthony was previously a chef in fine dining at the Ritz-Carlton and Three on the Bund and when he left to open his own restaurants he decided to go back to his roots and cook Shanghainese cuisine. That is how The Rice Garden was established.
What dish are you helping us prepare this week?
I am going to teach Gongbao shrimp, a slight change from the usual Gongbao chicken, which is a very traditional dish: all Shanghainese will know it from their childhood and even people outside of China are familiar with it. I created this dish for my restaurant, as a slightly luxurious version of an otherwise traditional home-style meal, by using shrimp instead of chicken. I added this dish to my restaurant menu because my daughter has a unique and healthy taste in food: she generally only likes to eat dark green vegetables, especially bitter ones. Shrimp is one of the few proteins she will eat. I remember when I was little I liked to eat this dish together with rice because the sauce has a very rich flavor and the textures of the bouncy shrimp with crunchy peanuts is very satisfying.
What five ingredients do we need?
250 grams river shrimp, peeled
30 grams edamame, peeled
100 grams fresh bamboo shoots, 1 inch dices
1 large clove of garlic, minced
30 grams peanuts, skinless and deep fried until crisp
Sauce ingredients, mixed together in a small bowl:
10 grams Sichuan chili bean sauce (douban jiang)
20 grams dark soy sauce
25 grams sugar
5 grams black vinegar
100 grams water
Additional ingredients, mixed together in a small bowl:
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon corn starch
What is the five-step recipe?
1. Boil 3 cups of water and blanche the shrimp for 1 minute, then remove from the water and set aside. Add the bamboo to the same boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then add the edamame and cook together for 1 minute further. Drain the bamboo and edamame and set aside to cool.
2. Add 10 grams of cooking oil to a wok or sauté pan and place over a medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute until fragrant.
3. Add the sauce mixture and heat until boiling. Season to taste.
4. Add the shrimp, bamboo and edamame. Boil in the sauce for 1 minute.
5. Add the corn starch/water mixture a little at a time, until the sauce barely coats the shrimp. Quickly stir for 10 seconds and then remove from heat. Add the peanuts and stir thoroughly. Plate and serve hot!
What’s your advice on your dish of the week?
The challenge with this dish is not to add too much corn starch at first. You want the sauce to coat the shrimp, and not be too thick or gloppy. So, add the corn starch a little at a time until you see the perfect consistency. This dish goes beautifully with steamed rice.
Tell us something that’s happening in your restaurant at the moment, that our Urban Family community can enjoy.
My goal is to build a delicious, consistent and healthy Chinese lunch restaurant brand. My concept is to use very good quality organic rice paired with simple, familiar traditional Shanghainese dishes, made really well and offered at a great price.
See listing for The Rice Garden.
For more 5 Ingredients recipes, click here.