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 Brut Eatery founder Jun Wu, a Chinese-Californian who moved to Shanghai with his wife over three years ago. Last year, he and his business partner had the idea to create a cafe that serves not only great coffee but also excellent food. Together they founded Brut Eatery on Yuyuan Lu. What started as a humble, neighborhood corner cafe has turned into an ambitious expansion endeavor, and they recently opened in two additional locations. One in Puxi on Zhaojiabang Lu and the other in Pudong on Fangdian Lu.
Chef Jun explains how 'food and beverage' have always been his passion, “Coming from Los Angeles, there’s not much that I haven’t tried when it comes to food. It’s a melting pot of culinary experiences. But I didn’t start out in food and beverage. In fact, before coming to Shanghai and opening Brut Eatery, I was in finance. However, I felt that food and beverage was always my calling. My food represents who I am, a Chinese-Californian. And so, Brut Eatery is a reflection of the food that I grew up eating.”
Can you tell me about the dish you are helping us prepare this week?
I am going to introduce my Tuscan-style plate with a touch of Asian flair. It’s a hearty, homey dish loaded with flavor. And no, it does not have avocado, kale or quinoa. Preparation and cooking take less than 15 minutes, making it a simple, easy dish. The browned-butter white bean base is a crowd favorite at Brut Eatery. I enjoy this dish with a spicy kick, but of course, you can tone it down, or up, according to your tolerance. I grew up eating spicy food, so don’t be shy about introducing your children to a little extra flavor.
What five ingredients do we need?
40 grams unsalted butter
200 grams canned white beans (cannellini)
100 grams cherry tomatoes, cut in half
30 grams Sriracha hot sauce
1 boneless chicken thigh
Additional seasoning: oil, salt and pepper
What is the five-step recipe?
1. Add one tablespoon of oil to a pan and turn to medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken thigh with salt and pepper. Sear skin-side down and cook covered with a lid for 5 minutes. Then, remove the lid, turn over the chicken and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes, until thoroughly cooked inside.
2. In the meantime, add 40 grams of butter to another pan and place on medium-low heat. Once the butter has turned golden yellow and released a toffee, caramel aroma, it’s ready (approximately 2-3 minutes). Be careful not to go beyond this point, or it may burn.
3. Strain the liquid from the white beans and add 200 grams to the browned butter. Then add 100 grams of halved cherry tomatoes, 30 grams Sriracha hot sauce, ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir with a spatula and turn to low heat and simmer. Cook until the cherry tomatoes are soft (approximately 5 minutes). If necessary, add further salt to taste.
4. Place the cook chicken thighs on a cutting board and allow to rest for 3 minutes. Then, slice into pieces 1 centimeter thick.
5. Pour the browned-butter white beans into a large serving bowl. Place the chopped chicken on top and garnish with arugula (or any other leafy greens you have on hand. Yes, you may reach for that kale).
What’s your advice on your dish of the week?
This white-bean base also goes well with other proteins, such as fish or beef. I use chicken thigh because it’s juicier and more flavorful than chicken breast. This dish is also great as a leftover, so you can make it in advance and eat the next day. If you’re pressed for time or don’t want to bother washing another pan, then chop the chicken into small pieces and cook it with the white bean, making it a one-pot wonder.
Tell us something that’s happening with your business at the moment, that our Urban Family community can enjoy.
Brut Eatery has some exciting, refreshing veggie bowls in the works for the summer, as well as a new line of sandwiches, which are perfect as a 'to-go' option. In addition to expanding our menu, we are opening additional cafes around Shanghai in locations such as Pudong and Hongqiao. So expect to see more Brut Eatery conveniently located near you in the coming months.
For more 5 Ingredients recipes, click here.