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White Boiled Shrimp 白灼虾 and Chinese Broccoli 芥蘭


白灼虾 pronounced bok chur ha which literally translates to “white boiled shrimp”, is a popular Cantonese dish that is very quick to prepare.  When served in upscale restaurants, typically they will use very large coral shrimp (very $$$) that they boil live so it is the freshest possible and at the peak of its natural sweetness.  The shrimp is then served with a simple soy sauce with green chilies dipping sauce.

This is one of the easiest restaurant-style dishes to replicate at home.  The sauce my family makes at home consists of scallions, ginger, garlic and oil.  The only time consuming aspect of this recipe is actually consuming it — because the shrimp is boiled live, the shell and head are all left intact when served, which obviously you must manually peel off before you can dip the shrimp in the sauce to eat.  I am so used to eating it this way (and well, I’m Asian and we do love the caloriffic taste of the shrimp heads), but Natalya finds it very bothersome to have to do such much work.  You can easily just buy already peeled shrimp for this recipe, but using head-on shrimp just make it more “traditional” for presentation purposes.

I like to serve this with a side of boiled Chinese broccoli 芥蘭 (gai lan) – recipe below – for a complete meal!

White Boiled Shrimp 白灼虾

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb head-on shrimp, deveined
  • 1 T garlic, minced
  • 1 T ginger, minced
  • 1 T scallions, minced
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 T cooking oil

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the shrimp and cook for a minute or two until pink.  Drain and set aside.

Mince the ginger, garlic, and scallions and place in a small dish (I use a soy sauce dish).  Sprinkle with a dash of kosher salt.

In a small skillet, heat up 1 T of cooking oil until it reaches a boil.  Pour the oil over the minced garlic, ginger, scallion combination — you should hear a nice “sizzle” as the hot oil cooks the spices.

Peel the shrimp, dip in the sauce, and enjoy!

There are two main ways I cook Asian vegetables: stir-fried or boiled.  When cooking boy choy, I will usually boil it to tenderize then stir-fry with garlic and ginger like I did to accompany my Chinese-style Steamed Fish dish.  A healthier version is to just boil the vegetables, and then drizzle with oyster sauce.  My dad will add a few things to lighten up the oyster sauce, as the sauce in its original form is extremely salty.

Boiled Chinese Broccoli 芥蘭

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Chinese broccoli (芥蘭 gai lan)
  • 2 T oyster sauce
  • 1 T cooking oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the Chinese broccoli and cook until tender.  Drain and place on a platter.

In a small skillet, heat 1 T of cooking oil.  Add the hot oil to a small bowl with 2 T oyster sauce and 1 tsp sugar and mix together.  Drizzle over the freshly boiled vegetables and serve immediately.

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