As summer radiates its embrace, there’s a quick yet sumptuous recipe that calls out: Chinese shrimp with tangy ginger-scallion sauce. Though many might enjoy boiled shrimp with the customary cocktail dip or as part of a Southern boil, the Asian twist lies in swiftly cooked shrimp, drawing its main allure from the vibrant sauce alongside.
I’ve put my unique spin on this popular dish, drawing from the diverse regional sauce variations. So, don’t hesitate to tailor it to your palate’s desires!
Recently, Bill and I reminisced about our extended sojourn in Shanghai. During that visit, I gained culinary insights from my aunt, a prodigious seamstress of my childhood apparel and shoes and an equally proficient chef. As the years have progressed, her culinary style has evolved to embrace simplicity, and during our stay, we were treated to her exquisite poached shrimp creation.
Selecting the Perfect Shrimp
On every occasion, my aunt would source live shrimp from the local marketplace. If you chance upon fresh, non-frozen shrimp, it’s a golden opportunity! However, for those of us in the States, premium frozen shrimp from your nearby store is a worthy alternative. A pressing quandary often arises: to opt for heads-on or heads-off? For our purposes, trimmed shrimp fit the bill perfectly. Thus, there’s no reason to hold back from diving into this dish!
For the Tangy Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon ginger (finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon scallion (finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon authentic Chinese black vinegar
For the Succulent Shrimp:
- 1 pound shrimp (450g)
- 3 ginger slices
- 2 whole scallions
- 1½ tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- Start by concocting the dipping sauce. In a heat-resistant bowl, combine the ginger and scallion. Warm the oil until it’s on the verge of smoking, then drench the ginger-scallion mix, infusing it with flavor. Incorporate the light soy sauce, water, sugar, and black vinegar, stirring until the sugar merges seamlessly. Voilà, your sauce is ready!
- Shift your focus to the shrimp. Trim, clean, and de-vein them. After rinsing, let them drain and await their culinary destiny.
- In a sizable pot, blend water, ginger slices, scallions, salt, and Shaoxing wine, then set it to boil. Introduce the shrimp to this aromatic mix, stirring gently. Their transformation to a vivid pink signals they’re cooked to perfection—this should be swift, within a minute. Promptly evacuate the shrimp to prevent them from overcooking. Present them elegantly on a plate, paired with your zesty dipping sauce.
- Here’s a tip: these shrimps taste divine whether they’re straight from the pot, cooled to room temperature, or even chilled, making them ideal for pre-party preparations or dinner gatherings. Enjoy the burst of flavors!