Popular Post abcdefg Posted April 11, 2016 at 05:53 AM Popular Post Report Share Posted April 11, 2016 at 05:53 AM Recently I’ve been enjoying the early spring 早春 crop of fresh green tea 毛峰茶 and this has started me thinking about food that is similar: light, clean and uncomplicated. Lotus root is abundant and sweet just now, and nice-looking fresh shrimp are available in the supermarket, flown in daily from Guangdong. They go very well together. Today I made stir fried shrimp with lotus root for supper 虾仁炒莲藕。It's simple food with pleasant spring flavors, not complicated to prepare. Let me share the process in case you would like to try it too. But first a word about the local lotus root. Most is harvested from deep bogs in Cheng Jiang County 澄江县 near Fuxian Lake 抚仙湖 to the south of Kunming. Some is also grown in the wet fields of Yiliang County 宜良县 to the east near Stone Forest 石林。 The sign above the vendor’s stall in the wet market near my Kunming home extolls the virtues of eating lotus root. Like so many other foods in China, it is valued partly for its medicinal or health-promoting qualities. --"When eaten raw it can clear excess heat from the lungs and moisten them, cool the blood and reduce circulatory stagnation. --When eaten cooked, it can fortify the spleen and open the stomach, stop diarrhea and thereby secure your essence. --It is recommended for the elderly, the young, and especially for women who have just given birth.” So we've bought some lotus root, now let's cook it up. First scrub it to remove the mud, then peel away the skin. Slice it into thin rounds and chop those into segments. The piece of lotus in my fridge was small, so I "stretched" it with some slivered carrots. Lotus root and carrots are both root vegetables with a slightly sweet flavor and they go well together. Furthermore, neither one overpowers the taste of fresh bay shrimp. Once you peel lotus root, its best to immerse it in acidified water to prevent it from turning an ugly black-brown color. I used a wedge of lime, but you could use white vinegar just as well. Peel a dozen or so large shrimp and remove the dorsal vein. Marinate them for a few minutes in a tablespoon of light soy sauce 生酱油 , a tablespoon of corn oil 玉米油, and a tablespoon of cooking wine 黄酒 mixed together with a teaspoon of corn starch 淀粉 and pinch of salt 盐。 While you are preparing that marinade, make two small bowls of it instead of one. You will use the second one later as the dish comes together into its final form. Add a little cooking oil to a hot wok and quickly stir fry the shrimp, just until they barely get pink. If you cook them too long, they will become rubbery. Scoop them out and set aside. You shouldn't need more oil and your wok is still hot. Add the lotus pieces and carrot slivers. Stir fry until the vegetables just begin to brown. Add the mixture of soy sauce, oil, wine, and starch that you made a few minutes ago. Toss the vegetables well and stir fry for another minute or so to let them develop a sheen and bind the flavors. Add additional salt as needed to taste. Now add back the shrimp. Toss and stir to combine half a minute or so. Ready to serve. That's all there is to it. Imported white wine is hard to find in China outside the major cities, but I always long for a glass of it to accompany this dish. Fresh spring green tea or beer work almost as well. Make a batch of lotus root with shrimp and see what you think. 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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