Thursday, November 6, 2008

Training by Chef A-Chi

Chef A-Chi is the head chef at my aunt's hotel in Taipei. He's been the chef for previous Presidents, etc. I've been watching his cooking shows on Youtube and man, has it made a difference in my Chinese cooking! Admittedly, my Chinese cooking skills have always been the the worst of my repertoire and I have been trying to gain technique in this genre. But it really is all about technique. And maybe fire power... but that's for another day. I made this wonderful whole shrimp in tomato sauce now a few times. It's deceptively easy, but so-oooo good.

1/2 lb of shrimp with head and shell intact
1 small to medium tomato
1 tablespoon of minced scallions
1 cup vegetable oil
White Pepper

Take the tomato and score a cross on each end. Heat the oil in a small saucer. Then fry the tomato quickly. You can deep fry it ideally but that uses up too much oil, so I just angle the pot and dunk the tomato in. Then I flip the tomato around so all sides get fried. This seals in the juices and concentrates the taste of the tomato for some reason. After you remove the tomato, the skin peels off easily. Roughly chop the tomato. Heat a bit of the oil used for frying the tomato. Toss in the garlic and heat until fragrant. Add in the chopped tomato. Cook until the tomato liquifies a bit. Add the shrimp and a bit of mirin. Toss in the scallions. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir fry until shrimp turns pink (about 3-5 minutes) and voila!

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