The dish was initiated by “Mo Youcai Kitchen” in Shanghai. It’s now often the first course of hot dish on first-rate banquet tables. The dish demands careful choice of fresh ingredients and delicate processing, with “peony flowers” made from auxiliary ingredients such as bamboo shoot arranged around the shelled shrimps. The dish is popular with people at home and abroad for the extraordinary techniques of Chinese cooking that features a combination of beautiful color, attractive aroma, appetizing taste, and artful shaping. Ingredients: fresh water live shrimps 1.5kg, winter bamboo shoots 50g, salt 15g, 1 egg, 4 cherries, fresh stock 50g, white scallion 1g, ginger juice 5g, lard 700g (60g to be consumed), some pepper powder, MSG 2g, Shaoxing rice wine 15g, cornstarch 20g, peasprouts, and some green vegetables.
1. Shell the shrimps, rinse shelled shrimps 500g with clean water. Drain off water. Then wrap up in clean towel to make the shrimps drier. Put shrimps 450g in a container , add egg white, salt, MSG and cornstarch. Mix evenly.
2. Mash shelled shrimps 50g. Add egg white ginger juice, rice wine, salt, MSG and blend well. Make four pieces of mashed shrimp cake as the bases of peonies. Boil bamboo shoots and cut into peony petals. Plant the petals on shrimp cakes to make four peony flowers. Steam the flowers. Take out and put a red cherry in the middle of each peony flower.
3. Heat lard to 50% hot. Slide the prepared shelled shrimps 450g and fry until done. Take out and drain off the oil. Retain some oil in the wok. Add scallion, fried shrimps, rice wine and some stock. Sprinkle on some pepper powder and stir-fry for seconds. Put shrimps on a plate. Arrange the four peony flowers around the shrimps, then garnish with some scalded pea sprouts or green vegetables. Then it’s ready to serve.
Editor: Yang Xin Source：chinaculture.org