Chili Shrimp From Iron Chef Chen Kenichi

As you may recall, I made Iron Chef Chen’s mapo tofu recipe for my parents a few years ago that was well received (with the caveat that I had tone down the spiciness of the dish).  I too enjoyed that dish and was intrigued enough to wonder how I could try his chili shrimp, short of flying to Tokyo.  After recently trying the full blown version of Chen Kenichi’s mapo tofu, I was VERY motivated to make the chili shrimp recipe from his book.  So I set aside time for Sat, 12 Mar to make the dish.

As a result of my experience of making Chen Kenichi’s mapo tofu, I realized that much of the work in doing such dishes was in the preparations and laying-out of the ingredients.  Once the actual cooking begins, the process goes lightening fast.   So following Iron Chef’s chen’s ingredient list, I prepared the following items in the order listed –

1. mince 4″ of scallion, set aside
2. measure out and set aside –
a. 1 tablespoon tobanjang (I used Lee Kum Kee chili garlic sauce here)
b. 3 tablespoons heinz ketchup
c. 1 teaspoon grated garlic
d. 1 tablespoon grated ginger
3. separate 1 egg’s white from yolk, set both aside

How to separate egg white from the yolk

4. mix and set aside –
* 1 cup Chen style chicken broth
* 1 tablespoon sake
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon 4:1 salt/pepper mix
5. mix and set aside a starch slurry of 1 tablespoon starch and 1 tablespoon water

All the seasoning ingredients for Iron Chef Chen's Chilli Shrimp

6. blanch 1 3/4 oz of baby peas and set aside (2 minute boil in salted water, then shocked in cold water)

Baby peas measured out before blanching

7. season 10-12oz of cleaned peeled shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon 4:1 salt/pepper mix then had massage in the egg white and then massage in 2 level tablespoons of starch

Seasoning the shrimp

egg white worked into the seasoned shrimp

You can see Iron Chef Chen going through the process of preparing the chili shrimp here –

(see 1:21 through 4:29;  and notice especially at 2:09-2:11 the addition of  Heinz Ketchup, you can just make out the trademark Heniz ketchup label at 2:01-2:02)

The interesting thing I noticed from the Chen’s Iron Chef prawn battle was that he cooked the prepared prawns using a brief low temperature deep fry.  When I went and prepared it, I used a shade more oil than called for in Chen’s cookbook at about 60% max heat setting.  I had in mind to ‘crisp’ the coating of the shrimp.  The dish turned out fine when I finished it, but I was intrigued by Iron Chen’s use of the low temperature deep fry method.

Adding in the egg yolk

a finishing splash of tartness from rice vinegar

Chen's Chili Shrimp completed

It should be noted that, for the Prawn battle, Iron Chef Chen deliberately left out the peas from the recipe – perhaps specifically to allow the chili shrimp to be served on white toast squares as ‘canapes’. Thank you Iron Chef Chen for sharing your Chili Shrimp recipe with all of us!  I could imagine making the version from your Iron Chef shrimp battle as a buffet canape offering for a large dinner party.  My wife and I both loved the dish and I’m sure it’d be a success with dinner guests.  Thank you again, Iron Chef Chen.

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  1. #1 by RD on September 28, 2011 - 2:06 pm

    The technique Chen uses with the oil at a low temperature is part of a process called velveting. Passing the shrimp through the oil at a low temperature is to ensure tenderness.

    • #2 by tastingmenu on September 28, 2011 - 3:21 pm

      Thanks for the heads up regarding the velveting concept, RD!

  2. #3 by Tess on September 6, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Your readers might be interested in my version of this recipe.
    http://1tess.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/ebi-chili-ebi-chirri-shrimp-in-chili-sauce/#comment-7205
    I quite like your addition of green peas for a bit more color and sweetness, and also using the egg yolk to enrich the sauce.

    • #4 by tastingmenu on September 7, 2012 - 10:10 am

      Well, it’s Iron Chef Chen’s recipe, so he gets the credit for the peas/egg (chuckle).

  3. #5 by Chris on April 13, 2016 - 6:21 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. I have wanting to make this recipe for a while. I have a question: How do u make Chen Chicken broth?

    • #6 by tastingmenu on April 23, 2016 - 4:06 pm

      Hi Chris, hope this helps:

      From Iron Chef Chen’s Knockout ChinesePreparing Soup Stock (p 108)

      Ingredient List:
      7 1/2 cups water
      8 chicken wings
      green parts of 2 leeks (scallions)
      1 knob of ginger (sliced into 4 pieces [in the book’s picture])
      4 Tablespoons sake

      1. Rinse chicken and chop ginger without peeling
      2. Fill a large wok with water, turn heat up to high. Add wings right away, before the water starts to boil
      3. Once water is at a boil, scoop off surface foam. Carefully removing the foam will give the soup stock a refined flavor
      4. After removing foam, add leek leaves (scallion green parts) and ginger. Add 4 tablespoons sake, bring to a gently bubbling boil and simmer for 30 minutes
      5. Remove any additional foam but leave chicken fat. This gives the soup stock its rich and delicious flavor. Take out wings, leek leaves (scallion greens) and ginger. Done!

      For storage, add a dash of salt and transfer to an airtight storage container. Kept refridgerated it will last 2 to 3 days

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