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