Iron Chef Chen’s Stir Fried Shrimp And Peas

It’s been a while since I made anything from Iron Chef Chen. So my wife and I looked through Chen-san’s book. We finally settled on his Stir Fried Shrimp And Peas since it looked like a dish – non-spicy – something off the norm for Iron Chef Chen.  When we looked at the recipe, it claimed it served four; but my wife thought that that might be in context of other dinner dishes.  So we chose to scale up the dish by about 2.6 times. That being said, the ingredient list ended up being:

18 oz of shelled deveined shrimp

2 dashes of 4:1 salt/pepper mix
white from 2 eggs
2 heaping teaspoons of starch

2.5 tablespoon sake
1/2 teaspoon+ 1/4 teaspoon of 4:1 salt/pepper mix
1 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
2.5 teaspoons evaporated milk (not the sweetened condensed variety)

9 oz of petite green peas
10″ of minced scallion (1 ” lengths)
2 nubs of julienned ginger (I do this Nobu style – use a peeler, stacked the peeled slices
then julienne them – I did soak the julienned ginger in water, rinsed it until the water was clear)

5 tablespoons of Chen chicken stock

1 tablespoon +1/2 teaspoons + 1/4 teaspoons of starch mixed with equal parts water

As Iron Chef Chen suggested, I premixed the marinade and the seasonings and set them aside. I then added the shrimp to the marinade and hand mixed the shrimp in the marinade to make sure the shrimp was evenly coated.

Clockwise from top left to right: seasoning mix, shrimp in marinade, scallions and julienned ginger, starch paste/slurry

I then blanched the peas and set it aside. At this point I prepared my wok with rice oil and stir fried the added  shrimp at 60% max heat. When the shrimp just turned pink, I mistakenly added the

shrimp tossed with ginger and cut scallions

ginger and scallions out of order but I continued on ahead and stir fried them until the whole mix became fragrant. I then added the blanched peas, stir fried the mix a bit more and followed that up

about 9 oz of petite peas

with adding the seasoning mix. After a couple of tosses, I added the soup stock and then starch paste/slurry mix.  I brought the heat back up to high for a few moments to let the starch slurry to thicken everything.  Once it all thickened, I immediately pulled the wok off the heat and

Iron Chef Chen's Stir Fried Shrimp And Peas

transferred its contents to a serving plate

I was a little concerned that the dish might be under-seasoned, but it turned out that it was seasoned spot on.  The shrimp turned out plump, and just cooked through.  I must say I was surprised with the addition of evaporated milk, but looking back, I think the milk may have countered the sharp bite of the finely julienned ginger.  I also thought the addition of the sugar was going to make the dish too sweet – but as it turned out, I didn’t notice it at all (other than the obvious  natural sweetness of the shrimp).  All the flavors in the dish were well balanced and very satisfying.  My wife learned to make a version of this dish from her mother – and whereas her dish has a lot of clear flavors, she commented that Iron Chef Chen’s version had layers of flavor.

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