A week ago we launched the international “Shanghai Chicken” blogging project together with Clayton and John. The rules we set for this project were very simple:
- Prepare a dish inspired by Bamboo Restaurant’s Shanghai Chicken.
- It has to include chicken, chiles of some sort, vegetable greens, and nuts.
- It could be a known recipe or one of your own — traditional or newly invented.
- Blog about your dish or send me photos and a description of what you did and I will post about it here.
So far not only Clayton and John/Sybaritica, but also Genie/Bunny Eats Design and Paul/That Other Cooking Blog have posted their takes on Shanghai Chicken. It is very interesting to notice how all of their entries are very different. Some more bloggers have announced that they will participate. I plan to do a wrap up of all the entries received so far next week. You can participate whenever you like, but if you want to be listed in my initial wrap up you should post something by Saturday, June 22, at the latest.
Here’s my own take on Shanghai Chicken. I decided to keep it simple, and stay close to Clayton’s description of the dish. Broccoli greens are not available around here, so I decided to go with Chinese cabbage (also known as Napa Cabbage). You can also use broccoli greens or kale. I’ve been wanting to try a cooking technique called “velveting” for a while, and I decided that this would be a good recipe to try it with. I really liked the results and will definitely use that technique again. Based on Mimi’s hunch I used sambal oelek for the chiles.
We really liked the final dish, so a big thanks goes to Clayton because without him I would never have tried to cook this. The combination of the chicken with sambal oelek and garlic went really well with the crispy cabbage, so I will definitely make this again. The only drawback was that the deep fried cabbage was a bit greasy. Next time I will try Clayton’s approach to roast the cabbage with a little oil in the oven. I roast veggies in the oven all the time, but had never thought of roasting greens in the oven before. That way, only a limited amount of oil is needed.
This dish is quite easy to prepare if you are familiar with deep frying. It is very tasty and simple with ingredients that are easy to obtain. Sambal Oelek is sold in every supermarket in the Netherlands. If you can’t find it, you can easily make it from scratch using a recipe from John (straightforward) or Richard (fancy version).
225 grams (1/2 pound) boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp rice wine (shaohsing)
1 Tbsp egg white (about 1/2 egg white)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp sambal oelek
2 Tbsp soy sauce
30 grams (3 Tbsp) pine nuts
1 head of Chinese cabbage/Napa cabbage
500 ml (2 cups) peanut oil or other oil suitable for deep frying
1 Tbsp oil for stir frying
cooked rice for serving
Next time I make this, I will try to oven roast the greens instead to make them less greasy. I don’t know yet whether that will make them equally crispy.
Pairs well with a fruity aromatic dry white wine, such as a New Zealand sauvignon blanc.