Thursday, March 15, 2012

that ebi shrimp & seaweed soup








The Chinese use a lot of dried shrimp to add a wonderful savoury to our dishes and soups, but I've never seen it done like this. Simply the most extraordinary ebi shrimp from Japan, perfectly dried and prepared. Never seen anything like it; the uniformity in size and shape, the way it's all so clean and fresh. My mother bought these at Tsukiji Fish Market, and the Japanese traditionally eat these sprinkled on rice for breakfast/lunch.

That's boring, and doing a disservice to such an amazing ingredient. So you leave the prepwork to the Japanese, and the actual cooking to the Chinese.

Seaweed and ebi shrimp soup

We do a simple, classic Shanghainese soup, with dried seaweed, a bit of kelp, sesame oil, and dried shrimp.

Boil off the dried shrimp very quickly. Add in your dried seaweed and kelp. Add a drizzle of sesame oil and then season - never the other way around.

Boil until the seaweed hydrates and softens, then serve immediately. Too much heat and you will lose flavour and texture. As with all great things, timing is the key element of it all.


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