Our family loves getting Chinese Take-Out. A couple of times a month we might treat ourselves on a Friday or Saturday night when we had been too busy to cook dinner and just want to relax. Several years ago I jumped in and decided I would learn to create some of our favorite take-out dishes. So with wok in hand I have managed to find some very good recipes that made my attempts pretty successful. Years ago the first take-out recipe I tried was Pork Fried Rice. I managed to make a decent version and then from there I created what some restaurants call their “House Special Fried Rice” with added chicken and shrimp. Through the years I made many copycat dishes, sadly before I had a phone that took pictures so most were never documented. I’m slowly playing catchup, so I hope to post more of my copycat take-out dishes in the months ahead.
So this Chinese New Year which begins on February 12th it will be the year of the OX. My plan is to make Char Siu Pork. So today the pork will marinate and I’ll cook it tomorrow. I’ll post my results in a future post.
Until then one of my favorite take-out dishes is Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. It’s a simple dish to make and so satisfying. I’ll share the recipe here.
Shrimp With Lobster Sauce
Serves: 4 PEOPLE
• 12 ounces (340g) raw large shrimp, shelled and deveined
• 1/3 lb ground Pork (Optional – I used it in the meal above but you don’t have to)
• salt and sugar to taste
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1- inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced or thinly grated
• 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1/2 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine, Shaoxing wine (see note)
• 3/4 cup store-bought frozen peas
• 3 dashes white pepper
• 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Lightly season the shrimp with salt and sugar to taste.
- In a wok or large sauté pan, heat up the oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the ginger and garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Place the ground pork in the wok or large sauté pan.
- Stir fry until the pork is about 3/4 cooked.
- Transfer the shrimp into the wok and stir-fry until half-cooked or surface turns opaque. Pour in the chicken broth and Chinese cooking wine. Let it boil.
- Add the frozen peas and stir to combine. Add the white pepper, soy sauce, salt and sugar to taste.
- Prepare the cornstarch mixture by adding the cornstarch and water, mix well. When the chicken broth is boiling, gently pour in the cornstarch mixture while stirring.
- Bring it back to a boil, swirl the beaten egg and immediately stir 3 times with a pair of chopsticks. When the egg white begins to form into silken threads, quickly turn off the heat.
- Dish out to serving plate. Best served with warm rice.
Another favorite for many is Chinese Spare Ribs and you can make these at home too.
Chinese Spare Ribs
• 7 Tbsp hoisin sauce
• 2 Tbsp ketchup
• 2 Tbsp honey
• 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 2 Tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 1 Tbsp ginger, chopped
• 1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
• 1/2 tsp five spice
• 2 tsp red food coloring
• 2 tsp sesame oil
• 2 (1 lb) baby back rib racks, cut into individual ribs
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the ribs and potstickers, to make a marinade.
• Take half of the marinade and coat the ribs completely. Place marinated ribs in a container. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
• Preheat the oven to 325°F.
• Place the ribs, bone-side down, on a baking rack. Place the baking rack on top of a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake the ribs in the oven for 1 hour. Using a pastry brush, baste the ribs. Continue baking for an additional hour. Baste the ribs another time and turn on the broiler in your oven. Broil for about 5 to 10 minutes, until you achieve a little charring on the ribs (watch carefully so they don’t burn).
Note: What is Shaoxing wine? Chinese cooking wine
Shaoxing wine, is a type of Chinese rice wine that comes from Shaoxing, a city in China’s Zhejiang Province. It’s a key ingredient in many dishes and will create that authentic restaurant flavor you may have found difficult to replicate at home. You can find this in the International food isle in some larger grocery stores or in Asian Grocery stores like H Mart. It’s not expensive approximately about $2-3 for a large bottle. Should you not be able to find this substitute with Dry White Sherry from your liquor store. Don’t use the cooking wines on the grocery shelf as they contain a lot of sodium and may ruin your dish.