A Taste of China: Shanghai Cuisine with Paul Young
Here are all the recipes from our recent Taste of China class with instructor Paul Young! Shanghai is a major international cultural center on the southeastern coast of China. Like other Chinese regional traditions, Shanghai cuisine emphasizes the quality of raw ingredients and their original flavors, but this cuisine also has some interesting foreign influences. In this class, we'll explore the creative techniques used in some popular Shanghai-style dishes such as:
- Garlic Ginger Sauce
- Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumplings
- Shanghai-style Braised Pork Belly
- Braised Eggplant
- Shanghai-style Vegetable Rice
Paul is a self-taught cook, educator and graphic designer with over 30 years of experience in the marketing communications industry. His favorite pastime is trying new dishes in restaurants and then attempting to recreate them at home. He's a curious foodie and an adventurous international culinary explorer who has traveled to 25 different countries (so far). He has also been a regular contributor to Smile Politely since 2007.
Makes about 3 cups
- Saute garlic in olive oil briefly, approximately 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in all other ingredients.
- Stir well before using.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks.
Makes approximately 20 dumplings
- Make the aspic jelly: in a small pot, add water, chicken base, vegetable base, garlic powder, ginger paste, and shaoxing wine.
- Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to low; add the gelatin and stir until dissolved.
- Transfer liquid to a small baking dish; refrigerate overnight (optional: cover after the liquid has cooled); cut jellied aspic into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Make the filling: add all filling ingredients to a bowl and mix well by hand; refrigerate for 30 minutes (or put in the freezer for 15 minutes).
- Assembly: using your finger, brush some egg yolk around the edge of a wrapper (as glue); place 1 cup of aspic jelly in the middle of the wrapper, add about 1 tablespoon of filling; pleat up to 20 folds around the edges and seal the top with a twist (see video).
- Prepare the steamer: line the steamer bottom with lettuce or cabbage leaves.
- Place the dumplings in the lined steamer, about 2 inches apart.
- Steam over high heat for about 8-10 minutes.
- Make the dipping sauce: mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl; serve in small dipping saucers.
- How to eat: carefully peel the dumpling off of the steamer and gently transfer it to your soup spoon; take a tiny bite out of the skin on the side of the dumpling to make a little hole, slurp out the soup from the hole; add a little dipping sauce and finish the rest of the dumpling in one bite.
Makes 4 servings
- Add untrimmed whole pork belly to a saucepan, add water to cover, and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add whole pork belly skin-side down, and cook for about 5 minutes until skin is crisp.
- Cut and trim pork belly into 2-inch cubes; retain as much skin as possible.
- Put cut pork belly back into the frying pan and brown all sides. Drain oil and grease.
- Transfer browned pork belly cubes into a pot. Add 1/2 cup Garlic Ginger Sauce, water, wine, brown sugar, chicken base, star anise, and green onions (white parts).
- Cover pan and bring broth to a boil, then simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally (add more water if needed).
- Add eggs and gently push them into the cooking liquid. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
- When the pork is fork tender, turn up the heat to thicken the broth (or stir in a little cornstarch slurry until the broth is thickened).
- Add Kitchen Bouquet for color.
- When ready to serve, transfer eggs to a plate and cut in half.
- Serve the pork belly with braised eggs over rice.
- Garnish with green onions (green part).
Makes 4 servings
- Cut off the base of each eggplant, split it into quarters vertically, then cut into bite-sized lengths.
- Add the white vinegar to a large bowl of water, add the eggplant pieces, and let them sit in the vinegar water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.
- Add eggplants to the steamer (skin side down), and steam for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft.
- Arrange the steamed eggplant strips on a plate.
- In a small saucepan, saute the white parts of the green onion briefly in olive oil (about 1-2 minutes); turn off the heat.
- Stir in Garlic Ginger Sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar, and chili crisp.
- Add Kitchen Bouquet for color.
- Pour sauce over the eggplant.
- Top with the remaining scallions.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro leaves (if desired).
Makes 6 servings
- Combine rice, water, and salt; cook in a rice cooker per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Saute bok choy stems and white parts of green onion in a wok, for about 3 minutes.
- Add Chinese Five Spices, ham, and veggies; stir fry until soft.
- Stir in Garlic Ginger Sauce; bring the temperature back up.
- Turn off the heat, then add rice and remaining green onions; mix gently.
- Adjust the seasonings (if needed).