I Found a Michelin Starred Chef and Threw Him 5kg Xiao Long Xia

I Found a Michelin Starred Chef and Threw Him 5kg Xiao Long Xia

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Being a Chinese I've been wondering: 

Do westerners eat Xiao Long Xia?

My puzzle was solved when I had my first Canjun style crawfish stew at The Boil back in Lower East Side, New York. The shabby storefront was lined up with the Chinese, mostly from mainland, coming here to cure their Xiao Long Xia crave. What you get is a giant plastic bag loaded with shrimp, crawfish and corns, cooked with herbs and spices in boiling water. 

Honestly, I liked shi san xiang (13 herbs) a lot better. 

I've had my crawfish salad at Pret A Manger in Heathrow Airport (also available in Shanghai) and my crawfish chowder at Clinton Street Bakery & Co. Well, not to mention the kids catching them from creeks and rivers. 

"Sometimes they were pet, sometimes food."

我一直很好奇,外国人吃小龙虾吗?

吃啊!纽约下东城The Boil小龙虾乱炖,每天大排长龙,全是馋小龙虾的中国人(和被他们骗来的外国群众),一塑料袋儿虾、小龙虾、玉米,混着香料辣椒水煮煮,但比之故土的十三香,差了远了去了,只能用它聊解思乡之愁。

我还在伦敦希思罗机场的Pret A Manger见过小龙虾沙拉(听说上海也有),在纽约的Clinton Street Bakery & Co.吃过奇葩一样的小龙虾奶油汤,美国南部甚至还有小龙虾泡饭

外国乡下的熊孩子,也会去小河浜里捞小龙虾玩,“有时候是宠物,有时候是食物”,蹂躏完水里煮一煮吃掉,可以顶几个蛋。

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The crawfish fever has been around for years in China, but it doesn't change the fact that crawfish is considered "cheap eats". They are full of earthy flavors and usually not so umami compared to Lobsters and other shellfish. Hence the heavy seasoning. The cured crawfish dish at Jiang Nan Zao at Shangrila Nanjing might be the only exception I could remember. Worth a trip up to Nanjing!!!

FYI, Nanjing is the centre of Xiao Long Xia universe in China. 

A couple weeks ago, I had an idea. I went straight to my friend, Michelin starred Chef Michael Wilson at PHENIX (the PuLi Hotel) and challenged him with a mission: 

"Can you cook me crawfish?"

小龙虾固然风行,却是贫贱食材,通常土味重,必须用重口的调味压制,鲜又不够浓,因而不论中西,都是上不了大台面的。不过,南京香格里拉酒店中餐厅江南主厨侯新庆师傅的冰镇小龙虾(和鱼头佛跳墙),值得你专程跑一趟南京。

谁让南京是小龙虾美味的宇宙中心呢?

前两天我脑子一热,(又)找到了我的好基友,璞丽酒店米其林一星餐厅PHENIX的主厨Michael Wilson,问他能不能给我烧个小龙虾。

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He refused to call them crawfish (aussies say yabbie) but he got back to me with two dishes. 

Super✨ Duper✨ Luxurious✨ ( ¯﹃¯ )

本以为外国师傅会一脸嫌弃(↑↑↑),没想到人家愉快地答应了,还一口气烧了两个菜。

非✨ 常✨ 豪✨ 华✨ ( ¯﹃¯ )

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Xiao Long Xia Cocktail, easy to replicate at home, great for a summer afternoon gathering (with lots of booze involved). As long as you get the right supply, Xiao Long Xia can be tastier than Shrimp Cocktail! Accompied with cocktial sauce and mignonette, and Michael's signature Lettuce Gazpacho, pairing with a splash of Champagne, it's perfection. 

方便夏天在家复制、聚众买醉下酒的豪华版白灼小龙虾 - 只要小龙虾质量够好,完全可以白灼灼来媲美Shrimp Cocktail呀!做个Cocktail SauceMignonette,配上Michael秘制的生菜冷汤,一口龙虾一口汤,再喝口香槟收尾,洋气死了!

同样的酱,也可以用来搭配生蚝!

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The once off-menu lobster pasta at the PuLi (so popular it was put on menu and became a signature), now has a Xiao Long Xia twist. Michael has created a special recipe for Xiao Long Xia using cured eggyolk instead of cheese. From making the crawfish oil to curing eggyolks, the techniques involved can be applied towards many different dishes...

Truth is, it was too delicious that Michael considered replacing the lobster one with Xiao Long Xia...however the good supply failed to meet the demand. But this exceptional recipe will be used in PHENIX's lobster pasta starting tomorrow. 

被我捧红(啊真是大言不惭)的璞丽招牌龙虾手工意面,加了一个小字……主厨特别为这次的小龙虾意面,构思了新的配方,用腌蛋黄代替Cheese,味道不是一般地嗲。从熬小龙虾油腌蛋黄,再到炒面,实用干货满满,都可以学起来凹!

偷偷说,因为太好吃,本来厨师是想把龙虾面换成小龙虾、直接上菜单的,可惜小龙虾的供应跟不上,厨师又不想将就用次品,只好作罢(等明年吧同学们);不过,这个非常美味的配方,用到龙虾面上也hin好吃!从明天开始,璞丽的龙虾意面也改这个配方了咯!

一拍完,我们就迫不及待地把道具都吃了。

                            Xiao Long Xia Cocktail

                            Xiao Long Xia Cocktail

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 One. Cooking Xiao Long Xia

冰 火 两 重 天 小 龙 虾 

1.   Bring 5lt water to the boil with 100g salt  Add 1kg Xiao Long Xia and cook for 3 mins

1. Bring 5lt water to the boil with 100g salt

Add 1kg Xiao Long Xia and cook for 3 mins

2.       Refresh in ice water for 3 mins

2. Refresh in ice water for 3 mins

3.   Remove shell and clean 

3. Remove shell and clean 

Two. Lettuce Gazpacho

生 菜 冷 汤

Ingredients:  140g fennel,1avocado,70g shallots,220g cucumber,140g green bell pepper, 60g spinich, 30g white wine vinegar, 1pc garlic, 10g thai basil, 5g mint, 1cup water, 170g romaine lettuce, 200g greek yogurt, 10g kosher salt

Ingredients: 140g fennel,1avocado,70g shallots,220g cucumber,140g green bell pepper, 60g spinich, 30g white wine vinegar, 1pc garlic, 10g thai basil, 5g mint, 1cup water, 170g romaine lettuce, 200g greek yogurt, 10g kosher salt

1.   Blend all ingredients

1. Blend all ingredients

2.   Pass through fine sieve

2. Pass through fine sieve

Three. Making the Sauces

做 两 个 酱

Cocktail Sauce : aioli, 3tbl ketcup, 1tbl worcestershire sauce, 1tbl brandy, Few drops of tobasco sauce

Cocktail Sauce :aioli, 3tbl ketcup, 1tbl worcestershire sauce, 1tbl brandy, Few drops of tobasco sauce

1.   Mix! Adjust to your liking by adding or reducing the quanities    Mingnonette sauce: ¼ cup redwine vinegar, 2 shallots finely chopped, Pinch black pepper

1. Mix! Adjust to your liking by adding or reducing the quanities 

Mingnonette sauce:¼ cup redwine vinegar, 2 shallots finely chopped, Pinch black pepper

2.   Mix it up!

2. Mix it up!

Four. FEEEEEAST

愉 快 地 吃 起 来

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                         Xiao Long Xia Pasta

                         Xiao Long Xia Pasta

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One. Making Xiao Long Xia Oil

制 作 小 龙 虾 油

Xiao Long Xia heads roasted, Fennel, Tomato paste, Shallots, Garlic, Chili, Fennel seeds, Soyabean oil

Xiao Long Xia heads roasted, Fennel, Tomato paste, Shallots, Garlic, Chili, Fennel seeds, Soyabean oil

Quote form Chef: 

“ Substitute? No! This one can't be skipped. 

Well seems like it's good for

Noodle, Rice, Vegetables...

 

“ 这个步骤,有没有替代品?没有!

做出好吃的龙虾/小龙虾意面

必须从好好熬油开始!

总觉得这个油还可以拿来

拌面,拌饭,拌蔬菜……

1.   Roast Xiao Long Xia heads in an oven    2.   Put all ingredients in a pot    3.   Cover with soya bean oil; bring to the boil

1. Roast Xiao Long Xia heads in an oven

2. Put all ingredients in a pot

3. Cover with soya bean oil; bring to the boil

4.   Cook till moisture is evaporated  Leave to infuse in the cool room overnight.   5.  Strain, you got the essence of it

4. Cook till moisture is evaporated

Leave to infuse in the cool room overnight.

5. Strain, you got the essence of it

Two. Cure Eggyolks(Optional)

腌 制 蛋 黄(可 选)

60g kosher salt, 40g caster sugar, 4 egg yolks

60g kosher salt, 40g caster sugar, 4 egg yolks

1. Mix together the sugar and salt 

2. Place a layer on the bottom of a bowl

3. Put in egg yolks careful not to break 

4. Cover with more salt and sugar 

5. Leave for 48 hours 

6. Wash and dry 

7. Dry over night at 50 degrees (or use oven)

 

Three. Assembly

下 面,煮 面

6pc Xiao Long Xia tails, 60g pasta, 35g  peeled and diced tomato flesh, 5g  julienned parsley, 30g dry vermouth, 2g chopped chill, 2g chopped garlic, Salt and lemon juice, Cured egg yolk

6pc Xiao Long Xia tails, 60g pasta, 35g  peeled and diced tomato flesh, 5g  julienned parsley, 30g dry vermouth, 2g chopped chill, 2g chopped garlic, Salt and lemon juice, Cured egg yolk

1.   Place pasta in boiling salted water for 4mins

1. Place pasta in boiling salted water for 4mins

2.   Heata pan with some lobster oil    3.   Add garlic, chili, tomato and salt, cook slowly

2. Heata pan with some lobster oil

3. Add garlic, chili, tomato and salt, cook slowly

4.   Take off the heat and add Xiao Long Xia tails

4. Take off the heat and add Xiao Long Xia tails

5.   Add pasta and parsley    6.   Toss the pan vigorously to emulsify the sauce

5. Add pasta and parsley

6. Toss the pan vigorously to emulsify the sauce

7.   Deglaze with vermouth  Season with lemon juice

7. Deglaze with vermouth

Season with lemon juice

8.   Microplanecured egg over the top

8. Microplanecured egg over the top

 Four. FEEEEEAST!

可 以 吃 啦 !

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