I Found a Michelin Starred Chef and Threw Him 5kg Xiao Long Xia
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。
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?"
He refused to call them crawfish (aussies say yabbie) but he got back to me with two dishes.
Super✨ Duper✨ Luxurious✨ ( ¯﹃¯ )
非✨ 常✨ 豪✨ 华✨ ( ¯﹃¯ )
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 Sauce和Mignonette，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！
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.
One. Cooking Xiao Long Xia
冰 火 两 重 天 小 龙 虾
Two. Lettuce Gazpacho
生 菜 冷 汤
Three. Making the Sauces
做 两 个 酱
愉 快 地 吃 起 来
One. Making Xiao Long Xia Oil
制 作 小 龙 虾 油
Quote form Chef:
“ Substitute? No! This one can't be skipped. ”
Well seems like it's good for
Noodle, Rice, Vegetables...
Two. Cure Eggyolks（Optional）
腌 制 蛋 黄（可 选）
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)
下 面，煮 面
可 以 吃 啦 ！