Recipes and images from Land of Fish and Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop (Bloomsbury, $49.99, hbk).
This Shanghainese recipe is indispensable in my kitchen. The combination of oil infused with the fragrance of spring onion and dried shrimps and the umami savouriness of soy sauce is irresistible, however simple it sounds. The recipe is said to have been invented by a street vendor near the City God Temple in Shanghai.
- 2 tbsp dried shrimps
- 2 tsp Shaoxing wine
- 4 spring onions (scallions)
- 4–5 tsp light or tamari soy sauce, to taste
- 6 tbsp cooking oil
- 200 g dried noodles of your choice or 300 g fresh noodles
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 30 minutes
Put the dried shrimps in a small bowl with the Shaoxing wine and just enough hot water to cover them and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Smack the spring onions slightly with the flat side of a Chinese cleaver or a rolling pin to loosen their fibres, then cut them evenly into 6–7 cm sections. Pour the soy sauce into your serving bowl.
Heat the oil in a seasoned wok over a high flame. Add the spring onions and stir-fry until they are turning a little golden. Drain the shrimps, add them to the wok and continue to stir-fry until the spring onions are well browned and wonderfully fragrant, but not burnt. Then set aside this fragrant oil, along with the spring onions and shrimps.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the noodles to your liking, then drain them well and put them in the serving bowl. Put the spring onions, shrimps and their fragrant oil on top and serve. Mix everything together very well with a pair of chopsticks before eating.
View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.
Get Fuchsia 's top tips for Chinese home cooking - and where next regional Chinese we’ve yet to discover, but should - here.