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This quick-to-cook stir-fry of eggs with shrimp, Chinese chives, garlic, and ginger is popular among Cantonese home cooks for both its ease and wonderful flavor. It can be made with or without the shrimp, or with sliced roast pork in place of the shrimp.

Why this recipe works:

  • Soaking the shrimp in a baking-soda solution prevents them from becoming soft and mealy by altering their texture so that they are juicy, with a crunchy pop when you bite into them.
  • Adding the minced garlic and ginger after the shrimp have cooked for a minute guarantees they won't scorch in the wok.
YIELD:Serves 2
ACTIVE TIME:10 minutes
 TOTAL TIME:40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 ounces Chinese chives, cut into 1-inch lengths (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cover shrimp with cold water and stir in baking soda. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse shrimp under cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Transfer shrimp to the small bowl and add 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the white pepper. Mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 eggs with the milk, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until lightly smoking. Add shrimp and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add Chinese chives, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until chives begin to wilt and shrimp are just cooked, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the wok over high heat until lightly smoking. Add eggs, lower heat to medium, and cook without stirring until the bottom layer of the egg has set, about 30 seconds. Using a spatula, scrape eggs from sides in towards the middle of wok. Continue to cook, scraping eggs from sides in towards the middle, until some large fluffy curds have formed and eggs are about halfway cooked. Add shrimp and chives to eggs and gently stir until eggs are just slightly runny. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.

Here's how I make it:

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-1.jpg

First, I soak the shrimp for 30 minutes in cold water with some baking soda in it. The baking soda alters the texture of the shrimp, helping to prevent them from becoming soft and mealy while giving them a wonderfully juicy, popping bite.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-2.jpg

One the shrimp are soaked, I rinse them and pat them dry with towels. Then I mix them with a little oil and some salt and white pepper.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-3.jpg

I beat the eggs with some milk and seasonings.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-4.jpg

The shrimp go into a smoking hot wok and cook over high heat for one minute.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-5.jpg

Then I add the Chinese chives, along with minced garlic and ginger. It's important not to add the aromatics at the beginning with the shrimp, because the minced garlic and ginger could scorch if they're in the wok too long.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-7.jpg

As soon as the shrimp are cooked through and the chives are just starting to wilt, I scrape them out of the wok and onto a plate.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-8.jpg

Next I cook the eggs in the wok. I start off with the wok smoking hot, but as soon as I add the eggs I lower the heat so that the eggs don't cook too aggressively. I let the eggs sit for about 30 seconds or so, until the bottom layer has set.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-9.jpg

Then I start pushing the eggs from the sides in towards the middle, forming large, fluffy curds.

20140617-stir-fry-shrimp-egg-and-chinese-chives-shao-zhong-10.jpg

When the eggs are about halfway cooked, I add the shrimp and chives back into the wok, and stir them all together until the eggs have just set but are still soft. Then they're ready to eat.


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