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Black Bean Shrimp | Milkbottle

Black Bean Shrimp

A Chinese meal is incomplete without something leafy, and this dish features a wonderful green. The pleasant bite of gai lan, or Chinese broccoli, complements stir-fried shrimp beautifully; once you’ve tried it, you’ll be eager to cook with it again.

Recipe
3/4 cup homemade chicken broth or store-bought chicken broth (reduced-sodium if canned)
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (preferably Shaoxing) or medium-dry Sherry
3 teaspoons light soy sauce (preferably Pearl River Bridge brand)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 lb gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
1 1/2 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 fresh jalapeño chile (including seeds), or to taste, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Special equipment: a well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok
Stir together broth, rice wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved.
Remove any bruised or withered outer leaves from gai lan, then trim and peel stalks, halving thick ones lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 2 1/2-inch pieces, separating leafy parts from thick stems.
Cook stems in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add leafy parts and cook until all of gai lan is just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Transfer to a large dish and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.
Pat shrimp dry. Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water vaporizes instantly. Pour peanut oil around side of wok, then tilt wok to swirl oil, coating side. When oil just begins to smoke, add ginger and stir-fry 5 seconds. Add black beans, garlic, and jalapeño and stir-fry 1 minute. Working quickly, add shrimp, spreading in 1 layer on bottom and side of wok. Cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes, then stir-fry until shrimp are just pink on both sides, about 1 minute more. Stir broth mixture, then add to shrimp and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with sesame oil, then stir to combine.
Pour shrimp and sauce over gai lan.
Cooks' note:
Gai lan can be trimmed and cut 1 day ahead and chilled in sealed plastic bags lined with paper towels. Bring to room temperature before using.

Image: Mikkel Vang via Taverne Agency. Recipe: Gourmet Magazine US/ Epicurious

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