Spinach in China is called bor chai, or “waving vegetable,” which describes its mature leaves ruffled by the wind. Here, it is combined with shrimp and bean thread noodles, which are fashioned from mung bean starch into long, hard strands that are appreciated for their smoothness after cooking.
8 ounces (about 20) large shrimp (40 count per pound)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pound spinach leaves
1-inch slice ginger, peeled and lightly smashed
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup garlic oil
Clean the shrimp and drain well over a bowl. Reserve.
To water blanch the spinach, in a pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and baking soda. When the water returns to a boil, add the spinach and cook for 5 seconds, or until the leaves turn bright green. Immediately turn off the heat. Run cold water into the pot, then drain off the water. Run cold water into the pot again, drain well, and reserve the spinach.
In a large pot, place the stock, ginger, garlic, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach, stir well, and allow the stock to return to a boil. Add the garlic oil and stir to mix well. Add the reserved shrimp, stir in, and allow the soup to return to a boil. Add the bean threads, stir to mix well, and allow the soup to return to a boil once again. At this point, the shrimp will have curled and turned pink, indicating they are cooked.
Turn off the heat, transfer the soup to a heated tureen, and serve.
Ease of Preparation: Moderate
Preparation Time: 20 min
soak bean threads 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Servings: serves 4 to 6
Recipe By: Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
From: Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking
Used with permission of Chronicle