If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine and enjoy seafood, don't limit yourself to a prawn curry when you visit a Chinese restaurant. There are a wide variety of authentic Chinese seafood dishes and flavour combinations for you to explore. Here are four seafood dishes that aren't to be missed.
Braised abalone originates in the eastern province of Shandong. Abalone, also known as sea snails, have brightly coloured shells, and this dish is served in the shell. The snails have a chewy, meaty texture and are fried in hot chilli oil and served with a light sauce. The sauce consists of chicken stock, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar and spring onions, and it's cooked over a high heat until it thickens. Braised abalone can be enjoyed as a starter or as an entree with seasonal greens and sticky rice.
Oyster omelette is a classic street food dish that's also popular as a filling lunch option. Potato starch is added to the egg mixture to create a thick consistency that allows the cooked omelette to be folded over and served as a wrap. It's cooked in pork fat and stuffed with small oysters that are coated in a citrus infused chilli sauce. Just before serving the omelette is topped with a thick gravy made with fish stock.
Dry-Fried Shredded Squid With Peppers
Dry-frying is a Sichuan cooking technique that involves cooking the main ingredient of a dish in a hot pan until the outside is crispy and brown and the inside is chewy. For this dish, the dry-fried squid is quickly stir-fried with peppers, chilli paste, garlic and a little honey to create an intensely flavoured sweet and spicy dish that's very moreish. Enjoy this squid dish with a side of rice and pickles.
Salt And Pepper Soft-Shell Crab
Soft-shell crabs are blue crabs that are caught just after they have moulted. Their new shell hasn't formed, so the crabs can be eaten whole, and the meat is juicy and slightly sweet. For this dish, the crabs are dredged in beaten egg and a seasoned flour mixture that contains sea salt and Sichuan pepper, which is a spice with strong citrusy notes. They are then flash-fried in hot oil, which ensures the crabs remain succulent, and served with a garnish of sliced red chillies and coriander.
These are just a few examples of the delicious seafood dishes you can find in Chinese restaurants across Australia. Next time you visit a Chinese restaurant, ask your server to recommend a seafood dish based on the flavours you enjoy.