The story appears on

Page B3

December 15, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » iDEAL

Caviar and Chinese cuisine

SOME Chinese chefs want to combine caviar with other ingredients. Cantonese cuisine, known for its light flavor, does not overpower the caviar, which can lend freshness to a dish.

Chefs differ on which ingredients work best with caviar.

"Caviar, a luxury ingredient in Western food culture, should be paired with expensive Chinese ingredients with delicate flavor and texture such as abalone so that diners can enjoy the ultimate taste experience of two top-quality ingredients brought together," says chef Ni Hao.

Other chefs, notably celebrity chef Da Dong (from Da Dong restaurant) known for his creative Chinese cuisine, prefer a contrast and serve rich and intense caviar with simple, ordinary vegetables with a light and refreshing flavor, such as cucumbers and yams.

Here are six caviar dishes, two in classical Western style, two in Chinese style, and two in a creative, modern style.

? Lobster in jelly and Ossetra caviar

The cold dish has recently been launched by chef Franck-Elie who coats lobster with a jelly made of lobster bisque, covers that with white jasmine tea foam and tops it with caviar.

The textures are varied: firm lobster, jelly, light and fluffy foam and caviar the pops in the mouth. The jasmine taste of the foam is balanced by the sweet lobster and nutty, briny caviar.

Where to order: Jade on 36 Kitchen, Pudong Shangri-La Shanghai

Address: 36/F, Grand Tower, 33 Fucheng Rd, Pudong

Tel: 6882-888

? Beluga caviar on crepe parmentier

The warm crepe parmentier, a very thick potato pancake, is spread with a layer of fresh cream topped with 30 grams of cold caviar.

"It's hard to enhance the taste of caviar since it's perfect, but I hope to enrich the caviar tasting experience by building a temperature contrast in the mouth," says chef Hemish.

The thick cream keeps the flavor of the caviar from being broken by the warm crepe and also makes a natural flavor transition, from a sweet pancake to a salty and hazelnut taste of caviar.

For diners who don't care for sweets, the chef also spreads caviar on a thin slice of Melba toast.

Where to order: M on the Bund

Address: 7/F, 5 Zhongshan Rd E1

Tel: 6350-9988

? Chilled abalone with caviar

This is a simple Cantonese cold dish emphasizing texture and refreshing seafood taste. The ice-chilled fresh abalone, marinated in soy sauce and chili liquid seasoning, is topped with Amur (Heilongjiang) sturgeon caviar with a full-bodied flavor and hint of fruitiness.

Taste the abalone and caviar in one bite to appreciate two different textures - one firm and bouncy, the other a collection of little explosions. The caviar bursts on the tongue, releasing its liquid, giving the abalone more taste; there's a long, light aftertaste.

Where to order: No. 2 Pujiang

Address: 2250 Binjiang Ave, Pudong

Tel: 5887-6608

? Champagne ball with caviar

Inspired by the perfect pairing of caviar and champagne, chef Sun Zhaoguo combines the two in a bit of molecular culinary wizardry.

Champagne is made into a small jelly-like ball topped with Siberian sturgeon caviar. Put the ball coated with caviar in the mouth and press gently with the tongue. The champagne ball and caviar burst in the mouth at the same time, releasing intense and rich flavors. The champagne with a certain acidity stands up to the oily, nutty and salty caviar.

Where to order: Maggie's Restaurant

Tel: 6295-7138

Address: 669 Honggu Rd

? King scallop sashimi with caviar

The white king scallop, sliced to 1mm, is topped with Beluga caviar having a golden gray color, dried orange peel, green bean sprouts and red dried tomato, making a very colorful dish. Before serving, chef Ni Hao tops it with olive oil to increase the aroma. It combines Japanese, Chinese and Mediterranean tastes.

The king scallop tastes light and slightly briny, which goes well with the caviar. The dried orange skin with certain briny taste goes well with the caviar.

Dried orange peel and tomato, with a balance of sweet and sour, brings some fruitiness out of the caviar.

Where to order: No. 2 Pujiang

Address: 2250 Binjiang Ave, Pudong

Tel: 5887-6608

? Caviar spherical omelette

This avant-garde dish is based on molecular cuisine. Beluga caviar wrapped with cream is placed in an oval-shaped "omelet bag." Chef Jordi Servalls Bonilla says that to echo the egg-shaped caviar, he changes the original texture of an omelet and turns it into a sphere, trying to shape it like an egg.

The omelet bag has a tender and somewhat bouncy texture. The caviar with its little eggs is creamy, buttery and briny. Both omelette and cream are light so the caviar flavor is highlighted.

Where to order: T8 Restaurant & Bar

Address: No. 8, North Block, Xintiandi, 181 Taicang Rd

Tel: 6355-8999


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend