Eight Treasures Stir Fry – an everyday Shanghai dish

eight treasures stir fry

Eight Treasures Stir Fry, also known as “Babao Stir Fry” (八宝辣酱) in Chinese, is a traditional Chinese dish that features eight different ingredients cooked together in a flavorful stir fry. The dish is a popular and beloved part of Chinese cuisine and is often served during everyday meals.

The ingredients used in Eight Treasures Stir Fry vary depending on the recipe and the region of China where it is being prepared. However, some common ingredients include chicken, pork, shrimp, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, water chestnuts, carrots, and peas. The dish is often garnished with green onions or sesame seeds for added flavor and visual appeal.

To prepare the dish, the ingredients are first sliced or diced into bite-sized pieces and marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and cornstarch. The ingredients are then stir-fried in a wok or frying pan with garlic, ginger, and chili peppers until they are cooked through and fragrant. Finally, a savory sauce made from a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar is added to the stir fry and simmered until it thickens and coats the ingredients.

The flavor of Eight Treasures Stir Fry is a combination of salty, savory, and slightly sweet, with a mild spiciness from the chili peppers. The different textures of the ingredients also add to the dish’s appeal, with the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts providing a satisfying crunch, and the mushrooms and meat offering a tender bite.

Eight Treasures Stir Fry is not only delicious, but it also has a symbolic significance in Chinese culture. The number eight is considered lucky in Chinese culture, and the eight different ingredients in the dish represent wealth, prosperity, and good luck. As such, Eight Treasures Stir Fry is often served during special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and Chinese New Year.

In summary, Eight Treasures Stir Fry is a flavorful and symbolic dish that showcases the artistry and skill of Chinese cuisine. With its combination of savory ingredients, satisfying textures, and cultural significance, it is a dish that is sure to delight and impress anyone who tries it.

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