Fried Shrimp with Biluo Chun Tea (Biluo Xiaren)

Fried Shrimp with Biluo Chun Tea

Fried Shrimp with Biluo Chun Tea (碧螺虾仁) is a traditional delicacy hailing from Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. This exquisite dish features fresh shrimp as the main ingredient, skillfully complemented by the use of Biluo Chun tea, resulting in a culinary masterpiece known for its fragrant tea aroma, light and refreshing taste, and elegant presentation. The shrimp, resembling white jade in color, incorporates the delicate infusion of tea leaves, delivering a fresh and clean tea fragrance upon each bite. The texture is tender, with a delightful bounce, and a subtle undertone of sweetness.

The term “碧螺” refers to the special Biluo Chun tea leaves cultivated in the Dongting East and West Mountains. Renowned for its perfect combination of color, fragrance, taste, and shape, Biluo Chun is considered a premium tea variety. Originally named “吓煞人香 (Appalling Fragnance)” in Wu dialect, its appellation was refined by Emperor Kangxi during his visit to the great lake. He found the original name less elegant and decided to rename it “碧螺春” due to its jade-like color, spiral shape resembling a snail, and the fact that it is harvested in early spring.

To prepare this delectable dish, you will need 350g of fresh large shrimp, 10g of Biluo Chun tea, 6-7g of refined salt, 1 egg white, 20-25g of cornstarch, and 50g of salad oil.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating Fried Shrimp with Biluo Tea:

  1. Rinse and blanch the fresh large shrimp, then drain them. Place them in a bowl and mix in refined salt, egg white, and cornstarch until well combined.
  2. Brew a cup of Biluo Chun tea by pouring hot water over the tea leaves.
  3. Heat salad oil in a wok over high heat until it reaches around 120℃. Add the shrimp and gently stir until they turn milky white.
  4. Using chopsticks, gently disperse the shrimp, then transfer them to a colander to drain the excess oil.
  5. Return the shrimp to the wok, pour in approximately 30g of Biluo Chun tea, and stir-fry. Plate the dish and garnish it by squeezing out some tea from the leaves, arranging them around the shrimp.

The result is a delightful fusion of succulent shrimp and the aromatic essence of Biluo Chun tea, creating a dish that tantalizes the senses and pays homage to the rich culinary traditions of Suzhou.

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