August 16, 2008

Beijing Gourmand's Official Olympic Snack

Kungpao Chicken (宫爆鸡丁) may be the official Olympic dish, but Grace and I have made prawn crackers our official Olympic snack. Making prawn crackers is easy, and sprinkling cracked black-pepper on top gives it an extra kick.

Prawn crackers are available for purchase at local supermarkets for about 5 RMB per bag. The middle bag is regular prawn crackers (虾片), the same as many Chinese restaurants serve in the West. The bag on the left is called paosi (泡司), and had a stronger flavor, though I'm not sure if the ingredients are different. The pieces from the bag on the right are tubes made from seaweed (海藻); I'm guessing the seaweed was made into powder and mixed with flour much the same way that prawn crackers are made.

It can be difficult to keep the oil at the optimal temperature, but the burnt crackers actually taste pretty good. Prawn crackers taste best hot and as many made it into our mouths as onto the plate.

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