Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Yang Chow Name

Yang Chow Restaurant was named after the province and city of its founders.  The city of Yang Chow itself has a storied history of affluence and as a cultural center due its location.

During imperial times, the city was the center of trade for salt, silk, and rice. Located by the Yangtze river and Jinghang Canal, it served as an important port for trade.  With its heightened role, the city became a magnate for wealthy merchants.  Like many modern metropolitan cities, Yang Chow soon became equally well known for its varied offerings of gourmet delicacies and other services catered to merchants with disposable income.

With the association of gourmet dining since imperial times, Yang Chow is a name apt for a restaurant that has slowly grown in popularity in the greater Los Angeles area for quality Chinese cuisine.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The History of Slippery Shrimp

Many customers wonder why Yang Chow's most well known dish is named "Slippery Shrimp."  The name came about in the cooking process -- the shrimp are shelled, butterflied, and then coated in corn starch.  When the shrimp are cooked the first time to seal in the flavor of the shrimp and create the crunchy coating, they are taken out of the wok and place on a plate before being cooked again with the sauce.  The very first time the shrimps were taken out of the wok and placed on a plate, the corn starch coating created a protective surface that made the shrimp slip off the plate.  The final product seems anything but "slippery."

The dish was first introduced at Lotus Garden, a prior restaurant owned by Yang Chow's founders.  Slippery Shrimp did not make its way onto any menus until landing at Yang Chow.  It was, for a time, a special off-the-menu item only served by special request.  Now it is a dish enjoyed by many.