The China Blue kitchen team
Like the mapo tofu served uptown at Cafe China, blocks of tofu are braised, then cubed. Unlike the tofu at Cafe China, this bean curd will go into a lighter dish with crab.
The sauce is reduced and scorched in the wok.
Braised Tofu with King Crab Meat
Instead of a spicy chili- and Sichuan peppercorn-based sauce, a lighter sauce with shreds of king crab is used here.
Here's kaofu (a type of seitan), a spongy protein made from wheat gluten.
The Kaofu is served Ningbo-style, torn into chunks and fried in the wok with shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
Here it is on the plate.
Shredded eel in the wok
Shredded baby eel is deep fried until crispy before it gets sautéed in a Wuxi-style sauce.
Wuxi sauce is made with a base of soy and rice wine.
Shredded Eel Sauteed with Chives
The patterns that are carved into the squid are both decorative and functional. The edges help sauce cling to the squid.
Sliced Squid with Chives
The squid is served with a light sauce with mushrooms and red peppers.
Now on to noodles
These crispy pan-fried noodles will form the base of a pork, shrimp, and vegetable stir fry.
Stir frying the sauce
Sautéing cabbage, pork and shrimp for the noodles.
Topping the noodles
The sauce soaks into the crevices of the noodles, softening them in the process.
Shanghai Pan Fried Noodles
Slow Cooked Lion's Head Meatball
This softball-sized pork meatball takes two hours to cook. In that time, it's deep fried, steamed, braised, then finally served in a crock with bok choy and bamboo shoots along with the soy sauce-based braising liquid.
Downstairs, dough is rolled out for dumplings.
Stuffing soup dumplings
Seasoned ground pork is blended with small chunks of chilled gelatinous broth and stuffed into the dumpling wrapper.
Twisting the dough
A wrapped soup dumpling
Ready for the steamer
In addition to the regular pork soup dumplings, China Blue serves another variety, filled with a blend of pork and crab meat. These are ready to go in the steamer. The heat of the steam will melt the gelatinous broth down into a slurpable soup.
Soup dumplings, steamed
More dumplings: these pork shumai get a final touch with a green pea on top.
Stuffed with sticky rice and Chinese sausage.