What I’d cook for the Chinese President

What I’d cook for the Chinese President

During Xi Jinping’s UAE visit, 3 UAE-based chefs shared dishes they’d serve him

Kung Pao Lobster by Chef Bing from Maiden Shanghai at Five, Palm Jumeirah.

“If I had to select one dish and one dish only to cook for the President, it would have to be my signature Kung Pao Lobster. It’s one of all-time my favourite dishes.

The main ingredients for Kung Pao lobster, including the traditional the Kung Pao sauce, come from my home province of Sichuan. The dish boasts multi-layers of flavours, which also makes it a very technical and enjoyable dish to create.

All the ingredients I use have to be really fresh. In the United Arab Emirates, fresh seafood is readily available and of good quality, which helps immensely in creating something that is not only delicious and healthy but also looks beautiful.

From a presentation and serving perspective, the dish itself is very vibrant and colourful. Then I plate it on a long platter-style dish, which features traditional Chinese colours, red and black. Red is a very traditional colour in China and symbolises happiness and good luck, making it the perfect dish for the President”

Song Sao fish soup by Chef He Jia from Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi.

“The Song Sao Silver Cod fish soup with black fungus, carrots, cucumber and ginger is from the Chinese traditional Zhe Jiang cuisine — the famous west Lake in Zhe Jiang province of China. The scenery with clear lakes is beautiful and fresh produce is abundant.

In ancient times, there was a woman name Song Sao. She used to capture live fish to cook delicious fish soup with some fresh vegetables and mushrooms. It was loved by people for its flavour and high nutritional value. Enjoying the beautiful scenery of the west lake while drinking this delicious fish soup has become a classic tale of the region.

This summer, with the weather being very hot, most people do not have a good appetite. This fish soup is delicate and is a refreshing appetiser with high protein content and low fat. It is known to effectively enhance human immunity and resistance to diseases.

Fish soup is rich in protein, which can strengthen the elastic fibre structure of skin, and can prevent sunburn which causes skin damage. Besides keeping skin moisturised, it can strengthen the spleen, stimulate appetite, activate blood circulation and reduce pressure which helps promote good sleep.”

Three courses by Chef Stefan Borchardt, the Brand Chef at Noodle House.

“We’re talking about the president of the country here, so we’d want to serve only the best! As President, Xi Jinping probably can’t, or, in all likelihood, doesn’t have the time to explore the romantic streets of cities in China, with their many food stalls and open-air woks. I can imagine that he’d definitely appreciate a hearty but healthy meal — MSG-free and without any unnecessary additives, of course.

I’ve actually already successfully cooked for a Chinese President in Germany in the past, which was a huge honour, so I would start off by ensuring each ingredient is hand-picked and inspected several times.

To serve him a little piece of home, I’d recommend one of my personal favourites to start, Pan-fried Tofu. Combined with Chinese greens and finished in the wok, it can also be eaten cold, almost as a salad. Fire wok fried Shanghai Noodles would be a great choice for main course, as they are light and come complete with tender beef strips — prepared just the way I ate them at a food stall on Yan An Xi Lu street in the heart of Shanghai.

And, to remind him of the bustling little side streets and neighbourhood markets in a typical Chinese city, I would also suggest our steaming hot Bao buns filled with wok fried Shiitake mushrooms, for sure. To spice things up a bit, I’d also serve him one of our soups. The broth has a little fragrant kick to it — I can’t tell you exactly what that is, though, but let’s just say it’s an ancient Chinese secret I brought back with me from Beijing.”





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