Sichuan Sizzling Rice Seafood Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

sizzling rice seafood soup

Marinade

1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Main Ingredients

4 ounces raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 ounces scallops, cut into bite-size pieces
4 ounces firm white fish fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
6 cups chicken stock
3 slices ginger
2 ounces straw mushrooms, cut in half
1 carrot, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
4 green onions, sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon white pepper
cooking oil for deep-frying
8 pieces rice crusts, each 2 inches square (see note)

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add shrimp, scallop and fish; stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large pot, bring the stock and ginger to a boil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, scallops, fish and straw mushrooms. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add carrot and zucchini; simmer for 4 minutes. Add green onions, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

In a wok, heat oil to 375 degrees F. Deep-fry rice crusts in batches, turning continuously, until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels.

To serve, bring soup to the table in a tureen. Slide hot rice crusts into hot soup and listen to the sizzle.

Note: In the old days, getting rice crust was only a matter of scraping it off the bottom of the rice pot. Today’s electric rice cookers make such an option obsolete. Not to worry. Dried rice crusts may be purchased in Asian grocery stores or on-line in sealed plastic bags. They may be called rice cakes or rice crackers.