5 Ingredients, an Urban Family series where we sit down with a Shanghai-based chef and ask for a family-friendly meal using 5 Ingredients easily found in Shanghai; let us help you start the week with a simple five-step recipe!
This week we talked to Jair Gudino Chavez, Executive Chef for LAGO by Julian Serrano at the Bellagio Hotel, Shanghai. Chef Jair has been cooking up a storm inside Shanghai kitchens for the past 7 years, working in hotels such as Pudong Shangri-La, The Langham Xintiandi and Jing’an Shangri-La. Most recently, he successfully opened LAGO, a modern Italian restaurant specializing in social dining. Its sister restaurant is the iconic Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, US.
Can you tell me about the dish you are helping us prepare this week?
Now that the weather is warming up, I’d like to share a fun and straightforward summer dish - fresh ricotta cheese with a tomato salad and balsamic dressing.
What five ingredients do we need?
2 liters milk
6 tablespoons Chinese white vinegar
Sea salt to taste (or table salt)
150 grams cherry tomatoes, cut into large pieces
100 milliliters balsamic vinegar
What is the five-step recipe?
1. Pour the milk into a pot and place over low heat to warm. You don’t want to boil it. When small bubbles start to form (75 degrees Celsius), turn off the heat, add the white vinegar and wait for the milk to split.
2. After approximately 5 minutes when the curdles form, pour the content over a cheesecloth or a colander lined with kitchen paper. Allow the whey (clear liquid) to drain overnight or until you reach your desired texture.
3. Add salt and any other spices to achieve your desired taste. I also use quality extra virgin olive oil, oregano, and dill.
4. Make a simple tomato salad with tomato chunks, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season well.
5. Place the ricotta in a bowl with your tomato salad and enjoy. You can also use bread to dip in.
What’s your advice on your dish of the week?
Use the ripe tomatoes and quality olive oil; this is the key to freshness. I use UHT full cream milk, but you can use any kind you prefer. For the tomatoes, I like combining the tartness of green ones with the sweetness of yellow and red. The balsamic vinegar can be reduced into a thick syrup to coat the salad better.
Tell us something that’s happening with your business at the moment, that our Urban Family community can enjoy.
We have recently opened our new terrace which is double-sided and offers the best views of the Bund and Suzhou Creek. We offer late dinner options and evening aperitivo with tunes from our DJ. Diners can also come to LAGO to enjoy our new weekend brunch on the terrace.
See listing for all LAGO, Bellagio Shanghai, here.
For more 5 Ingredients recipes, click here.