A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 25, 2008
Chinese Popcorn (Sweet & Pungent Shrimp)

Chinese sweet and pungent shrimp is sometimes called “Chinese popcorn” because you can’t eat just one, and once you start eating you can’t stop until it’s all gone. “Sweet and pungent shrimp” recipes appeared in print in American newspapers in the 1950s; restaurants in New York’s Chinatown have long served the dish.

An August 18, 1988 Los Angeles Times story about the sweet and pungent shrimp from the Panda Inn (Pasadena, CA) called it “Chinese popcorn” and either coined or popularized this name.


Panda Inn - Mandarin Cuisine (CA locations)
Sweet & Pungent Shrimp

21 February 1952, Dixon (IL) Evening Telegraph, pg. 17, col. 2:
Sweet and Pungent Shrimp
(4 servings)
Prepare 1 pound shrimp (fresh or quick frozen), following above directions.

Mix in saucepan 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and juice drained from 1 No. 2 can pineapple chunks.

Cook until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add 1 green pepper cut into strips, 2 small onions cut into rings, and drained pineapple chunks.

Cook 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add shrimp and let stand about 10 minutes. Just before serving, bring to a boil stirring constantly. Serve with hot rice.

8 October 1953, Troy (NY) Times Record, pg. 33, cols.  7-8:
Sweet and Pungent Shrimp
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 No. 2 can pineapple chunks
1 green pepper, cut in rings
2 small onions, cut in rings
1 pound shrimp, cooked and cleaned

Mix together in saucepan brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, vinegar, soy sauce and juice drained from canned pineapple. Cook until slightly thick stirring constantly. Add green pepper, onion and pineapple chunks and cook 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add shrimp and let stand about 10 minutes. Just before serving, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Serve with hot rice. Makes enough for four servings.

15 June 1958, New York (NY) Times, pg. SM44:
SWEET AND PUNGENT SHRIMP—OF CHINESE INSPIRATION
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 one-pound-four-ounce can pineapple chunks
1 green pepper, cut in strips
2 small onions, cut in rings
1 pound shrimp, cooked.

Mix in a saucepan sugar, cornstarch, salt. Add vinegar, soy, ginger, syrup drained from pineapple. Slowly cook till slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add green pepper, onion, pineapple. Simmer two minutes. Add shrimp. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Serve immediately with hot rice.

5 November 1976, New York (NY) Times, “Metropolitan Baedeker: Chinatown, My CHinatown” by Fred Ferretti, pg. 67:
Farther up Pell Street are two of the best Cantonese restaurants in Chinatown, BoBo’s at 20 1/2 Pell and Macao at 22. Both disdain the new northern hot fads and stay with steamed sea bass, sweet and pungent shrimp and similar fare.

18 August 1988, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Sweet and Pungent Shrimp—the More You Eat the More You Want” by Rose Dosti, food, section 8, pg. 26:
PANDA INN CHINESE POPCORN (Sweet and Pungent Shrimp).
(...)
Peel and devein shrimp. Slice in halves lengthwise. Rinse well and pat dry. Add egg white to shrimp and mix well. Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and salt and add to shrimp. Mix well. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and mix well again. Place shrimp in bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Whip cream with sugar until stiff. Blend together Pastry Cream and rum until smooth. Fold whipped cream into Pastry Cream. Place 2 tablespoons Melba Sauce in bottom of each of 4 (4-ounce) wine glasses. Pipe or spoon mousse on top so sauce travels halfway up glass. Top with additional Melba Sauce and garnish with whipped cream. Makes 4 servings.

Place mixture over simmering water and cook, stirring, until thickened. Cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour small amount hot mixture into eggs, stirring constantly. Combine eggs with remaining hot mixture and cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove custard from heat and add butter. Cool slightly and add vanilla. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Google Groups: alt.food.asian
Newsgroups: alt.food.asian
From: “Not The Real Nancy”
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 12:38:28 -0700
Local: Fri, Sep 28 2001 1:38 pm
Subject: Chinese Popcorn Sweet & Pungent Shrimp

* Exported from MasterCook *
Chinese Popcorn Sweet & Pungent Shrimp
Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Appetizers Asian

Amount Measure Ingredient—Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 lb Raw shrimp
1/2 Egg white—beaten
1 c Cornstarch
1/2 ts Salt
3 -to
4 c Oil—for deep frying
Green onions—for garnish
-----SWEET AND PUNGENT SAUCE-----
4 1/2 tb Sugar
4 1/2 tb Catsup
1/4 c Vinegar
1/2 ts Salt
1 tb Sherry
1/2 ts Cornstarch
1 t Oil
2 lg Garlic cloves—minced
3/4 ts Minced fresh ginger root
1 tb Chopped green onion
1 t Crushed red pepper
1 t Lemon zest
1 t Orange zest

A reader who requested the recipe for a sweet and pungent shrimp from the Panda Inn in Pasadena won the everlasting thanks of our tasting panel. Because it’s as impossible to eat just one of these as it is to eat a single kernel of popcorn, the recipe is often called Chinese popcorn.

Peel and devein the shrimp.  Slice in halves lengthwise. Rinse well and pat dry.  Add the egg white to the shrimp and mix well. Mix 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch with salt and add to shrimp. Stir to coat well. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons oil and mix well again. Place the shrimp in a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.Remove the shrimp and dust with remaining cornstarch.  Shrimp should be dry to the touch. Heat the remaining oil in a large wok to 350 to 375 degrees. Fry the shrimp 1-1/2 to 2 minutes until crisp, being careful to separate them with a long- handled wooden spoon or chopsticks to prevent sticking. It may be necessary to fry the shrimp in several batches.  When done, remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and drain well.  Combine the shrimp and the sweet and pungent sauce and toss quickly to coat. Immediately turn out onto a platter and sprinkle with finely chopped green onions.

SWEET AND PUNGENT SAUCE: Combine the sugar, catsup, vinegar, and salt, and set aside. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic, ginger, green onion, red pepper, and zests of lemon and orange; cook 30 seconds.  Stir in the sugar-catsup mixture. Immediately add the sherry mixture and cook until slightly thickened.

From Gemini’s MASSIVE MealMaster collection at http://www.synapse.com/~gemini

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (2) Comments • Thursday, December 25, 2008 • Permalink


If cooking is done as instructed then it must be very delicious to eat, Are the ingredients available?

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Nice discussion is done here..Really Its a good chance for me to visit your post.There are many points which make your blog more attractive…

Posted by Upholstery cleaning San Diego  on  10/16  at  05:58 AM

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