Shanghai chefs' late-night bites

Shanghai chefs' late-night bites

Three of Shanghai's workaholic chefs share the plates they whip up when their 2 a.m. cravings hit

Brad Turley - Goga - Shanghai chefBrad Turley, Goga

The smell of fish and lemons permeates the air at Goga, where Brad Turley has been prepping his Cali-Asian-Mex line-up since 2 p.m. He's in a strip of show kitchen that is so narrow, it frames him like Styrofoam trays around a prize piece of toro. At 5:30 p.m. diners come in and leave their appetites in his hands.

At the end of the night, it's no wonder that Turley opts for something simple but tasty.

Lamenting the lack of after-hours Shanghai chef haunts in the city, Turley takes matters into his own pan when late nights cravings hit, whipping up a chirashi-style rice with slices of seared tuna.

Brad's Shanghai recipe: Torched tuna

Ingredients for main dish

  • Fresh, sashimi-grade tuna (buy at the Japanese supermarket in Jing'an Temple Metro station)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A few drops of soybean oil

Ingredients for the rice

  • Steamed rice
  • Japanese Furikake (a rice seasoning made of assorted dried ingredients, including seaweed, sesame and dried bonito flakes)

Ingredients for the sauce

  • A few heaped tablespoons of Coleman's mustard powder, with just enough drinking water to form a thick paste
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of soy sauce
  • ½ cup Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise, red label


  1. Season the tuna with the salt, pepper, soy bean oil.
  2. In a very hot pan or with a butane torch, quickly sear the tuna on all four sides
  3. Slice like sashimi
  4. For the sauce, combine the mustard paste with rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Add to the Kewpie mayo.
  5. Serve the fish over your steamed rice, drizzle sauce and sprinkle furikake generously.
Goga, 1 Yueyang Lu, near Dongping Lu 岳阳路1号, 近东平路, +86 21 6431 9700, hours: 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., kitchen closes at 10:30 p.m.
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Austin Hu - Madison - Shanghai chef

Austin Hu, Madison

We caught up with Austin Hu of Madison on his birthday. It was midnight and he was still at the restaurant. This time, instead of classy bistro fare though, he was throwing down cold Mongolian beers and cooking up crisp chicken wings. Nice to see a Shanghai chef relaxing on his birthday.

For late nights, he swears by the aptly named Heart Attack Sandwich.

Austin's Shanghai recipe: Heart Attack Sandwich


  • 2 slices of decent white bread (Hu recommends good quality Japanese sliced bread)
  • 4 slices of bacon, ham or braised meat cut off
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of cheese (gouda or cheddar preferable, processed cheese is okay in a pinch) at room temperature
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method (aka “The Plan of Attack”)

  1. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Over medium heat, lay four slices of bacon side by side in the middle of the pan and cook slowly. “Try not to burn the bacon in your pursuit of crispiness,” Hu says.
  3. After five to six minutes, pour the beaten egg over and around the bacon slices. It should look like a big thin pancake with bacon in the middle.
  4. When the egg is mostly cooked through, lay a slice of cheese in the middle of the pan directly on top of the bacon, use a spatula to fold over the edges of the egg covering the cheese square in the middle. At this point you should have a square “egg envelope” about the size of a slice of bread. Remove from pan and wipe your pan clean.
  5. Butter both slices of bread on one side ("Be generous if you have good butter," explains Hu).
  6. Over medium-low heat, place one slice of bread, butter side down, into the pan and top with half the remaining cheese.
  7. Transfer your egg/cheese square onto your bread, apply the remaining cheese and your second slice of bread, butter side up.
  8. Cook gently over heat, pressing gently on the bread every now and then for about six minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and crisp throughout. Then carefully flip your sandwich and cook until other side is equally beautiful, about five minutes longer.
  9. Cut diagonally or down the middle of your sandwich. Observe the splendor of the gooey cheese and bacon/egg cross-section.
  10. Devour ... ideally with an ice cold coke or a chilled glass of milk.
Madison, 3/F, 18 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu 东平路18号3楼, 近衡山路, +86 21 6437 0136, hours: 6-10 p.m.
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Dane Clouston - Puli - Jing'an - Shanghai chef

Dane Clouston, Jing'an Restaurant at the Puli Hotel

“I'm banned from supermarkets by my wife,” explains Dane Clouston. “The selection is terrible. There's just chicken breast and more chicken breast, so I come home with nothing.”

This workaholic chef (really, have you ever seen Clouston not at Jing'an?) prefers to eat simple after a long night in the kitchen, although we guess he wife goes shopping for all the ingredients.

This is his recipe for prawns with tomato sauce. The most important thing to know about cooking this dish? “I make it with love,” Clouston says with a smile.

Dane's Shanghai recipe: Tomato pasta with prawns


  • 100ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • 1 small red chili sliced
  •  4 whole anchovy filets
  • A small pinch of saffron
  • Smoked paprika to taste
  • 4 chopped, vine ripen tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  •  Chopped Italian parsley
  • 10 pieces fresh de-shelled prawn Spaghetti pasta, freshly boiled and seasoned with olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in a pan
  2. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden
  3. Add red chili and anchovies
  4. Add saffron and smoked paprika
  5. Add chopped tomatoes
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  7. Cook four to five minutes until the mixture is saucy but not too thick
  8. Add parsley
  9. Add prawns
  10. Spoon sauce and prawns over pasta and serve. Enjoy.
Jing'an Restaurant, 1 Changde Lu, The PuLi Hotel and Spa, near Yan'an Zhong Lu 常德路1号璞麗酒店, 近延安中路, +86 21 3203 9999, hours: noon-2:30 p.m., 7 to 10:30 p.m.,
Joanne Yao is a writer and editor based in Shanghai.
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