Weird Food Wednesday – Drunken Shrimp: Winchester Food Tour explores the world of weird foods, today’s feature is drunken shrimp, eaten alive while inebriated, with no hope for survival; not only for the shrimp, but for those who eat it as eating uncooked freshwater shrimp increases one’s risk of a foodborne illness, specifically a parasitic lung infection. But hey, that probably is not all too scary for the “adventurous eaters” who would just forge ahead in today’s world of dangerous challenges and eat them anyway!
We wanted to get this one in just before lunch if you’re undecided about what’s worth eating today.
If you’ve been following our weird food series, it should come as no surprise that this culinary creepshow is a Chinese dish. Drunken Shrimp. Essentially your drunken shrimp dish is comprised of a healthy helping of prawns which are seasoned and unceremoniously left swimming in a strong liquor called Baijiu, Baijiu typically runs between 80 and 100-proof, which is approximately 40 to 60 percent alcohol by volume. But the “weird part” (we guess, maybe weirder is a better word) the shrimp are uncooked. That’s right, the dish before you is a pile of live shrimp bathing in a sea of strong alcohol which stuns them and presumably makes them slower and easier to grab. Perhaps makes them a little less accurate as they’re snapping at your face with their little claws because they’re still alive!
Their flavor is reportedly quite similar to cooked shrimp. There are also other versions of the dish where the shrimp are killed or cooked first, but where’s the challenge in that? When you sit down for your weird seafood dish, it’s a greater challenge to do battle with an angry, drunken shrimp taking one last crack and tearing your lips open as you move to chomp down on it, live.
Now, don’t be fooled by the knock-off recipes you see online for Drunken Shrimp or Spicy Drunken Shrimp at all of the usual recipe sites, because we know you’re going to search for this once you’re finished here. There is only one “real deal” in the Drunken Shrimp realm, and that is the one-on-one battle you will have, should you dare, with angry drunken live shrimp.
Now that’s what I call a “Shrimp Cocktail” — Enjoy!
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