What a way to go…

Shaoxing yellow wineWhen I saw that this restaurant Kongyiji (孔乙己) served drunken shrimp (醉虾) and drunken crab (醉蟹) I assumed that it was something like drunken noodles at Spice. Of course, the restaurant specialized in Hangzhou cuisine, but I figured it couldn’t be that different. When the waitress described the dish I think my jaw must have dropped a little, but since it was the house specialty we ordered it out of curiosity.

But the first thing that we had was “Shaoxing yellow wine” (绍兴黄酒). I’d only known the brewery Shaoxing for making the best cooking wine, but apparently they also make a stronger version for drinking. The server brought us the wine, which was served hot, and some huamei (话梅), which are some sort of dried berries, sweet and sour in taste, to soak in the wine. The taste from the huamei seeped quickly into the wine and the whole concoction tasted surprisingly good.

Drunken shrimpNext came the drunken shrimp. Now the Chinese are very fond of eating their meats and seafood recently slaughtered, but the drunken shrimp takes this to a new level: they actually bring out live shrimp marinating in a wine sauce and they tell you not to open the lid on the bowl for 10 minutes, until the alcohol from the wine kill the shrimp and they stop moving.

Now EV was already freaked out at this point and he ended up not even trying any. AY and I were a bit more brave and tried it after the requisite 10 minutes. They tasted pretty good; unfortunately the shrimp were all very small so you didn’t really get much meat, but the sauce was very tasty. I tried a couple and was going to grab another one when… I saw one of them move. Ever so slightly, its tail flexed without anyone touching the bowl. And at point I’d decided I’d been brave enough and I could bear to let the rest of the bowl go.

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~ by therandomoracle on June 16, 2008.

One Response to “What a way to go…”

  1. oh my!

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