FRESH ceviche! Like really fresh. Seeing drunken shrimp on a menu might raise your hopes of some kind of delicious bourbon BBQ prawn dish… it’s not quite what you think… from weirdworm
A Chinese dish, drunken shrimp consists of a big bowl of prawns, seasoning and strong liquor called Baijiu which is about 40-60% alcohol by volume.
My whiter than white parents have lived in China now for over 8 years. One of their favoritest things in the world is to bringing home bottles of Baijiu (By-jee-oh) and make us drink it. I was even given a bottle of Yak’s milk wine… but that’s another foododdity…
The shrimp are not cooked, though hopefully they get some kind of cleaning before they are thrown into the dish still alive. The alcohol stuns the little buggers, making them sluggish and easier to handle.
The kicker? The flavor is supposedly very similar to cooked shrimp and even more similar to raw. There are also other versions of the dish where the shrimp are killed or cooked first, but in all likelihood, ordering the dead shrimp is the equivalent of getting the mild wings in front of your friends at the bar. Not worth the heckling.
In Japan, a similar dish called Odori ebi exists that substitutes sake as the liquor of choice. Also, since Japanese people are all about one-upmanship, they only eat baby shrimps.