I keep wondering what the folks in Beijing are eating. Well, according to CNN, deep-fried seahorse for one thing! No, that is not what is in the photo at left. The photo at left is of the fantastic grilled Lemongrass Shrimp I enjoyed at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro the other day. It is one of their new grill items and I highly recommend it, at $16 a steal for five large, perfectly cooked shrimp over noodles with a grilled lemon half.
Back to the seahorses. I thought I fleetingly saw a skewer of seahorses on TV a week ago, but was sure my eyes were deceiving me. Apparently not, now that I see the CNN story online. They are deep-fried for street snacks, as are starfish, cicadas, scorpions, and other insects. More on this is on the “East Asian Inspiration” website of designer Mark Wu. I remember seeing Madagascar hissing cockroaches at the American Museum of Natural History a few years ago, when they held a special event on eating bugs that I attended with my colleague Pat Tanner, who bravely ate a roasted mealworm. I demurred, and still do, even though that makes me a wuss.
To a Westerner like me, much as I love Chinese culture and cuisine, eating a seahorse is akin to eating a unicorn. I remember finding a struggling seahorse on a stony beach in Cape May many years ago and being so surprised because in my mind, they were kind of a mythical creature (of course I threw it back into the water). But, unlike unicorns, seahorses really exist. Or maybe, deep in the woods, there are a couple of unicorns hiding from us? Please don’t eat the last one.
Thanks for the tip. I’m heading to P.F.Chang’s for lunch.
Faith, thanks for giving me credit for my part in your recent recipe for Apple Strudel Baklava! My theory is, “If there is a short cut — take it!”
Hope to try the recipe one of these days!
By the way, your BLOG is great!