Beijing Street Food

Lemongrass ShrimpI 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.

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2 thoughts on “Beijing Street Food

  1. 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!

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