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Eating live shrimp in Chiang Mai

I managed to get a week off work and I spent it with some friends in Southeast Asia! The first destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand. One of the goals of the trip in general was to eat whatever we could find – anything different and exotic. Mainly exotic. We arrived at a nice water reservoir with restaurants by the beach.

It doesn’t look like it, but the weather was at least 30°C outside. The cloud cover is from the smog generated by burning crops
Clockwise from top left: salad dish with spicy ground pork and liver, papaya salad, deep fried fish with herbs

And now for the dish we came here for…

When the lid is opened, the shrimp immediately try to jump out, so the lid can’t be opened for very long. They’re hard to grab too because they keep wiggling.

They taste like eating small pieces of shrimp sashimi, but at the same time I had to chew through the shells. There’s a little bit of flavour from the spice and herbs that were added, but it’s subtle. We were given some chili sauce on the side to give it more flavour. The spicy sauce is what you’d expect from chilis and cilantro.

The shrimp seem to move a bit erractically, so it’s possible there was some alcohol in the bowl as a part of the sauce

I have no idea how “clean” this dish was since it’s raw… I could only bring myself to eat a couple for fear of getting parasites or some other foodborne illness. My friends on the other hand were completely grossed out by this even though they initially wanted to eat it. To be fair, this is the first time I considered shrimps to be like bugs at all.

My buddy made a video summarizing the entire experience. See below.

Otherwise, that’s it for eating live shrimp!
See all the photos here

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