October 13, 2011

Drunken Shrimp 醉蝦 - Easy Breezy

chinese, drunken shrimp, recipe, rice wine, seafood, shrimp, 醉蝦

Ah, the humble shrimp!  Sweet and succulent crustacean!  How can one resist the call of the just cooked shrimp, so tasty inside its armor of shell, so beautiful to look at, so crunchy yet tender, so brimming of sea flavor!  Well, if one has a problem with eczema like I do, one has to should resist it most of the time, just to save myself from the scratching and itching.  But in the special case when the suggestion of making Drunken Shrimp for dinner is proposed; well, how can one possibly refuse to make this easiest and tastiest of shrimp dishes?

chinese, drunken shrimp, recipe, rice wine, seafood, shrimp, 醉蝦

You can get your live hopping shrimp at the wet market.  The kind in the picture above is recommended as the meat is lovely and tasty and these shrimp don't have much of any of the black veins so you won't really need to clean that out.  This kind of shrimp is very common in Hong Kong.  If you can't get live get the recently live shrimp, also available at the wet markets.

This is important:  the shrimp must be as fresh as possible, otherwise it won't taste especially good cooked this way, as this cooking method depends on the natural fresh taste of the ingredients for the flavor.  Once you purchase your shrimp, get home to begin preparation as soon as possible because the shrimp will die in the shopping bag if you wait too long.

chinese, drunken shrimp, recipe, rice wine, seafood, shrimp, 醉蝦

You will pour the wine into a bowl with the shrimp. The shrimp will start drinking the wine.  At first they will jump around wildly (as we humans do also when first inebriated) and then will slow down more and more to a sated stillness as they get really drunk.

When the shrimps are well and truly drunk, they get dunked into boiling water for a quick boil and then quickly ladled out to a plate and presented for eating.  Peel off the shell and the head.  Suck the head for the delicious head gunk flavors if you dare. Yum, yum!  Then pop the juicy sweet wine infused shrimp into your mouth and experience an explosion of flavors.  There really is nothing quite like Drunken Shrimp, so easy to prepare and yet so very irresistibly delicious.

chinese, drunken shrimp, recipe, rice wine, seafood, shrimp, 醉蝦
Drunken Shrimp Recipe 醉蝦
(Prep time: 15 mins  Cook time: 3 mins)


  • 20 fresh shrimps (live if you can get them)
  • 1 250 ml bottle Chinese rice wine
  • 2 slices ginger


Rinse the shrimp under running water.  Put the shrimp in a deep bowl and pour in wine to cover.  Be sure you have a cover ready to cover the bowl as the shrimp (if live) will be hopping around.  Allow the shrimp to drink wine for 15 minutes (or until they stop moving).

Put a medium pot of water to boil, add the ginger slices.  Once boiling, add the shrimp all at once and stir a couple of times.  When the water reboils, let cook for a minute and half more and then immediately use strainer to scoop shrimp out of the water onto your plate.  

Serve immediately, with soy sauce for dipping if you like.



  1. Can you drunk the shrimp and leave it for later consumption, say 3 months?

  2. Hi Future Shrimp Master - no can do, must be eaten right away. ~ellen