16 (Sun) January 2011
Cream Sauce Shrimp
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
with the Family
Cream Sauce Shrimp is a Korean-Chinese dish. Not so much a cream sauce as it is mayonnaise, sickly sweet and warm, rendering it translucent and runny, all smothering a plate of deep-fried shrimp. I don’t have the vaguest notion about the origins of the dish, whether it even exists outside of Korea. Sometime back in the 90s, when “fusion” was all the rage here, it suddenly became the signature dish in every wannabe high concept Chinese restaurant across Seoul. My first experience with the dish was at the ludicrously named On the Rock, where the chef took the extra step of sprinkling Corn Flakes on top, rendering it even more revolting. A culinary abomination, food evolution horribly mutated. Remarkably, the dish has become a staple menu item in Chinese restaurants of all levels, even in neighborhood joints.
Personally, I think it tastes as revolting as it looks and sounds.
DJ was insisting on shrimp, and this was the only shrimp dish on the menu that wasn’t spicy, and so we ordered it. A 3.5-year-old can only eat so much shrimp, and the wife eats as much as a canary, and I didn’t want to waste a 40,000-won plate of food, so I managed to eat some of it, but not without scraping off as much of the sauce as I could and trying to pretend it was just deep-fried shrimp.
In a future post, I’ll rant about the exorbitant cost of Chinese food in Korea.