Eating Live Shrimp

Today was my big and little brothers’ birthdays (turning 34 and 20 respectively), so we went to a nearby Japanese place for high quality all-you-can-eat sushi. I was expecting an evening of delicious nigiri and sashimi, but I did not expect to be eating live shrimp. Well, to be fair, it was dead by the time it hit our mouths. In any case, this puts a whole new spin on the term “very fresh.”

Disturbing and delicious at the same time.

At the beginning of the meal, the sushi chef brought out a couple of living shrimp, cut off their heads, and put them on a plate. He then took their tails and prepared them in two different ways for us (sushi and sashimi style) and put them on the same plate along with their roe, some jalapeños, cucumbers and daikon. We watched the whole process with a grim sort of fascination.

When we received our plate, the heads were not only twitching, but apparently still very much alive. They were moving their mandibles just about the whole time, and would flail their appendages around wildly whenever touched. I guess it fits the theme of Halloween for this week, because it was definitely creepy. I found it difficult to eat the tails, while the shrimp to whom they belonged looked on from the same plate… yet having committed myself to this already, I couldn’t back down! When we had cleaned the plate of all but the heads, the chef took them away and brought them back deep fried in tempura. We ate this part as well.

It was all very disturbing, but at the same time, quite delicious.


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