Monday, August 2, 2010

Pineapple shrimp balls (鳳梨蝦球)

Pineapple shrimp balls (鳳梨蝦球)

In the marriage between Kewpie mayo and fried shrimp, you end up with the glorious union you see above. If you've been to a lot of dim sum places, you've probably seen the fried shrimp balls served with pineapple sauce. These things are usually bright orange in color, crispy and juicy at the same time... they taste freakin' fantastic. This is exactly the same, except instead of the syrup like sauce that ends up everywhere, you have Kewpie mayo in various flavors, which makes this that much better... instantaneously. Gawd I love Kewpie mayo.

The shrimp isn't freshly fried (which is reasonable considering it comes from a cart), but it's still pretty damn good for being fried twice. Mmm, maybe that actually enhances the crust. While the shrimp is nothing to brag about, the sauce is out of this world. Available in flavors (pineapple, mango, mustard, pepper, wasabi, and others!), it's simply Kewpie mayo, which is terrific by itself, and make it into a sweet sauce. The duo of sauce and shrimp is quite a combination, with the savory shrimp complemented perfectly by the tart yet sweet sauce. With the fruit flavored mayo mixes, the taste can only be described as 'delightfully tropical.' You also get a small side of cabbage salad, for the sake of appearing healthy, but no one really cares about that. Or at least I don't.

Pineapple shrimp cart (鳳梨蝦球)

And the cart where I got it (it's in the middle of 臨江夜市). Note all the newspaper clippings... THEY ARE FAMOUS, I think? It's 50 NT ($1.50) for a small order, but I somehow ended up with a large order, and samples of the pineapple, mango, and passion fruit sauces (they all kind of taste the same methinks). I think it's because I looked confused and spoke English, or possibly because I kept shoving my camera in the owner's face. Either way, when you're in Taiwan, speak as much English as possible, and take pictures of all your food. You'll get bigger servings... maybe (or maybe you'll piss someone off... I'm not sure). Either way, even if I didn't get extra food, I'd still consider those 50 NT a worthy investment.


Rodzilla said...

These are probably better than the majority "rock shrimp tempuras" seen in various pan asian restaurants in the US...and about 1/15th of the price. Lucky.

Nicholas said...

I had to look up what 'rock shrimp tempura' was before I realized what you were talking about. Yeah yo, I think the process of double frying (like french fries) just makes the skin that much crispier. Fan-freakin-tastic... and mayo too.

Angus said...

Ive heard so much about Kewpie, but have yet to try it. First chance I get, I shall ingest it.

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