Goong Ten is a delicacy from Thailand that roughly translates as dancing shrimp.
Why? Well because the shrimp are still alive! And I’m sure you’d be fidgeting too if I covered you in sauce and served you to a customer, so don’t judge.
In all seriousness though, this authentic Goong Ten dancing shrimp recipe is a Thai delicacy where the live shrimp are added to a delicious sauce that is prepared and they jump around trying to escape, giving the illusion of dancing.
If you’re brave enough, you can try it from street food vendors in Northern Thai cities such as Chiang Mai.
The dish gives off a beautiful aroma topped only by the surprisingly delicious flavors of the shrimp combined with the sour sauce that packs a nice spicy kick.
Eating Live Dancing Shrimp in Thailand
Clearly one of the strangest foods we’ve found eaten around the globe, its an unbeatable experience to try it right in the heart of Northern Thailand.
If you’re lucky enough to meet Thai locals who will help you prepare the dish yourself, the recipe should look something like this. However, if you’re feeling extra adventurous you can make Dancing Shrimp at home!
- Live freshwater shrimp - 1 cup
- Garlic - 5 cloves
- Chilli - 1 tbsp
- Fish sauce - 3 tbsp
- Red onion - 1
- Cilantro - 1 tbsp
- Lemon grass - 2 tbsp
- Coriander - 2 tbsp
- The juice of a lime
- Spring onion - 3
- Mint leaves - 5
- Basil - 2 leaves
- Wash the shrimp under cold water to make sure they are clean.
- Make your spicy sauce by mixing your fish sauce, chilli, garlic, lime juice and lemon grass.
- Stir well until the sauce is fully mixed.
In the meantime, chop your red onion, spring onion, cilantro, coriander and mint leaves to make a salad.
- Add the sauce to your chopped salad and mix well.
- Now comes the fun part - put your freshwater shrimp into a large pot that has a lid to ensure they don't escape.
- Quickly open the lid and pour in your sauce/salad mix before putting the lid back on, hopefully with none escaping!
- Shake the pot well to make sure the shrimp are completely covered with the sauce.
Serve with a sprinkling of basil.
And if you find yourself in Northern Thailand, Nomadic Notes has some excellent local guides that will help you find your way around the local culture and things to do. I would highly recommend using Bookaway to get around due to their prices and high standards – book your transportation tickets here.
Photo credit: Tom Greese