Playlist | Songs for shrimp to fry rice to


“Shrimp Fried Rice at Din Tai Fung, Taipei” by Jun Seita is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Entertainment Team

You walk into a sleepy little Chinese restaurant, not expecting much, just trying to eat. After being on the road for so long, you’ve seen so many of these places and always expect the same: greasy, filling and cheap. It reminds you of home. Your mother would always ask if you wanted Chinese when you got home from school on Fridays. Growing up, you always had the same thing: shrimp fried rice. As an adult your order hardly differs, except when you’re feeling adventurous. 

Today you don’t feel that way, so you have the usual: shrimp fried rice.

What happens from here is not the usual.

When you scoop the rice into your mouth you enter a state of immense bliss. It is unlike anything you’ve eaten before. You’re happier now than at any major milestone of your life. It’s not that you’ve led a sad life, in fact it’s a little above average. It’s just that this rice is so good that it totally eclipses everything else. 

You’re not one to make a scene or a fuss, much of your success can be owed to this, but this moment is different. You rush to the counter, demanding to meet the chef and shake their hand. The guy behind the counter says, “Yeah” and mutters something, but you don’t quite catch it.

You’re led to the back: a typical, if not a little gross, kitchen. You don’t believe your eyes. There is a much-larger-than-normal shrimp standing behind the wok, flipping and frying, unbothered. 

You are filled with questions and doubts, such as but not limited to: Did I slip and fall outside? Are the shrimp in the wok friend or foe of the big shrimp? Is this legal?

But here is the one that sticks with you to this day: The shrimp was wearing headphones. What were they listening to?