Friday food fight: Scorpions on a stick

By Jim Boyce

If nothing else, food and wine pairing makes for fun research.

Friday food fight: Scorpions on a stick

To this end, I will post a photo of a Chinese dish every week in the hope that readers will suggest a wine pairing (or two).

Call it the Friday food fight.

Of course, I’ll post photos of well-known favorites such as Peking duck, Sichuan chicken, and dim sum, but first up is the delicacy that gets tourist cameras clicking – scorpions on a stick.


To be honest, because I pledged today on my nightlife blog to monitor foreign scorpion-on-a-stick coverage during the Olympics and thus this is the only photo I have handy.

I’m dedicating this feature to Singapore-based Ch’ng Poh-Tiong, publisher of The Wine Review and founder of the International Congress of Chinese Cuisine and Food. The ICCCW met in Beijing in May for its first conference and I’ll soon have a (very belated) write-up about a weekend spent searching for good wine-Chinese food matches.

(Photo: MH)

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  1. I had the scorpion on a stick in Beijing last month just because I was there and so were the scorpions. This is the one time I would recommend Bai Jiu in a very large plastic cup prior to chomping on these critters!

  2. @ Frederick,

    If that wine tastes like soil, then I bet even the scorpions would like it.

    @ Simon,

    That’s what I was thinking – something to cut that Scorpion grease!

    @ Adam,

    Or both?

    Cheers, Jim

  3. Nice picture, I have had scorpions on a stick few times around different parts of China. I have to say other than the crunchy texture, it does not have much taste. So I will pair it with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
    High acidity to cut the oil (mostly deep fried)
    Lovely aromatics and intense fruit concentrations to complement the lack in flavors of the scorpions

  4. I think I have a good pairing for scorpions, a pairing that I experimented myself not a long time ago! I ate 5 delicious scorpions, very crunchy, they tasted like roasted chicken…My best proposed pairing for them is a French wine, a red Costieres de Nimes (extreme south of Rhone Valley), with 90% Syrah and 10% Black Grenache. The name of the wine is: Terre des Chardons Marginal. It is a bio wine (organic wine), with very strange flavours and aromas, completly different from any other Syrah. It has earthy, smoky and animal notes (leather), it tastes like soil, really like if you were putting your nose on the winemaker soil! I believe that the “animal” taste of this unusual wine makes it a very good friend of the scorpions and so a very good pairing! Santé!

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