|Shrimp on the grill at Shin Chon Garden|
Shrimp -- either mild or spicy -- are served in a tin-foil tray and then cooked in a bubbling sauce. This has always been one of the choices on Shin Chon's barbecue menu, but we hadn't tried it even after years of ordering beef and pork. We went a few months ago to celebrate a birthday, and the table of Shin Chon regulars wanted to branch out -- but didn't want to try octopus.
The shrimp turned out to be a terrific alternative. Our spicy order had some serious kick, and most of the flavor came from the red-pepper-heavy sauce.
That's a bright, peppy flavor after we and friends had knocked off orders of brisket and pork belly. We wrapped some shrimp in the same lettuce wraps that are part of Korean BBQ 101. Then I just snatched shrimp with chopsticks and ate them alone.
Shin Chon is one of my top restaurants in Howard County. I love the food, and I love the atmosphere. It's incredibly social to sit with your friends and a table covered with panchan and barbecue that you can sample at will. I posted Korean BBQ 101 instructions so that anyone can try. Now the shrimp lets you try even more.
I still want to try the octopus and some other dishes that Andrew Zimmern and Richard Gorelick explored. Although that sounds exotic, I promise that Korean is really accessible -- especially because you get a table of dishes that you can explore. There are options for all kinds of palates including vegetarians, although I think Shin Chon will be most-exciting to folks with some love for meat and spice. Check out all the HowChow posts about Shin Chon.