Authentic Chinese food is notoriously bizarre (to put it mildly) and anything that has four legs is apparently fair game. Thus, in honor of the impending Chinese New Year, we decided to list some of the most bizarre Chinese dishes that will make you reach for the paper bag and not the neighborhood Chinese takeout menu. So, next time you embark on an epicurean adventure in the streets of China, remember the wise wise Cantonese saying; “Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven, is edible.”
Disclaimer: Walyou isn’t responsible for you turning into a Vegan after this article.
Sheep Penis On A Stick
Can be sampled in Wangfujing Street, in Beijing, and no it’s not supposed to be aphoristic.
Another special treat found in the crowded hungry streets of Wangfujing.
Chicken Doodle Soup
Chicken soup is good for the soul, but not if it’s made out of the penis of a rooster.
The Chinese believe that snake meat helps to increase the libido and cure hair loss. No doubt, a man came up with this dish.
Shark Fin Soup
A controversial dish, this soup can be found in Hong Kong and most parts of China.
Talk about ruining a legendary dessert. Turtle Jelly is supposed to have medicinal properties and is usually served like a jelly like soup.
Next time, you have a craving for something wrinkled and crunchy, order a plate of chicken feet.
Bird’s Nest Soup
As you guessed it, the soup is literally made from a bird’s nest, specifically the swiftlet, which is a Southeast Asian bird that uses its saliva to create its nest (that positively upped the gross factor further).
One really needs to be drunk to eat this, as it requires them biting the head off the shrimp, while it is still alive.
Thousand Year Old Eggs
No they are not that old, but are meant to look like that. Thousand Year Old Eggs are duck eggs that are preserved in a mixture of salt and ash for more than three months. Believed to bring good luck (and not indigestion), they are extremely popular in Chinese New Year celebrations.
“Three Squeaks” is a literal translation of a popular Chinese dish and is made of newly born mice. This dish is quite popular in the Guangdong (Canton) Provence and is usually wrapped in seaweed before serving.
Preserved Dogs in China
The most disturbing dish out there and the dog lover in me just wants to keel over and throw up.
It’s not just the Chinese who fancy this, since it’s quite popular in Japan as well.
Why cook it, when you can eat it raw?
When it comes to their food, the south region of China doesn’t like any money business (pardon the pun). The monkeys are drugged first, and then their heads are ripped apart, while they are still alive.
We like honey as the next person, but bee larva takes it to a whole new level. The larva is fried and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Jellied Duck Blood
If you fancy innards of a duck topped with some piping hot blood, then you know what to order next time you are in China.
A popular dish in China’s Guangdong Province, one gets to choose the rat before it meets its maker.
Wine connoisseurs beware, as even they won’t be able to tell the properties of this bizarre wine. To make this rare wine, venomous snakes are preserved in a bottle, and then their venom is denatured by ethanol, before serving it.
The Chinese seem to have a particular fondness of brains and heads. The Pig’s Head comes with ears, eyeballs, the tongue and the cheeks and is supposed to increase one’s IQ.
Very popular in Hong Kong, the tongue is usually served with celery and is their take on good old chips.
The Chinese claim that they can “eat anything with legs that’s not a table and anything that flies that’s not an airplane” and we believe them. Do tell us what is the most exotic or weird thing you have put in your mouth and did you relish it or throw up?