China boasts a diverse and delicious cuisine, but it also presents some extreme culinary adventures that can challenge even the most adventurous eaters. Here’s a list of seven extreme foods found in China:
In China, it appears that every part of an animal can be transformed into a dish, including the penis. Some restaurants in Beijing specialize in serving various animal penis dishes, such as lamb, bull, and even dog. Consumers believe that consuming animal penises has various health benefits, including enhancing libido, making it a recommendation for men. Lamb penis, for instance, has a long, thin, and elastic texture with a unique rubbery taste.
Similar to Japan, people in China consider tuna eyeballs a delicacy. They can be consumed either raw or cooked with various seasonings. When cooked, tuna eyeballs change from a transparent appearance to a white color. Many people appreciate the fat and muscle surrounding the eyeball, which is said to be quite tasty.
Another dish featuring animal genitalia in China is chicken testicles. They resemble large white beans and can be boiled or fried. Chicken testicles are known for their tender and soft texture. They are often served with rice or noodles, and in Hong Kong, there is even a hot pot dish featuring chicken testicles. The taste is described as similar to chicken liver.
Street vendors in China frequently offer scorpions as a common snack, often served on skewers. They are typically deep-fried and seasoned with salt and chili. Some say that the taste of fried scorpions resembles crispy nuts with a nutty flavor.
Century eggs, also known as thousand-year-old eggs, are considered an extreme food in China due to their unique preparation process. These eggs are made by preserving chicken or duck eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice straw for several weeks to several months. The result is a dark-colored egg with a strong ammonia-like smell. Century eggs are often served with pickled ginger and are described as having a creamy and slightly salty taste.
While snakes are not commonly consumed in most countries, snake soup is a popular dish in China and Hong Kong. One well-known restaurant for this delicacy is Se Wong Hing in Hong Kong. Snake soup has a thick broth and is made from snake meat, along with ingredients like kikurage mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and ginger. The texture of snake meat is said to be similar to chicken neck, both in appearance and taste.
Stinky tofu is a fermented tofu dish known for its pungent odor. It is made by marinating tofu in a brine made from a mix of fermented milk, vegetables, and meat for a period of time. The tofu develops its characteristic strong smell and is then deep-fried until crispy on the outside while remaining soft on the inside. Despite its strong smell, stinky tofu has a unique and acquired taste that some people find delightful.
These extreme foods in China offer a glimpse into the adventurous side of Chinese cuisine. While they may not be for everyone, they provide a unique culinary experience for those willing to try them.