For the intrepid fly by the seat of their pants traveler there can be nothing more rewarding than showing your respect to Asian culture by sampling the local cuisine, something that is easy and enjoyable to do when it is a mouth watering peking duck, or a spicy pork adobo, but what about when its slightly more on the whacky and disgusting side? Well we’ve compiled our 5 favorite/least favorite disgusting foods of Asia.
5) Scorpion, Beijing, China
A good old tried and tested one for anyone that has been to Beijing, go to Wangfujing Market and sample an insect on a stick. In fact even if you don’t fancy one hawkers will be pushing them in your face until you eventually try one. How to describe this delicacy? Well a scorpion has no meat, its just a shell, and the shell is the vehicle for the sauce, and the sauce tastes like marmite caught Ebola and West Nile Virus. Use your brain and don’t eat the stinger.
4) Cocoon, Southern China
Unless you flunked biology you will know that the caterpillar wriggles about, turns into a cocoon, then jumps out of it to be a beautiful and majestic butterfly, or an ugly and annoying moth, so when the notoriously open minded to food people of Guangdong were thinking up their next culinary abortion they decided that moth cocoon sounded like a great idea. I was told that it tasted like egg joke. I like egg joke. This did not taste, or smell like egg yolk. It tasted and smelt like what a dog had done, a week ago, you know when its white and flakey. Yeah.
3) Fried Tarantula, Cambodia
Whilst the first question that springs to mind when seeing something such as fried tarantula on a menu is WHY WHY WHY????? It is worth remembering that from 1975-79 Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were having one of the strangest communist parties in history, and that country suffered from a severe famine. As the phrase goes if a man is thirsty enough he will drink piss, and clearly if he’s hungry enough he will throw a huge spider in the deep fat friar. “Dealers” sell them for 12 cents each other and they are then sold to customers for 25 cents. Travel writers have said it tastes like soft shell crab. It doesn’t it tastes like a tarantula that has been deep fried.
2) Balut, The Philippines
Theres a big reason there are Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese restaurants around the world and not Filipino ones, and that is that their main culinary hall of famer is balut. To describe what balut is, here is a simple recipe, “To prepare a balut egg, you take a developing duck embryo and boil it alive. First, the broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg. Then, the shell is peeled, and the yolk and young chick inside can be eaten”. Salivating yet? Whilst the hot sauce is quite pleasant the feeling of feathers, beak and brains as you chow down is quite gut wrenching.
1) THE Snake shot, Vietnam
When a mate asks you “do you want a snake shot”? The polite answer is always yes. I have previously had many a disgusting snake shot, where the snake and the liquor merely live in harmony in a big bottle together, but there is another much more hardcore take on things. A shot is poured with space left at the top. A snakes head is chopped off, blood is drained into the shot glass, the beating heart is cut out, you put the heart on your tongue and chase it with the shot. The blood tastes like blood, and a still beating heart makes you feel like Hannibal Lectar. Apparently its “good for the man”, but I challenge anyone to get a boner after that.
Dog, North and South Korea
The age old controversial one. On the western corner we think that dogs are our friends, and its cruel to eat them, whilst on the Korean side they just think it tastes great. It really does taste great, hence why it didn’t make the list.