The Rice Table
Asia delights! Exotic, hot & sensational FOOD!

The Rice Table » Lists » You name it, We eat it!

You name it, We eat it!

  • Nov 27, 2011
Well, almost! Yes, it is a culture shock for many but is it really as a result of cultural differences?
I'm not too sure. I think a big part of it originated out of necessity while another, yes, culture.
Civilizations as old as China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia "evolved" and with the explosion of population in these countries, a lot of the living becomes food sources.

So, what are these? Most mentioned here will not be found on the dining tables in Europe or America but they are quite commonly eaten by the Asians. See if you can stomach these, my guess is most in America can't ;-)

(This list is not in any particular order.)
1
Pigeon (or Squab)
Yes, the Chinese eat them by the millions! Roasted pigeon is one of my favorite food! Yum! I've not come across any western cuisine serving this dish although in Macau, it's also a big favorite. Is it due to the Portuguese influence? No, I doubt it. 
 
Some think pigeons are too cute to be eaten. For me, if you haven't try any, you've absolutely no idea how good they taste! Definitely a must try!


2
Goose
Yes, another favorite of the Chinese people. In fact, like the pigeons, it's deemed to be a delicacy. It's also best when roasted. Yung Kee in Hong Kong is the all time favorite of tourists to Hong Kong although it can be eaten in many other restaurants. As far as I know, geese are also served during Christmas in the U.S. but I haven't tried it there before so I've absolutely no idea how good they are!


3
Chicken Feet, Duck Webs, Frog Legs
Yes, many Asian cuisines serve them as snacks and food. Chicken Feet in the Cantonese cuisine can be found in Dim Sum and also soups. The Thai love theirs hot and spicy and normally eat them as appetizers. No matter how you serve it, Asians are game for it.

 
Duck webs are most served in the Cantonese cuisine with fish maws, sea cucumber or abalones. Highly expensive!

 
Frogs and bullfrogs. Yes, they are delicious if you know how to cook them! I like mine fried, especially frog legs! Stir fried is great too. What do they taste like? More tender than chicken and extremely delicious!

 
Gross, you think? Well, wait till you get to the next one!

 

4
Offal
Personally, I think Europeans are more adventurous when it comes to food. Americans are mostly content with their hot dogs and hamburgers. Naturally, there are those who like steaks too. Offals, if you're adventurous, are awesome! Personally, I love them, be it cooked the Chinese way, Indonesian way or the Argentinian (BBQ) way!
 
So, what kind of offals? 
For a start, Chinese eat the kidneys, livers, stomachs, intestines, gizzards, tripes, hearts, tongues, ears and even testicles! From chickens', pigs' and cows' mostly. 
Don't be surprised if you find the Japanese loving "their' tongues! The Thais and Vietnamese eat them too and at times have the pigs' ears pickled. You can find them in some of the Vietnamese supermarkets in Chinatown in the U.S. and canada if you're curious and want to have a go at them.

 
The Scottlish eat them the Haggis way, if I'm not mistaken. French have their Foie Gras and Pate but they are mostly from liver. There are also ham made of tongues. 
 
But in general, you won't find offals on the table of most western cuisines. Imagine my surprise when I found them in Poland in the form of Beef tripe soups! That felt like home!
 
If you're curious, yes, I've tried them all. Cow's and Pig's brain is absolutely gourmet and if you like bone marrows, you'll like it. I've tried cow's brain curry in Indonesia and Pig's brain soup in Singapore. In fact, Pig's organs soup is something that many Singaporeans eat on a daily basis!

5
Snail
Recently, I found some Canadian whelks in the supermarkets in Hong Kong. So, I'm assuming they are exporting what they don't eat. Snails of other types are quite commonly cooked with hot chillis in China and Indonesia. These are the smaller river snails. 
 
Do the Americans eat them? I don't think so unless it's in the form of Escargot ;-)


6
Turtle
This is a delicacy and it's not cheap to eat them in Asia. The Sichuan cuisine does a lot of turtle and also some country like Singapore and Malaysia serve the turtle 
 
soup. They are a delicacy and also an acquired taste. I had seen my grandma cooked it when I was a child and it's quite a horrifying experience. However, it tastes 
 
awesome. I'm not exactly sure how exactly are they killed before they are cooked though. It could just be as bad a case as the shark's fin! All I remembered was the 
 
turtle was thrown into a boiling pot of water! So, for those who keep them as pets, well, I'm sorry, this is not something for you!This is a delicacy and it's not cheap to eat them in Asia. The Sichuan cuisine does a lot of turtle and also some country like Singapore and Malaysia serve the turtle 
This is a delicacy and it's not cheap to eat them in Asia. The Sichuan cuisine does a lot of softshell turtles and also some countries like Singapore and Malaysia serve the turtle soup. They are a delicacy and also an acquired taste. I had seen my grandma cooked it when I was a child and it's quite a horrifying experience. However, it tastes awesome. I'm not exactly sure how exactly are they killed before they are cooked though. Probably knocked them out on the head! Or, it could just be as bad a case as the shark's fin! All I remembered was the turtle was thrown into a boiling pot of water! So, for those who keep them as pets, well, I'm sorry, this is not something for you!


7
The Soup
Well, many people in Hong Kong are now boycotting this delicacy as the way of removing those fins are just too cruel for many to stomach. The Chinese in mainland China are not and when it comes to wedding dinners, the restaurants still serve them without fail. So, if you ask me, I've no idea how to reconcile that. What I am sure is the Chinese in China are still eating them as it's a delicacy that they can only afford in recent years. The argument is the same as those of polluting the environment. They think it's finally their turn and the world is telling them not to do so? Well, you must be kidding...

This dish is also served in Thailand and many parts of South East Asia.


8
Eel
Eel
This is not something you'd find on the tables of restaurants in America or Europe either. At least I won't be thinking of eating eel when I was in Europe or America. 
 
The Japanese love eels though and it's almost like sashimi and sushi, it's served in any Japanese restaurants. The Cantonese love their eels as well.


9
Snake
Now, would you eat snake? I would. They are delicious especially in the winter. Served mostly as soup in Chinese restaurants in Toronto and Hong Kong. I haven't tried any in China but I'm sure there are many restaurants serving it too. In Thailand, snake is slit alive and its blood mixed with wine to be drank by the courageous. I tried it once when in my younger days. It simply taste like wine and one feels really hot after drinking it. Also, snake's blood is supposed to be great for one's skin!
 
There is also snake wine in which the snake is infused in a bottle of rice wine. It's a form of traditional Chinese medicine and can be found in Vietnam, China and many S.E.Asian countries. Some said it's the ancient Viagra! 


10
Fish Head
Well, I know quite a few Americans who don't eat fish when it is served as a whole fish with its head intact. Why? You've to ask them. Some only eat fish fillet. I love my fish, regardless if it comes with fish head or not. But, fish head as a dish? Well, you'll only find this in Asia. In china, especially the Sichuan and Hunan (Xiang) cuisine, fish head is a common and popular dish. It's steamed with hot chillis, both the red and green type. Make sure you can take hot food before you even try this one. It can be super hot!


In South East Asia, Fish Head is often cooked in curry and is also highly popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Assam Fish Head is my favorite over in that part of the world!


What did you think of this list?

Helpful
18
Thought-Provoking
18
Fun to Read
15
Well-Organized
18
Post a Comment
January 20, 2012
Fascinating article. As a travel fanatic I have eaten many different food. Peru has one of the most fascinating menu's of any place I have visited. Cuy (guinea pig), anticoucho (braised beef heart) were two of my favorites.
 
November 30, 2011
I'm American with no Asian background and I'd eat all but the feet, shark fin (it's irresponsible) & turtle (out of respect for the creature). Goose & squab have been common enough throughout European and American history - squab is still very popular in France & Italy, plus you can easily find them at upscale markets here in the USA like Bristol Farms. Eel was my gateway fish to sushi and still a favorite and I am a huge fan of gizzards - they're actually a staple of midcentury American Continental cuisine when the wars were on and every bit of the animal counted. You can find my favorite dish, lamb kidney Turbigo, at Musso & Frank, Hollywood's oldest restaurant. Not all Americans are content with "hot dogs and hamburgers"
 
November 30, 2011
I've had turtle, goose, I love frog legs and I had a small taste of eel. But the turtle I had didn't have it's whole body in the pan as in your picture or else I wouldn't have eaten it. I had a goose sandwich and it was good, eel I didn't like. The best appetizer I've ever tried was alligator tail at a restaurant - absolutely delicious! I wouldn't try the pigeon if it still has it's poor head on it like in the picture. Great list!
 
November 29, 2011
I would try the pigeon. I have a friend from Guatemala and they apparently eat pigeon down there. It's supposed to be really good.
 
November 29, 2011
where is soup # 5? beautiful list!
 
November 29, 2011
I've tried all but two items on this list -- the duck web, and the turtle. I didn't even know that duck web was a delicacy, but I'm really not surprised! And fish heads -- LOVE IT. Have you had a fish head hot pot meal before? Pretty amazing. Great list, Sharrie!
November 29, 2011
turtle is good.
November 29, 2011
I hear it tastes like chicken :P
November 29, 2011
It almost does. I wonder where soup # 5 is in this list? :P
November 29, 2011
I've never had #5 as a soup before, but as a dish with sauce, I've had it several times before at Chung King Restaurant on Jackson in Chinatown ;)
 
November 28, 2011
Cool list! Though I've found #s 2,4,5 and 8 on tables or restaurants in America, so I don't necessarily agree that Americans are only content with their hot dogs, burgers and the occasional steak. That's a bit generalistic but, these may not be as common as in Asia. Shark Fin ANYTHING is illegal, though I know they used to serve it in Hawaii (they may still do so, I haven't been there in decades!).
November 28, 2011
Great! I must have gone to the more common restaurants then! Are these items served in ethnic restaurants or traditional American cuisine's?
November 28, 2011
Traditional American is hard to define because there's been so many different stages of American cuisine...from the beginning to now. Goose is prob the easiest to find outside of an "ethnic" place. I've mostly found the others through dining exploration in big cities and hole in the walls.
 
1
About the list creator
Sharrie ()
Ranked #1
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
The Rice Table is part of the Lunch.com Network - Get this on your site
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists