The Reach To Teach Asia Food Challenge
Asia, a culinary world of flavor and creativity with dishes that can make some western dishes look like a piece of cardboard. Here’s a list of some of the most exotic and interesting foods from around Asia.
How adventurous are you in your culinary adventures? Check out some of these strange and delightful dishes on offer in the countries that our teachers are placed in. Let’s see how many on the list you have tried!
1. Stinky Tofu – You will know when you are within 10 meters of a stinky tofu place. It lives up to its name. It is basically tofu that has been left in a brine to ferment for several months, creating an extremely strong odor which doesn’t always sit well with the western olfactory system.
6. Braised meat and organs on a stick – These stands can be found in any night market where there’s food. From squid to chicken testicles to ducks tongue, basically if it’s a popular meat and you can put it on a stick they will BBQ it!
7. Hot Pot – If you come to Taiwan you have to go for hot pot. You cook your own food in a boiling broth at your table. You select what you want to eat from the all-you-can-eat station and cook it at your table. This can include frogs, congealed duck blood, chicken testicles, smoked shark, and fungus, amongst a selection of things that are more suited to the western palate. The best part? Unlimited Haagen Dazs ice cream for dessert.
8. Rooster Testicles – They are bigger than you might think. This fine Taiwanese delicacy is popularly found in Snake Alley, but you can also find them in hot pot restaurants. Once you bite through that outer membrane the inside has a soft texture to it, similar to tofu.
10. Dog Meat – In the west this is probably the most well known weird food that China has to offer. You can find this pooch in your soups, hot pots, stir fry’s, and just about anything that the other meats can go into. It’s said to be a very tasty meat, once you get the image of the family dog out of your head.
13. Century egg – Also known as Pi Dan, this is basically a rotten egg. Century eggs are left for so long to rot that the yolk turns into a black/green color whilst the white of the egg turns into a green jelly.
17. Black chicken – That’s right, it is a black chicken. Prized for being healthier than its regular chicken cousin. It can be found in soups, rice, and pretty much anything a regular chicken can be found in.
18. Hongeo – Also known as fermented skate. Hongeo is particularly smelly due to the fact that skate, unlike other fish, do not urinate. Instead, it passes its uric acid through its skin, which smells a lot like ammonia when fermented. Yum!
21. Sannakji– Brace yourselves, this is live octopus. Taken from its tank it is gutted and chopped up and served, with the tentacles still moving. Danger warning: chew the tentacles thoroughly; the suckers still work and can even kill if not chewed down.
22. Gaebul – These pink pieces of meat are served to you on a plate, and on second glance you notice they are moving. That’s because they are alive, they are live spoon worms. Tasty, and safer to eat than the live octopus, but it looks like something from a sci-fi movie.
Have you eaten any strange foods in Asia? Let us know. We’d love to add it to our Asia Food Challenge!