When traveling to a new country, you can expect 100% you’ll be encountering strange foods that you’ve never seen nor heard of before. You’d expect unlikely animals will pop up on the menu which piques your interest (or not). If you want to challenge your taste buds, the best recommendation is to head to Asia. Focus your efforts on Kowloon, Hong Kong where there’s an abundance of dishes you never thought are edible. So prepare yourself in learning more about foods you may (or may not) be interested in trying!
It comes without saying that when you read the words Chicken Feet on a menu, your stomach churns. When served, chicken feet can be served deep fried or boiled; you can spot the wrinkly limb on your dish which indeed, challenges your thought process and taste buds. It’s a form of delicacy in Hong Kong and in other parts of Asia. Stirring up the guts to try it is one thing. In fact, chicken feet aren’t so bad when it’s super crunchy. You forget that you’re eating feet. It’s one of the dishes that taste better than it looks. Really.
Of course when it comes to chicken, you can be sure you can eat almost every part of the chicken, including its fabulous testicles. Yes, many Hong Kong restaurants serve Chicken Testicles as a part of their delectable menu. The testicles, like the feet, are boiled or fried and are served with noodles, rice or even broth. Maybe it’s better if you ate this dish with your eyes closed. Well, it can be worse if you’re in Mongolia and they serve you fresh sheep testicles which in fact, are considered an honorary privilege. Either way, try at your own risk and a possible case of stomach rebellion.
Another popular dish in Asia and especially in Hong Kong is the Birds Nest Soup. Sounds gross? Yes. Edible? Totally. Birds nest soup is famed for providing you with many health benefits such as: Increasing libido, improving your voice, alleviating asthma, improved focus and an overall boost to the immune system. Whether you believe this or not is up to you when you take a moment to think that birds nest soup is made out of spit. That’s right: Swiftlet (a type of bird) spit to be precise. If you’re planning on trying this out, make note that birds nest soup is not a cheap dish to come by.
Diverting away from feathered friends, Hong Kong is famously known for Snake Soup. You’ve probably seen snakes shoved in bottles in some form or other as they are believed to contain medicinal properties. How about snakes in a pot or frying pan? They say snakes taste like chicken. Snake soup is a not-to-be-missed dish during the winter months of Hong Kong. It’s considered a gourmet dish. The best way to eat this is literally choosing the snake you want to eat in downtown Kowloon and watch it go on the infamous chopping block or blatantly, death row. Of course, you won’t be witnessing it being chopped into tiny pieces but the end result is a soup with shredded snake meat. Caution: If you don’t have the stomach for it, don’t pick a snake and send it to death row! Save a snake!
Last but not least, the most untasteful menu available is Sea Slugs. There is no way you can say, “Hey, this taste like chicken,” because it doesn’t. Sea slugs are soft, rubbery and slimy. Beginners should try fried sea slug, which takes away the slippery texture of the animal. Usually, sea slugs are served on rice with sauce or laid out on noodles. Like snake soup, if you don’t have the heart or guts for it, don’t force yourself to eat it. Save a sea slug!
If you’re adventurous, try out these dishes are your own discretion. There’s a possibility that the smell and textures may either turn you off or entice you to try more. Of course, that’s the entire point of trying new things in a foreign country, right? There’s still a whole lot more of dishes to try in Kowloon so take this as your first stepping stone into discovering Kowloon’s gourmet meals!
Cooking and photographing food has been Cindy Loy’s passion since she was around 10 years old. With her love-knows-no-bounds passion for food blogging, Cindy travels to Kowloon, Hong Kong to challenge her stomach with exotic dishes. Her lastest venture took her to The Square where she photographs images of the latest seafood dishes by well-reowned chefs.