If you have the urge to sink your teeth into some weird foods that are not-so-unheard-of gastronomic delights in some parts of the world, there’s probably no better place to head to than Hong Kong. Check out our list of the top ten creepiest delicacies that you can find in vibrant Hong Kong.
The city has plenty of unusual delicacies that locals love to savour, while some that are borrowed from mainland Chinese cuisine are known to creep out even the locals!
One of Hong Kong's most sought-after delicacies 'Bird's Nest Soup' is a jellylike mix of chicken broth and the saliva of a type of bird called 'swiftlet'! Swiftlets create their nests using their saliva. After the bird has left it, the nest is harvested to make the soup. The strange ingredient is believed to have immense health benefits.
While customers at a handful of Hong Kong restaurants can choose a slithering python or cobra from a cage, to be sliced or shredded for various delicacies including the popular snake soup, most of the city's snake meat is today transported from China frozen. Many people who have eaten this exotic meat say it tastes a lot like chicken.
There's not too much reason to fret. The 'century-egg' or '1000-year-old egg', which are Chinese delicacies are not really a hundred or thousand years old. These, which can be either duck or quail eggs, are buried and cured in a mixture that usually includes clay, sand and salt for anywhere ranging from a few weeks to a few months. The insides melt into what resembles jelly. The shell turns brownish black, and the yolk dark green. The strong and distinct smell is an acquired taste to say the least, but locals love these eggs, which can be bought from street vendors around the city, and is often added in noodle dishes.
Although people are divided about whether or not it is considered "weird" to eat pigeon meat, Hong Kong is known for its pigeon preparation including deep-fried and roast pigeon, and tourists who try these absolutely love them.
Hong Kong is known for its pigeon preparation including deep-fried and roast pigeon, and tourists who try these absolutely love them.
Testicles of animals and birds are eaten in many parts of the world. Chicken testicles appear on restaurant menus quite commonly in Hong Kong. The testicles can be cooked in a variety of ways - they may be boiled, sauteed, fried whole, or prepared like sausages - soft inside. They could be served with rice, noodles or in a broth. Chicken testicles are generally scalded, skinned and soaked in cold water before they are cooked.
Chicken testicles appear on restaurant menus quite commonly in Hong Kong.
Chicken claws or feet are used commonly in mainland Chinese cuisine and are quite readily available in Hong Kong. They are served as a beer snack, cold dish, soup or main dish. In Hong Kong, they are typically deep fried and steamed first before being stewed and simmered with an option of sauces. If you want to brew up some claws yourself, they are also available vacuum packed!
Although slimy and rubbery, sea slugs are considered a delicacy in Hong Kong. It is sometimes eaten fried, or could be prepared any other way and accompanied with noodles or rice and with a sauce.
Although slimy and rubbery, sea slugs are considered a delicacy in Hong Kong.
Donkey meat is another rare delicacy borrowed from mainland China, and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
Water beetles, water roaches, meal worms, and other kinds of creepy-crawlies, although not devoured commonly by locals, are eaten by the mainland Chinese and tourists at a few select restaurants in Hong Kong.
Although this Chinese delicacy is not commonly found in Hong Kong, it is available in a small number of restaurants. The bee cocoons are always imported from China dead and packaged. They are mostly served fried, and some who have eaten them say they are a bit like French fries!
Much to the ire of animal conservationists, turtle jelly soup and shark fin soup are other delicacies commonly available in Hong Kong. However, their high consumption in China and Hong Kong has contributed to the numbers of these creatures dwindling tremendously. A combination of coffee and tea made to the proportion of one-third coffee and two-thirds of milky tea is also commonplace in Hong Kong. Indeed you may squint your disapproval in Hong Kong if you are asked "coffee or tea" with no third option called 'Yuenyueng'! Other strange concoctions may contain things like snake bile and terrible-tasting herbs, which are used for medicinal purposes.
If you intend to try some really unusual cuisine in Hong Kong, do plan ahead of time. Restaurants that offer crawlies and the like usually require reserving a table well in advance. Don't forget to budget enough cash for these types of meals as well. You will get the best rates for HKD at DoorstepForex.com