21 Bizarre Asian Delicacies That You'll Either Love or Hate

21 Bizarre Asian Delicacies That You Either Love or Hate

Think you're brave enough to try exotic Asian food? Think again! Here's a list of 21 bizarre Asian delicacies that are proven to test your strong will! Challenge accepted, anyone?

Asia is famous for its friendly people, unique cultures and of course, its food. Apart from the famous sushi, kimchi, Peking duck, Laksa, cendol and so on, there are also some bizarre Asian delicacies that are well-known and acceptable among the locals, but probably not among tourists. If it makes you feel better, some Asians and locals can’t digest them well either. I, for one, don’t think I have the guts for it, except for a few of them.

Consider yourself warned.

1. The King of Fruits, Mr. Durian

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There is a saying, you either hate it or love it for the South East Asian’s King of Fruits – Durian. This thorny fruit smells “weird”. I would not say “stinky” or “bad”, because it could offend those who really love it. The fruit itself is yellowish and has a sweet taste with creamy texture. Try not to focus so much on the smell, and you will surely appreciate this fruit.

2. Kopi Luwak

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Believed to be one of the finest, Kopi Luwak is sold at a very high price. Farmers use Asian palm civet to choose the best beans. How? It is believed that the palm civet will only eat the best coffee beans. The animals eat and excrete the beans, then farmers collect the fine beans from the poop. Yes, you read it right – from the poop!

3. Chicken feet

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This delicacy is famous not only in Asia. Some countries in South America such as Peru and Mexico do love it too. There is really not much meat on the feet, but Asians just love the chewy tendons and the marinated skins.

4. Pig’s blood cubes

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In Malaysia, you can find this in your curry soup noodles. In the Philippines, pig blood cubes are usually skewered or grilled.

5. Century eggs

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A delicacy from China, century eggs come from duck or quail. They are preserved for several months in a saline solution before they are ready to be consumed. The eggs turn black and has a creamy and jelly-like texture. They are best served with pork porridge.

6. Bird’s nest

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One of the most expensive delicacies in Asia, bird’s nest is known for its high contents of calcium, potassium, magnesium, as well as iron. It is collected from the nests built out of the swiftlets’ saliva.

7. Stinky tofu

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Stinky tofu is a famous street food which originated from Taiwan. You can smell stinky tofu a kilometre away but its strong smell does not stop it from becoming famous in other Asian countries. Like durian, you may want to ignore the smell before putting the piece of tofu in your mouth.

8. Natto

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Another fermented soy product, natto is accompanied by a strong, pungent smell just like the stinky tofu. This is a common breakfast served together with steamed white rice in Japan.

9. Drunken shrimp

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Unlike the infamous drunken chicken, drunken shrimp is taken literally. Shrimps are put into strong liquor while they’re still alive and kicking, and when the shrimps are drunk (which could be determined by its slow movement), their heads and shells are taken off, and the wriggling shrimp body goes into your mouth!

10. ‘Live’ octopus tentacles

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How do you know if the seafood is fresh? Well, this delicacy would not lie for sure. Octopus tentacles will usually put up a fight till the end, even after they’re chopped off. You will still see the tentacles dancing on the plate when this South Korean delicacy is served.

11. White ant eggs

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Insects make famous delicacies in South East Asian countries, especially in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. White ant eggs are often cooked with soup together with the baby ants and partial embryos. When the eggs pop in your mouth, it will release a sour flavour. Don’t miss this unique delicacy!

12.  Habu sake

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Habu sake is made by drowning the snakes in a large jar of sake. The snakes’ venom and sake mixture is said to boost the libido of the gentlemen. You can find this in Okinawa, Japan.

13.  Bee larvae (Hachinoko)

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Hachinoko, which simply means honey bee larvae, is said to be full of protein. The larvae are usually seasoned before cooking. With its crunchy texture, Hachinoko is one of the most famous delicacies in Japan.

14.  Wasp cracker

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Wasp cracker is another protein-rich delicacy from Japan. The wasps are boiled in water and then dried. After drying, they are mixed with other ingredients to create the wasp cracker snack.

15. Fried tarantula

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This delicacy was first introduced during the prolonged food shortage in Cambodia under the Khmer Rogue. As years passed, fried tarantulas remain as one of the most famous delicacies in the country. It is said that fried tarantula tastes like a mash-up of chicken and cod.

16.  Beondegi

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‘Beondegi’ simply means “pupa” or silkworms. Paired well with beer, this Korean delicacy is often sold on streets. The silkworms are usually steamed or boiled before they are seasoned.

17. Inago

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Inago is a dish made up of crickets and grasshoppers, often served with a bowl of steamed white rice in Japan. They are usually seasoned with sugar and soy sauce.

18. Basashi, raw horse meat

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Grilled horse meat is a delicacy dish in Sicily, Italy, but the Japanese prefer raw horse meat, also known as Basashi. It is said that the raw horse meat is very high in protein and low in cholesterol and calories. These horse sashimi slices are usually served with vegetables or a bowl of rice.

19. Shirako

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We often see fish roe (eggs) used as sushi toppings. Shirako, which literally means “white children” is the male fish’s sperm sac.

20. Tuna eyes

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Fish eyes are known to have high protein value, and the Japanese will never let them go uneaten. This Japanese delicacy only consists of tuna eyes, described to have a taste like that of a boiled squid.

21.  Balut

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Balut is probably the most gut-wrenching delicacy in this article. It is a delicacy from the Philippines and is made from half-fertilised duck egg – no yolks, only partially developed foetus. The Filipinos often eat the boiled balut eggs with a glass of good beer.

If you’re up for an exotic experience in Asia, dare yourself to try some of these bizarre Asian delicacies.

Contributed by PandaBed.

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