Atypical Asian cuisine: unusual dishes to try!

Cuisine atypique asiatique : les plats insolites à essayer!

Asian cuisine is very varied and appreciated around the world. Tasting this cuisine is a great way to familiarize yourself with this culture. On the other hand, several Asian dishes turn out to be unusual and confusing. here are some unusual asian dishes To try.

atypical asian cuisine

The hundred year old eggs

The hundred year old eggs are highly regarded in China. They of course require preparation carried out by expert hands. The egg has been stored for a very long time (100 years, according to legend) in a mixture of salt, ash and lime mud. This mud is often replaced by boiling water in which the egg is immersed for a month.

At the end of this period, the egg changes appearance and color. The yolk turns blue-green and the egg white turns black. Although the odor is unpleasant, close to that of sulfur and ammonia, the 100-year-old egg is known for its excellent flavor, which would resemble that of creamy cheese. It can be chicken, duck or quail eggs.

The hundred-year-old egg dates back to Ming dynasty. It is the Westerners, considering the appearance of the egg, that gave it its name of the hundred year old egg.

The smelly tofu

Despite its uninviting name, smelly tofu is renowned for its great taste. The smelly tofu, or sweet cabbage, is fermented in brine of dried shrimp. Pork intestines or goose blood are added to the preparation. The mixture creates a strong odor that must be ignored to enjoy the dish. Tofu is made from soy milk. It is eaten all over Asia, including China, Japan and Cambodia.

There is an equally fragrant modern version of the smelly tofu. It is fermented in a brine of amaranth, bamboo shoots, mustard leaves and various types of herbs. Smelly tofu can be steamed or broiled. It can also be fried. We usually make holes to insert sauce. It is often stuffed with puffed rice.

Drunken prawns

This atypical Chinese dish is very easy to prepare since you only need to soak the live shrimp in alcohol, then devour them raw. They are sometimes steamed before being soaked in alcohol, so they are not always alive. They are prepared differently depending on which region of China you are in.

The swallow's nest

The dish called swallow's nest is actually made from the swift's nest. It is a luxury, rare and appreciated dish in China. It is often served as a dessert or as a sweet soup. It is also served as wine. The difficulty in collecting nests makes this dish even more valuable.

Swifts build their nests from mucus which is considered excellent for health. He would strengthen the bones and have healing effects. It is often served for special occasions. Its flavor is not particularly pronounced. It is considered to be served more for the prestige it brings than for its good taste. Formerly reserved for the nobles, it was considered by the emperors as a kind of fountain of youth that delayed aging.

The nest is cleaned and the feathers removed by soaking in lukewarm water. It should be cooked for about three hours in boiling water. The nest then breaks down into white fibers that are used for various dishes. It is frequently prepared with beans or lotus nuts.

Chicken feet

The Chinese are used to collecting all parts of animals for their consumption. Chicken feet are one of the popular Chinese menus. They are popular across much of Asia. In China, they are sold packaged in supermarkets and grocery stores. Their price is quite high due to the high demand.

Chicken feet are served as a snack. They can also be consumed with an aperitif. Crunchy to the bite, they are nibbled informally between meals. Chicken feet can also be boiled in soup or marinated. In Hong Kong, they are mostly steamed, which causes them to swell. They are then simmered in a flavored sauce.

The tuna eye

Rich in fat, tuna eye is mostly eaten in Japan. Rather difficult to chew since it is full of cartilage. His off-putting appearanceand its gooey texture must be topped to savor the taste. Despite these drawbacks, its taste would be similar to that of squid. Preparing the tuna eye is very simple: it is boiled and seasoned before serving as is.

Tuna Eye can be found in most Japanese supermarkets and grocery stores.

The fried tarantula

The fried tarantula is particularly popular in Cambodia. It is eaten there regularly. They say its taste is somewhere between cod and chicken. Its popularity with tourists and locals alike is causing its demise. It is indeed increasingly rare. It is often soaked in hot oil seasoned with salt, garlic and sugar. It goes well with beer.

Its massive consumption dates back to the end of the last century, when it prevented famine. It has become a familiar staple of street food.

Dog soup

dog soup

Dog vegetable soup is a traditional Korean dish. It is usually eaten with rice balls and vegetables. The smell of dog meat is a bit strong, so we add shiso, an aromatic plant. This soup is said to help withstand the heat. It is therefore mainly consumed in summer. It also seems that dog meat gives you a lot of energy. Its taste would be comparable to that of beef or mutton.

Dog soup is made with scallion and a paste made from fermented beans. Recognizing the dog's place elsewhere in the world, Seoul city officials banned restaurateurs from using it during the 1988 Olympics so as not to inconvenience foreigners.

Sea cucumber

Contrary to what its name suggests, sea cucumber is not a vegetable but a small marine animal from the starfish family. It is its globular shape that has earned it this name. It is easy to find all over Asia, where it is considered a delicacy. It is expensive and is served in upscale restaurants. It is served during important events, such as Chinese New Year.

Chinese medicine has long used it for its therapeutic properties. It is even credited with aphrodisiac properties. Its commercial fishery dates back a millennium. Its consumption is therefore part of the tradition. It is prepared in different ways. It can be boiled, fried, pickled or dried. It is also found in soup.

Puffer fish

The consumption of pufferfish in Japan is particularly impressive and surprising since it is a fish which can be fatal. This is because most pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, which can kill instantly and for which there is no antidote yet. Experienced Japanese chefs, however, know how to remove the poison and the result is that they serve a dish known for its flavor, even if some find it a bit bland.

In Japan, a state license is required to prepare and serve pufferfish. In the past, the emperor and the samurai were not allowed to eat it for safety reasons. Even today, it is still not possible to serve pufferfish to the Emperor. It is served in very thin slices.

The balut

Consumption of balut is widespread in Asia, especially in the Philippines, China, Vietnam and Cambodia. This is a duck egg or chicken with a pre-formed fetus. It is steamed. It is often served with beer. It is attributed aphrodisiac properties.

Fans like to season it with salt, but also with chilli or vinegar. The broth that forms around the fetus can be drunk before the egg is peeled. Its appearance can be off-putting, especially when it comes to a duck, as its shapes can be clearly distinguished with its head, beak, legs and feathers. Filipinos are particularly fond of balut. They moderate their consumption to avoid cholesterol.

Fried insects

Several types of insects are edible and consumed regularly throughout Asia. In Thailand, among others, one prepares in particular silkworms, breaded scorpions or crickets rolls. Insects are often snacked on. They are rich in protein and very nutritious. The repugnance they can inspire is above all cultural. 

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