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Only a Chinese would eat it


Kent Wang
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We are notorious for our willingness to eat nearly every exotic animal, fruit and vegetable in the world. What items are available in many different countries but are eaten only by the Chinese? Two immediately come to mind: jellyfish and sea cucumber. As far as I know, not even the other Asian food cultures eat those sea creatures even though they are widespread throughout the planet.

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vietnamese eat jellyfish all the time.  as does this whitey.

Not quite all the time but, ditto..........for jelly fish.

Since I was in Haiti and they referred to sea cucumber as 'sea prick'..........no. :wacko:

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We are notorious for our willingness to eat nearly every exotic animal, fruit and vegetable in the world. What items are available in many different countries but are eaten only by the Chinese? Two immediately come to mind: jellyfish and sea cucumber. As far as I know, not even the other Asian food cultures eat those sea creatures even though they are widespread throughout the planet.

Kurage.

Namako.

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I'd be surprised if there were any type of seafood that Chinese eat that Japanese don't. OTOH, Japanese people eat things like sea urchin and blowfish, which I've never heard of in Chinese cuisine.

ETA: What about shark's fin? Are there any traditional Japanese ways of preparing shark's fins?

Edited by sheetz (log)
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How about pig's ears?  I don't know of any culture that eats them.  In the U.S., they're sold as dog chow.

I love them, by the way.

Traditional "Soul Food," the cuisine of the African American slaves, would use the castoff pieces like pig ears, trotters, and tripe.

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ETA: What about shark's fin? Are there any traditional Japanese ways of preparing shark's fins?

Not that I know of. We do eat them, but we usually consider them Chinese ingredients.

Besides seafoods, how about burdock and all kinds of wild plants such as fern shoots and butterbur sprouts?

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How about pig's ears?  I don't know of any culture that eats them.  In the U.S., they're sold as dog chow.

I love them, by the way.

Traditional "Soul Food," the cuisine of the African American slaves, would use the castoff pieces like pig ears, trotters, and tripe.

That's interesting sheetz. I know tripe and ham hocks are still eaten. But correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never heard of any American, including African Americans that still eat pigs ears regularly today.

Pig's ears are sold regularly at my local Chinese market. They even sold them cooked (red braised style) and thinly sliced.

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How about pig/cow intestines? Nope... hmmm... Mexicans eat that too.

Pig/cow brains? Chinese eat them regularly.

Fish maw? (Fish stomach) I love that!

Fish skin? I love that too!

Pig skin (pork skin?)... Mexicans eat it...

Pig blood and chicken blood!

Rats?

Amarillo?

ETA: And Chicken Head + Fish Head.

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Pig's ears:

- sold in many regular German supermarkets next to liver, trotters, etc. So I presume people are eating them.

- apparently also very popular in Mongolia. A classmate when I was studying in Japan was from Mongolia and said it was one of the things he missed most while in Japan. Every time he went back home he ate huge amounts, he said.

- also used (though other parts of the pig are sometimes also used instead) in a type of Vietnamese raw/semi-fermented sausage called nem chua. This sausage is delectable: crunchy, and sour.

Fern shoots:

also eaten in Malaysia and Indonesia (called paku and pakis respectively), the Philippines, Laos, Thailand, and parts of India. In India they are cooked fresh, and also made into pickles.

Fiddlehead fern shoots are also eaten in North America.

Here's another question: do the Chinese eat bauhinia blossoms? I believe the bauhinia tree is the official tree of Hong Kong. In India, people eat the blossoms, but do the Chinese eat them too?

Edited by anzu (log)
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In lots of Latin American countries people will eat the whole pig just like the Chinese do. I think what sets China apart from the rest is that they are a large country with an extremely long culinary tradition. Hence, they've had plenty of opportunities to incorporate all of these numerous types of unusual foods in their cuisine.

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Filipinos eat pretty much everything mentioned on this thread. This is certainly due in some part to the Chinese influence that has been incorporated into our cuisine; however, there are indigenous recipes that incorporate many of these "weird foods".

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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How about sperm sacs (shirako) of cod and other fish?

People in Shinshu in central Japan eat bee larvae, inago (grasshoppers), silkworm chrysales, and so on. My father comes from Shinshu. :sad:

Finally, how about natto? :biggrin:

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The question of what Chinese eat is a bit misleading. Within such a large country there are BIG differences in what one Chinese person would consider edible versus another. Durian's a good example...many Cantonese love durian, most northerners would probably pinch their noses at that. While there are some grubs and insects that my mom (whose Toi-Shanese) would eat. I think she'd turn up her nose at waterbugs and finger-sized grubs...

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Pig/cow brains?  Chinese eat them regularly.

Fish Head.

Oh man, my mom LOVES cow brains (and she's 100% born and bred in America).

And I've really gotten into whole fish - including the heads - but admit that I first tried them from our family from Shanghai.

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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How about pig's ears?  I don't know of any culture that eats them.  In the U.S., they're sold as dog chow.

I love them, by the way.

I had one barbecued in Kansas.

"Last week Uncle Vinnie came over from Sicily and we took him to the Olive Garden. The next day the family car exploded."

--Nick DePaolo

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