Top Ten Most Bizarre Asian Foods: 10 Dishes you Have to See to Believe
This entry was posted on March 27, 2009.
10. Chocolate Ramen Soup
The Japanese candy maker Lotte teamed up earlier this year with Ghana, the popular chocolate manufacturer to introduce the first ever chocolate flavored Ramen. If you've ever had Ramen noodles, you probably know there's nothing sweet about the spicy soup meal. The chocolate flavored Ghana Miso is nothing short of a bizarre combination of sweet chocolate with salty Ramen soup broth. What won't the Japanese do if it'll make for good marketing? Well, Chocolate Ramen Soup was available earlier this year in honor of Valentine's Day. Does that answer your question? If that sounds nasty, check out these normal Ramen noodle soups.
This spicy garnish is a traditional Korean favorite. You may be familiar with the popular side dish. You may even be wondering why this dish made the top ten most bizarre Asian foods. What you don't know about kimchi is that the spicy cabbage you're eating carries with it a unique zesty quality due in part to long periods of fermentation. That's right, kimchi is rotten cabbage. And any rotting dish that has managed to become as popular as kimchi makes our list.
8. Quail Egg and Roe Sushi
You might have tried quail at a gourmet restaurant. Maybe you even had the opportunity to try this smaller bird's egg cooked once or twice. But have you ever had one raw, wrapped in seaweed, and resting on a bed of raw flying fish roe? It's unlikely you'll see this on the menu at your local sushi restaurant, but it's likely to be available. If you're an old hat to Japanese sushi and you're feeling adventurous, request raw quail eggs the next time you visit you're nearby sushi bar.
7. Octopus Testicles
Alec Baldwin's Schweddy Balls have nothing on these fried Japanese delicacies. Taboyaki is deep fried in batter and consumed at some of Japan's most prominent national festivals. Don't let their donut appearance fool you: these balls are filled with fish shavings, ginger and - of course - octopus testicles.
6. Bird's Nest Soup
This Chinese soup's broth is literally made from the nests of Swiftlet birds. If you think that sounds odd, what makes this soup bizarre is the fact that Swiftlet's make their nest almost entirely out of their own sticky saliva. Anyone for more saliva soup?
Dubbed the 'king of fruits' in Asia, Durian is the most pungent fruit you will ever encounter. It's infamous smell is notorious to foreigners, and this unpopular smell has lead to the fruit king's banishment from Asian hotels and public places. Durian's smell has been likened to raw sewage. Yummy! Maybe mother nature had a deeper meaning behind making Durian's exterior shell spiked like a porcupine.
4. Sea Cucumber
Remember those sticky slimy sea critters you encountered on your grade school field trips to the aquarium? Well, the Japanese have been eating this oblong shaped gelatinous blob of an animal for centuries. If the texture and the look aren't enough to have you running for the hills, considering the sea cucumber's anatomy is essentially one giant gonad surely will!
3. Duck Embryo
What's with Asia and its egg delicacies? Full of embryonic goodness! Served still in its shell and known as Khai Luk in Laos this dish is the innards of a nearly mature duck or chicken embryo. Mostly available through Vietnamese street vendors, Balut is just as bizarre looking as its name suggests.
2. One Hundred Year Old Egg
This Chinese cuisine is made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a unique clay mix for months at a time. The process makes the egg yolk turn black, and is supposed to enhance the flavor of the surrounding egg white, which becomes clear and gooey. Whatever the change may be, century egg's are yet another bizarre Asian spin on a food we all grew believing came scrambled, fried or poached.
1. Stinky Tofu
Originally from Taiwan, stinky tofu is also a popular cuisine in China and Indonesia. What makes this fermented tofu dish top our list of bizarre Asian foods? Simply put, stinky tofu is one of the most pungent smelling, uniquely tasting foods anyone encounters. Even the native Taiwanese have mixed feelings about their regional tofu based cuisine. And, hey, if Andrew Zimmern - the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods series - can't even stomach the stuff, you know it's truly one of a kind. Stinky Tofu may be the most disgusting smelling food on the planet, but don't let it stop you from checking out these healthy Tofu Shirataki Noodle products.