Weird Asian Foods that You Must Try (Part 2 or 2)

Posted 08 June 2014 by

Asia, for centuries, has been known in the West for its delightfully strange culture, cuisine, and customs. While there is no doubt that there is plenty to love about Asian cuisine, there are some truly weird dishes that can scare even the most adventurous of gastronomes away.

Here is the second part of a list of weird foods from Asia that you must try during your travels to the largest continent in the world. If you haven't already read part one, then check it out here first.

Raw Pufferfish (from Japan)

Raw Pufferfish

Japan is a country that is very much in love with seafood, as made evident by delightful local dishes such as sushi and sashimi, both of which use raw seafood. But if you want an element of danger with your raw fish, then why not try fugu? Served raw, typically as sashimi, fugu is pufferfish meat that leaves a slight numbing feeling to your lips and tongue if prepared correctly. However, if an untrained chef prepares pufferfish sashimi, diners are in danger of succumbing to the powerful tetrodoxin that makes this specie of fish extremely dangerous. In Japan, a chef must have a license to legally serve diners with this thrilling delicacy.

Fugu is perfect for those who have cash to burn (a single serving can cost up to $200) and are bored with life. There is nothing like ingesting a bit of dangerous poison with wasabi to renew one’s enthusiasm toward life.

Tortoise Jelly (from China)

Tortoise Jelly

China is the best place to visit if you wish to try really weird foods. While some dishes are definitely on the more extreme end of the spectrum, there are some that seem a bit cute, based on their English names. One such dish is the tortoise jelly, or guilinggao.

Tortoise jelly, however, is not a turtle-shaped jelly—it is made from the powdered bottom shells of a specific species of turtle, Cuora trifasciata. The color of the jelly ranges from dark brown to black, and is sweetened by honey to make it palatable to diners. This delicacy is famous in Chinese medicine for improving the skin and blood circulation, increasing muscle mass, reducingthe occurrence of acne, and treating the kidney.

Brain Curry (from India)

Brain Curry

Curry is one of the most important culinary contributions of India to the world. While most forms of curry are very familiar and enjoyable, brain curry is one of those that might be considered as weird. Compared to the other items that we have mentioned in this two-part list, brain curry is perhaps the least weird of them. Sure, lamb brains, a major ingredient in this delicacy, might seem off-putting when one buys it from the market, but when eaten with curry and roti, it is a definite delight.

Most of those who have tried this dish say that they have forgotten about what the “meat” in the curry is, since lamb brains are similar to tofu once cooked. Scoop the brain curry with freshly made roti and you have got yourself a creamy and spicy mouthful.

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