Top 8 Most Disgusting Foods You Must Try When Visiting China

A stag weekend in China is hardly a typical holiday; for a start, it’s a stag do, so you can expect plenty of partying. A Chinese stag weekend means experiencing a whole new culture. There are plenty of awe-inspiring sights to visit and exotic foods to digest. Don’t worry, you won’t have to try any of the foods mentioned below to get by in China, but brave stag party members will be unable to resist trying at least a few of these.

From the Water

Stewed Hasma with coconut palm seeds

Consider hasma. This is a dessert… of sorts. Hasma essentially consists of the insides of frogs – female frogs to be exact – and specifically their fallopian tubes. As if munching on reproductive organs of amphibians were not enough, the fallopian tubes are made bigger by being rehydrated with water, having been sold in a shrunken form. Surprisingly, it’s not so bad taste-wise. The Chinese add sugar so the dessert is sweet and you’ll find that many people enjoy hasma after a good hearty meal.

Sea cucumber is pretty similar in appearance and texture to the kind grown in gardens across the world. It’s essentially a cucumber with tentacles and feet. These are slippery, mild-tasting foods that, rumour has it, act as an aphrodisiac and can be found at Chinese restaurants as well as medicine shops.

When you’re on a holiday in China, for example one of the great stag weekends from Eclipse Leisure, try a bit of drunken shrimp, as long as you don’t mind getting a bit vicious with your food and you also don’t object too much to the possibility of getting a parasitic infection from the shellfish you’re eating raw. The idea here is that when you order drunken shrimp, you get shrimp accompanied by booze. The alcohol the shrimp comes with actually works to knock out the shrimp and so by the time you come to decapitate them with a bite to their necks, they’re drowsy and aren’t moving too much any more.

Dog meat remains a controversial subject and you’ll probably draw comments from your comrades on the stag weekend if you do eat it. Although dog meat is eaten in mainland China, alongside multiple other regions of the world, such as the Philippines, Mexico and Korea, much of the controversy surrounding it relates to supposed cruel practices when it comes to killing the dog ready for boiling or frying. If you can look past this, you may be able to try dog meat while in China.

Getting Weirder

Bee Larvae

Bee larvae is a dish that became popular in rural parts of China and Japan thanks to an absence of meat in the past. Desperate countryside dwellers turned to bee larvae as a source of protein and coupled it with soy sauce to produce a crumbly dish that has some sweetness to it. While it is less seen in the 21st century, bee larvae sometimes makes a culinary reappearance at festivals and events, where it is enjoyed for its nostalgia value rather than its merit as a food.

Probably one of the more ugly dishes, both in appearance and concept, is balut, which is a fertilised duck egg. It is boiled and then consumed when the duck embryo inside is almost ready to be born and so the very look of the thing as a food item is probably going to offend most stag revellers. If you can get past that, you can enjoy your balut with a sip of beer and consider that the dish is apparently an aphrodisiac. It’s also got a fair bit of protein in it. You eat balut with onion sauce and salt on.

Street Foods

Fried starfish in Bejing.

In places such as Beijing you may have an opportunity to try a bit of starfish, which is fried and then popped on a stick for your enjoyment. Star fish have a generally mild flavour and depending on who you ask, taste bitter or crunchy. They tend to be served as a street stall snack.

Another street snack you’ll likely encounter while on a stag weekend in China are bugs on sticks. These are the quintessentially weird and disgusting foods, but it’s not just the Chinese who eat them. If you are in China and fancy an insect or two, head to somewhere like the Donghuamen street market.

Disgusting dishes are common in China, which seems to specialise in the bizarre. Remember to observe any safety warnings before indulging, and don’t feel pressured to snack just because your friends are.

About the author: Roxanne writes regularly on great stag weekends from Eclipse Leisure for a range of travel and event websites and blogs. She has been to China four times during her life. She is not fond of balut at all.


Thanks, Roxanne, for a great travel guest post for the weirdest of foodies. Come back again sometime!

For everyone else, would you eat any of these foods or have you? Tell me in the comments!

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