Mysterious Things I Have Eaten

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I love this post by Steve Yi (found via Raymond Chen) concerning the mysterious things he as eaten. It just goes to show you that us asian (and half-asian) brothers can eat some seriously weird crap.

I have never tried Sea Cucumber (that I know of) nor Kudu Doo-Doo, but I have had everything else on his list. Here is my own list of mysterious things I have eaten.

1. Fermented Soy Bean (aka Natto)

My wife introduced me to this foul smelling Japanese dish. At first I wondered why she was eating the garbage when I first took a whiff, but I realized that others have said the same thing to me when I would bring Kimchee to school back in the day.

So I told myself I would try and acquire the taste since I was curious why she liked it so much. It has worked, as I now love it.

Image of Natto\ photo copyrighted by Matt Wegener.

2. Raw Chicken

For this dish, I have my wife’s brother to thank. Again this is a gift from the Japanese. Apparently there are several places known for serving raw chicken. I suppose if I was to take the risk of eating raw chicken anywhere, it would be Japan. They are well known for their cleanliness and care in crafting food.

It tasted a lot like tuna sashimi (maguro) and was quiet delicious.

3. Blowfish (Fugu)

I guess Japanese food in general is mysterious to me. I wrote about this experience here.

4. Uni (Raw Sea Urchin)

The first time I had this I nearly gagged. But I have since learned that the first one I tried was not of the highest quality. When a master sushi chef prepares Uni, it is smooth like butter.

Uni (raw sea urchin) \ via Matt Wegener

5. Chicken Feet

This one is often served at a Dim Sum restaurant. My Chinese friends might not find this so mysterious, but I sure do. I am not a big fan, and I’ve given it a couple of chances.

I am sure my wife will remind me of even more mysterious things I have eaten. What are yours?

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12 responses

  1. Avatar for pcomeau
    pcomeau February 2nd, 2006

    Must be a quality thing... Here in MN there is a Japanese resturant that serves natto... Couldn't stand it. I'd be willing to give it another go but...

    Same for Uni. I just don't think we get good Uni here (of couse this was supported by the fact that a couple of Uni lovers I know would actuall find out what day the local sushi bars would get their shipment of Uni so they could get to the bar within a day or two tops.)

    Liked Chicken Feet, never had a chance at the other two you list (raw chicken and blowfish) maybe if I make it to Japan some day...

    And what, no durian? Great fruit! Of course my wife thinks I'm insane.

  2. Avatar for Joe Brinkman
    Joe Brinkman February 2nd, 2006

    I always knew there was something a little strange about you Phil. Thanks for the confirmation ;).

  3. Avatar for Craig
    Craig February 3rd, 2006

    Heh. My wife is Chinese, and she was highly amused when she took an American friend of hers to dim sum, ordered her chicken feet, and watched her eat it. The amusing part was that my wife won't eat chicken feet herself.

  4. Avatar for Craig
    Craig February 3rd, 2006

    Remembered one other thing I wanted to share, too: on my trips to Asia, I have found that 90% of the food is made of "Just eat it." Because whenever I ask what's in what I'm eating, that's what they tell me. Fortunately, I seem to like most varieties of this mysterious substance.

  5. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked February 3rd, 2006

    Joe: There's ALOT strange about me. By the way, I can't seem to load your website (

    Craig: I've learned not to ask till after I eat it. ;)

  6. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked February 3rd, 2006

    I forgot to mention that I have eaten Escargot and salami paste (Salami Ost) in Norway.

  7. Avatar for jayson knight
    jayson knight February 3rd, 2006

    Every summer up in the mountains of NC, we have a Scottish Highlands festival where I play drums for a small troop. Last year I finally gave in and tried actually wasn't that bad, but knowing exactly what was in it definitely didn't help. I may or may not give it another shot this year, depends on how much meade I've had to drink (which was a deciding factor as to why I tried it last year).

    It's also worth mentioning that those crazy Scots have a haggis eating competition each year. The winner always eats at least 4 full stomachs, and I've heard rumors of some guy eating over 10 in a single sitting, but that the end result wasn't pretty.

  8. Avatar for jayson knight
    jayson knight February 3rd, 2006

    Try, that looks to be Joe's new site.

  9. Avatar for Jon Galloway
    Jon Galloway February 3rd, 2006

    I had raw chicken in Tokyo once. I didn't know until I'd eaten most of it. It was cut in thin strips which were woven together, with tiny star-shaped bits of apple sprinkled on top. How do they make raw chicken safe to eat?


  10. Avatar for Joe Brinkman
    Joe Brinkman February 4th, 2006

    Actually, the site is I also have (which is not functional other than email) so I sometimes get the two extensions confused.

  11. Avatar for Steve Harman
    Steve Harman February 22nd, 2006

    Now... I'm usually up for trying anything once, especially when it comes to food. But I've got to say, I just don't think I could stomach some of the items above. But, I suppose that just means more for you, so enjoy!

    Today I received an e-mail Fwd: that reminded me of your article, so I thought I'd share.

  12. Avatar for Melissa Blott
    Melissa Blott July 26th, 2007

    My best friend is part Chinese, so i had to go try some strange Chinese foods.
    This included.....chicken feet.
    I am not very fond of it, but my friend's brother eats it like there is no tommorow.
    CHICKEN FEET is just kind of eating chicken skin, there is NO meat on them!!
    Just gross orange skin covered in some type of sauce....
    but you know what? it doesnt taste like anything!!