Dean Owen

5 years ago · 1 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

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Culinary Sadists



Remember as kids when we used to have those conversations about the weirdest things we ever ate? Without a doubt, there would always be someone who mentions snake blood or monkey brains.

The weirdest thing I have ever eaten, aside from Vegemite, is Balut, a rather common food in South East Asia, which is basically late stage chicken, or duck eggs where the embryo is almost fully developed. Naturally, this is an after dark snack as they can look quite creapy.


Now to dispel an urban legend, one dish I constantly hear about in Japan is called Dojō-Tofu which is a dish based around the pond loach, a fresh water bottom feeder that looks not dissimilar to a small eel.

Rumour has it that some restaurants serve this fish in a rather unique way.

A claypot is filled with hot soup (dashi) made from dried bonito flakes, and in the soup is placed cold cubes of white tofu. Live Dojō fish are then placed in the claypot and to escape the heat of the soup, they quickly swim into to soft white tofu cubes. The tofu becomes their last resting place and soon they perish. The fish infused tofu is then eaten with complete disregard to the sadistic events that just occurred.

I am not a huge fan of the Dojō fish, but I have been to a couple of famous Tokyo restaurants that serve Dojo-nabe, a real claypot dish, but where the fish are slaughtered humanely before reaching the claypot. I did ask the restaurant staff if they knew of Dojō-Tofu, and they quickly responded “Uso Uso” which means “Lies, Lies”. Needless to say, I would love to hear from anyone who has experienced this dish.

Japan does have a fair share of weird. Quite popular is the tiny isaza fish, almost transparent aside from the many black spots that cover their tiny bodies. These are usually eaten live, but you need to be pretty deft with a pair of chopsticks to nail the slithery suckers.


What are the weirdest foods you have ever experienced?  With such a diverse audience from all corners of the world, we might be able to drum up a pretty mean list.



Dean Owen is Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment



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Ken Boddie

4 years ago #33

#43
#40 Think I'll stick with the Big Rat burgers or the KFR. 🐭

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #32

#42
It makes more sense to me that peanuts which are normally sold salted are mixed with a savoury spread like marmite rather than sweet jam. In the UK they have an awesome snack called Twiglets - baked maize 'twigs' dipped in marmite. I wish you could get them here in SA!

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #31

#39
I remember the supermarkets in Oz used to sell peanut butter with stripes of jam through it. Maybe you're onto the next 'thing' - peanut butter with stripes if marmite?

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #30

#40
Dean Owen they are both yeast extracts, but Marmite has a cleaner, meatier flavour.

Dean Owen

4 years ago #29

#39
Huh? Are they not one and the same?

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #28

#38
Me too, it's revolting. I am however a lover of Marmite! I sometimes eat it with peanut butter.

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #27

#36
and survived to tell the tale, Claire. It remains a complete mystery to me why Vegemite is so popular.

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #26

Dean Owen the weirdest thing I have ever eaten is pickled snake skin that some friends from Hong Kong brought when I was at school (+/- 100 years ago) . They couldn't believe that I a) ate it and b) liked it. Now I would rather leave the snake alone and eat pickled plums.

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #25

#29
I tried vegemite and egg sandwiches once....

Wayne Yoshida

5 years ago #24

#33
Yes. It even looks dangerous

Dean Owen

5 years ago #23

#32
Ahh the King of Fruit. I am seeing it in supermarkets further afield these days, in London, Paris, NY. Durian is slowly taking over the world. We just need to ensure this potential WMD stays out of the hands of terrorists.

Wayne Yoshida

5 years ago #22

How about Durian fruit? I had some when I went to Singapore and Malaysia. I believe it is your lead picture. Stinky. It is illegal to have them in hotels and buses. But, other than the smell, it was - OK. I had it in a salad. . . But the strangest thing of all is this thought -- who decided to eat any of these things for the very first time? Like the first durian feast. The first person eating one of these had to have been thinking - Hmm. This smells like poop or a sewer or a dead animal. I wonder what it tastes like?

Dean Owen

5 years ago #21

#29
Blame the Germans! I just learnt that a German invented Marmite in the late 19th Century.

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #20

Regarding your inexplicable passion for vegemite, Catalina G\u00e1lvez Urrutia, perhaps you need to come on an exploratory visit to Australia in order to find out? #26 🇦🇺

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #19

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with kangaroo meat, Catalina G\u00e1lvez Urrutia. 😞 I wouldn't write it off as bitter. It is a delicious lean meat, but, like all lean meat with little or no fat, it has to be cooked carefully or it can be chewy or bitter. As for the Vegemite, most Australians would agree with you, but they have probably grown up with it and it is a taste I have never acquired. 😝 #9

Ostrich, quail, venison, gator tail and frog legs. Cute joke Dean Owen.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

5 years ago #17

#22
ha ha it's true Pam. Google it :)

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

5 years ago #16

T#16 Wow Pamela L. Williams The chicken trick brings a smile on my face Our mums and dads did have a way to make us eat, guess it works all over the world. And squirrel dumplings uh really, I know they drink cow's urine in some parts of India, they conisder it holy and medicinal.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

5 years ago #15

#16
Wow Pamela L. Williams The chicken trick brings a smile on my face our mums and dads did have a way to make us eat , guess it works all over the world. And squirrel dumplings uh really, I know they drink cow's urine in some parts of India, they conisder u

Dean Owen

5 years ago #14

#16
squirrel dumplings @Pamela Williams? I suppose some Americans eat groundhogs too. I hear Guinea Pigs are popular in South America.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #13

#15
Fatima Williams, this is becoming a fascinating list. Baby goat from a womb! Unsettling, but It must have been good. Frog and Terrapins are really common here in China. They even sell live frogs in the meat section of Carrefours. There is one section dedicated to fish lips, duck tongues and of course chicken feet. Goose feet is a real delicacy here.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #12

#14
pretty fascinating Phillip Hubbell. Grasshoppers appear to eaten in many countries. I've seen them in Thailand, Vietnam, and in the countryside in Japan. Never eaten them, but I am pretty sure with the right sauces, anything can be made to taste OK.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

5 years ago #11

Wow I need to start eating more I guess. Looking at the things you guys have mentioned makes my head spin and anxious as well , as a wicked part of me wants to try some of them out. Dean Owen the weirdest thing I've eaten without knowing what they were is a baby goat ( Apparently killed while in the stomach) and river frogs. My mom tricked me into eating it saying it's chicken. I remember crying after knowing what it was. Sounds funny when I think of it now. Btw I enjoyed reading this post but doubt I ever eat them.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #10

#10
Never had alligator - reminds me of a joke - guys walks into a sandwich shop and asks "what's the special today?", the boy behind the counter says Alligator. He responds, "sounds good! Make it snappy!" 😝

Dean Owen

5 years ago #9

Never had alligator - reminds me of a joke - guys walks into a sandwich shop and asks "what's the special today?", the buy behind the counter says Alligator. He responds, "sounds good! Make it snappy!) 😝

Dean Owen

5 years ago #8

#9
Hmmm, ant tacos and guacamole! Yummy ! (🐜🤐). I think we have a lot of kangaroo eaters on beBee. I prefer my Skippy in a jar. I have just taken Mexico off my bucketlist! Thanks Catalina for saving me money!

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #7

Reminds of when I was working in Singapore many years ago. I came in on a Saturday to finish off a report and ended up having to take it home. We were on the 7th floor and apparently someone on the ground floor took a single durian into the building. The putrid smell got into the air conditioning ducts and the rest is history. #7 😰

Dean Owen

5 years ago #6

I wonder if Durian will ever take off in Europe/Australia/America? I have heard Durian is also dangerous, killing a number of people every year. I'd rather have one fall on my head than be forced to eat a whole one frankly.

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #5

As you're probably aware, Dean, the durian (your title picture) is said to "taste like heaven, but smell like hell!" Well, as far as I'm concerned, it tastes like it smells. Netta is spot on there. 😝

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #4

#4
yuk :-)

Dean Owen

5 years ago #3

No kidding Pascal Derrien, i recently saw some cheeseburger flavoured instant noodles.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #2

#1
Thanks Netta Virtanen, I actually love Century eggs with soy sauce and fine slices of ginger. Agree on the Durian (King of Fruit - meh!). I can't even eat the durian puffs they sell in Singapore. The Yak Butter tea is just plain weird. I remember I used to love babybell cheese, but I had one recently and it gave me shivers it was so rubbery and tasteless. And the rice deserts, never tried in Korea, but I don't like the Thai ones. I love watching people in Asia eat blue cheese for the first time! In Seoul you must have had some strange food, like live octopus!

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #1

I kind of think the weirdest thing nowadays are coming out of cans and packs :-)

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