Five Curious Delicacies of Asia

By Jasmine Pathak

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Note: Not for the faint of heart. Or anyone who wants to enjoy their dinner tonight.

Asia is known for its beautiful landscapes, diverse culture, and delicious food. But the most passionate lovers of Asian food have to admit that some of the dishes can seem strange at first glance to us Westerners. Here is a small sampling of the peculiar dishes you may find throughout Asia.

Bon Appétit!

Tuna Eyes

Food1Found in Japan, tuna eyes are sold in supermarkets by the pound and are actually quite large in size. They are eaten fried and with rice and soy sauce. The fat surrounding the eye gives a rich and full flavour that many adventurous eaters enjoy. Simply boil and season to enjoy!

Lamb’s Brains

Food2Mary had a little lamb whose brains were eaten in India? In India, lamb’s brain is consumed in a curry. It allegedly has the texture of marshmallows, with a neutral flavour masked by the curry sauce. This dish can be found through Asia with many variations, such as being cooked in a stew with vegetables. However you eat it, you’re still eating brains.

White Ant Eggs

Food3Insects are not an uncommon snack in Asia, often eaten fried or in soups. The strangest of them all is white ant soup, which is a mix of ants, eggs, and embryos. The egg bursts in the mouth, releasing a tangy flavour. Hey grub is grub, right?

Drunken Shrimp

Food4The name of this dish inspires images of shrimp in some sort of soup, or broth. What isn’t so obvious is that the name drunken shrimp is quite literal. The shrimp are still alive, swimming in a bowl filled with alcohol. The alcohol slows the movements of the shrimp, so you can eat them with ease. Stab your victim with a fork, and just bring the struggling body into your mouth to eat.


Food5No, it wasn’t a typo. I am referring to our furry arachnid friends crawling down our throats. In Cambodia, tarantulas were consumed during a period of starvation. They are normally eaten fried, dipped in a sauce. Crispy on the outside with white meat on the inside, tarantulas taste similar to chicken. That’s what they all say…

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