Snack Street in Beijing

Along with climbing the Great Wall of China my #2 goal on this trip was to eat something new and weird (to me). I had heard about “snack street” in Beijing where there is a long row of vendors selling everything from scorpion on a stick to starfish. This was definitely a highlight of this trip!

SAM 0470 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

SAM 0460 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

So, I was very excited to finally get a taste of one of these delicacies! But, I wasn’t sure what to choose. Ben and I walked up and down the line of vendors two times taking in all the options before deciding…

Bugs!

SAM 0462 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Scorpions, centipedes and more.

SAM 0463 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Crickets

SAM 0471 800x600 thumb1 Snack Street in Beijing

Shrimp and silk worms.

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Some guy looking at me like I’m crazy.

SAM 0467 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

One of the rare booths with a few sweet options. This one has porridge,  fried banana and fruit.

SAM 0461 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

SAM 0464 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

The prices were about 10 to 30 yuan per item, depending on how rare and fancy. That’s about $2.50 to $5.00 US.

SAM 0469 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

There are also a lot of the usual Chinese food options like dumplings and noodle bowls. SAM 0472 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Crabs

SAM 0473 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Intestines

SAM 0475 800x600 thumb1 Snack Street in Beijing

SAM 0476 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Snake was something the vendors seemed to be pushing a lot as we passed by. I’m not sure if that’s because it was a novelty item or what. But, I heard it had a lot of scales or bones or something and would be difficult to eat.

SAM 0478 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

StarfishSAM 0479 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

We started with a beverage as we wandered up and down the street.

SAM 0486 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Like I mentioned, there were not a lot of sweet or dessert options but I did spot a churro looking treat!SAM 0506 thumb Snack Street in BeijingSAM 0507 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Testicles

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Finally it was time to bite the bug bullet if you will and make a choice. Ben ordered a stick of silk worms. The guy grabbed the stick and put it in a huge pan of hot oiled to fry it up.

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I am about to eat a bug…SAM 0496 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

I did it!  It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. It had a very mild burnt nut flavor (but that could be from the oil?). The weird thing about it was that it was mushy on the inside, but the outside was very hard to chew, almost plastic-y.

SAM 0499 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

SAM 0483 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

But, we weren’t done there. Ben wanted to try something else. He got a stick of crickets and ate those. I passed as I have a one bug limit.

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I had been watching what the locals were ordering and it seemed like a lot of people had squid on a stick. So, I ended with that. It was seasoned with what tasted like Old Bay and actually pretty good!

image thumb5 Snack Street in Beijing

We stayed around for a while and ended up heading home past dark. This was my second favorite part of the trip!!

SAM 0522 800x600 800x600 thumb Snack Street in Beijing

Question: What food would you try?

What food would you NEVER EVER EVER try?

Comments

  1. says

    Not sure I could eat the bugs. I know it is a huge source of protein for Asian cultures but it just king of freaks me out. Maybe I would try it just to say I did it I guess or if on a dare or if someone were paying me. No way could I eat snake. I have a fear of snakes. And if they knew I ate one of them, I think I would be in trouble.

  2. says

    I never would have eaten a bug (or half the stuff you took photos of)! I used to be a vegetarian so I’m pretty weird about what meat I eat. Now that you’ve eaten that stuff, you should start a new blog called “Bizarre Foods with Monica.”

  3. Abby says

    Hi! I have been reading your blog for about two weeks now and really like it! Love this post..makes me want to go to China, I am all kinds of adventurous when it comes to food! Although I draw the line to some of the above posted treats ;) Enjoy the rest of your trip and thanks for sharing with us!!

  4. says

    How interesting, I always try and eat something new when I travel. I have yet to bite the bullet and try rotten shark which is what they are always pushing on tourist here in Iceland. Maybe one day and several shots of Brennivín later I will take on the challenge.

  5. Natalie in uk says

    I would try the shrimp but no way would I eat the testicles! Or any of the other stuff actually. You are adventurous. Good for you. Your trip looks amazing.

  6. Andrea says

    I tried snake before, but would have gone with the crab/shrimp options at the market. Your brave :-).
    The thing I would never eat is shark finn, which is actually a problem when I go on business dinners in Asia. Cients are always offended, because it’s a specialty and something they offer to their guest of honor, but they just don’t understand that a lot of Westerners don’t support animal cruelty…

  7. says

    Snake!? Wow I don’t know if I could be brave enough to try that! BUT I would think snakes dead are better than alive RIGHT!?

    It is always amazing to me to see other people’s culture. I would love to go and experience it in person one day!

  8. says

    Oh well done! I am currently living in Oaxaca where chapulines (fried grasshoppers) are a delicacy. I made the mistake of really looking at mine instead of just popping it into my mouth and chewing it up. Now I can see when I see chapulines are their beady eyes and many legs. I don’t think eating them is something I can do now – regardless of how nice they are meant to taste

  9. says

    When I read what you ate before you told us what you ate I was like, “eww silk worm” and then you choose that! Ha. I pretty open to anything. I like to try new things and if others are eating it and it is apart of their culture why not go for it?! :)

  10. says

    Oh man those bugs make my stomach turn — I hope I could have the guts to try something crazy like that if I were visiting such a different culture!

  11. Bobbie says

    I am wimpy! I would have had the churro or a fried banana! I wish I could be more adventurous with eating but…I think I would have puked. I could never win on Survivor!

  12. Kathy says

    I would not eat any of that, even for money…well maybe a million dollars but that’s my price. I have a feeling China would be the ultimate slim down plan for me!

  13. Carla says

    I’m a long time Canadian follower of your blog who is currently living Guangzhou, China. I’m loving your holiday posts. I’ve eaten spicy scorpians, dried duck feet, and mystery meat on more than one occasion that I would prefer not to think about.

  14. Anne says

    Careful when eating some things that taste like Old Bay (or awesomely salty), as those foods most of the time contain MSG! As an American who lives in Dongguan, China, there are a LOT of weird foods (which are mostly ok to eat), but just be careful about street food. Glad to hear you’re enjoying China!

  15. says

    Ah! So jealous, I’ve heard so many things about those street markets. Hope you’re having a wonderful time because I’m really enjoying your pics! Is the boba there much different from southern cali?

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