You think you know Chinese food? Ha – Too simple, too naïve! We'd be willing to bet you 10 Zhejiang spider eggs that you haven't tried all of these!
1. Chicken feet
Definitely not your typical chicken fingers, gelatinous chicken feet (or occasionally the cuddlier "chicken claws") are a Chinese snack food that is wildly popular throughout the country.
With the addition of some bean curd sauce, garlic, and spring onions, the dish can also be upscale when it needs to be.
Chinese name: Jizhua（凤爪）
2. Deep-fried scorpion
Take a stroll down Beijing's famous Wangfujing food street, and you’ll soon learn that just about anything can be put on a stick and deep-fried. Deep-fried scorpion is only one of the many exotic offerings.
In a medieval flourish, the creatures are impaled while alive and then fried on the spot…. Just make sure the scorpion is FULLY cooked before you eat it!
Chinese name: Zhaxiezi（炸蝎子）
3. Pig face
One of the greatest differences between western and Chinese approaches to meat is in the presentation of the animal.
Western diners typically enjoy meat devoid of all features that might remind the eater that the animal was once a living, breathing creature… As this photo shows, China takes a less sentimental approach.
Chinese name: Zhutou（猪头）
4. Snake wine
This wine comes with a bite. Snake wine has been a traditional thirst quencher in southern China and Southeast Asia for more than 1000 years.
Within traditional Chinese medicine, the drink is thought to invigorate both body and spirit by imbuing the wine with the curative properties of the fearsome/poisonous reptiles.
Chinese name: Shejiu（蛇酒）
5. Snake bile
If the thought of wine merely infused with the essence of deadly snakes was too pussyfoot for you, you can cut straight to the chase with some unadulterated snake bile – that’s right – bile. No Guizhou feast would be complete without one.
Chinese name: Shedan（蛇胆）
6. Duck Blood
Nothing adds ghoulish authenticity to a traditional Chinese hotpot dinner as a delectable tray of congealed duck blood squares, – or “blood tofu.”
The sanguinary snack is also a critical ingredient in the Nanjing delicacy “duck blood and vermicelli soup.”
Chinese name: Yaxie（鸭血）
7. Duck webbing
Sometimes there are animal parts so obscure or otherwise esoteric that they defy even the outer reaches of the western culinary imagination. Duck webbing – or the webbed areas of a duck’s feet – is one such example.
Chinese name: Yazhang（鸭掌）
8. Stewed spider egg
Try this one on for brunch. In a local specialty of Zhejiang Province, a live spider is placed into an egg before cooking.
Then, afterwards, the spider is removed and the egg is consumed. The local popular belief holds that “spider eggs” are especially good for children.
Chinese name: Zhizhuzhengdan（蜘蛛蒸蛋）
The balut is a fertilized duck or chicken egg, which can be eaten, unshelled and cooked with garlic and chili or also as part of a soup.
In China they are often popularly consumed in Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces. According to popular tradition, balut are healthier than normal eggs because of the unique nutritional value of the placenta…. Don’t all line up at once.
Chinese name: Maodan（毛蛋）
10. Monkey brain
The pinnacle of Chinese macabre dining is so infamous as to have passed almost into legend.
The ancient dish was a delicacy throughout the Qing dynasty and was on the menu during the Manchu-Han Imperial Feast, arguably the most elaborate banquet in Chinese history.
Reportedly popular in Guangdong Province (whose residents are said to eat anything with more than three legs that is not a chair) nobody is quite sure the extent to which monkey brains are consumed today. The above photo is just a display.
Chinese name: Hounao（猴脑）