10 sadistic dishes from East Asia
In general, people like to eat animal meat, regardless of how the animal was slaughtered: in a modern slaughterhouse or more “traditionally” - in the course of sadistic culinary rites.
There is no need to go far for examples of the latter, they can be found on any continent, but we will focus on Asia, in particular on China.
The following are ten examples of the most brutal dishes.
(Note: if you are squeamish, you can not read this article - or at least refrain from watching the video below.)
10. Drunk shrimp
This dish has several different recipes, but they all include pumping shrimps with wine and cooking them live. Some chefs soak them in alcohol and set them on fire, others let them swim in wine until they are “drowned,” and then cook them with vegetables.
At first it seems rather cruel, but in fact it makes sense. Parasites can live in mollusks, which, after the death of the “host”, begin to multiply rapidly and release toxins that can survive the traditional methods of preparation. It is for this reason that we also cook lobsters alive.The Chinese, at least shrimp at least pumped alcohol before dying.
Nevertheless, sadism is still there, and it displays the name of the dish. Phonetically, it is consonant with the Chinese expression "the lowest of the lowest."
9. Char in a hot pot
Dojo, or loach - is a small fish, similar to aquarium fish. For centuries in Japan, it was the staple of the working class. Nowadays, it is popular among tourists - especially in the famous Tokyo restaurant Komagata Dojo. Here you can cook pre-prepared fish on a torch in a pot with broth along with selected seasonings and green onion stalks. By the time visitors finish the cooking process, the dojo is so gentle that they can be eaten whole — along with the bones and the head.
Although this char, or “hot pot,” is exactly what most Japanese would think when they heard the word dojo, there is another, more sadistic way of cooking this dish. Some people think that this is a myth, born on the basis of manga, but other people claim that they actually tried this dish.
This method is better known as the “tofu hell” and is very simple. The fish is placed in cold water in a pot along with a tofu briquette (bean curd). Then the pot is heated, gradually bringing the water to a boil. The fish wants to hide from the heat, gnaws a hole in tofu and hides in it - just to cook alive inside tofu.
8. "Three squeaks"
Presented as a traditional for the canton of Guangdong, the dish “three peeps” is a living newborn rodent in the pink and bald form in which they are born. Visitors catch them with chopsticks (squeak No. 1), dip them into hot sauce (squeak No. 2) and then gnaw their teeth (squeak No. 3).
It must be said that for most Chinese this dish is just as shocking as for all the others - as are many more dishes from this list. But when it is shown on videotape, it is difficult to deny. Another thing is that this dish can hardly be considered traditional. People in the video are more like YouTube show directors who want to either shock or laugh the audience with “this incomprehensible China.” Many videos don't even see people really chewing on something.
However, any tradition once had a beginning. Perhaps we see the emergence of a completely new culinary crime that will haunt us for many years to come (like those squeaks that seem to haunt visitors).
7. Hot turtle soup
Hot turtle soup is a traditional dish in many East Asian countries, but it is controversial for a number of reasons. First, many species of turtles are on the verge of extinction. Partly for this reason, tortoise soup has become a rarity in the United States, although it was once a national dish. Secondly, the consumption of (sea) turtles carries with it the threat of food poisoning, which can lead to diseases of internal organs and coma. In the end, turtles live for decades, and no one knows what they have time to swallow during the time they swim in polluted waters. Therefore, although the breeding of turtles in China is a widespread and big business, at the same time, hunting of wild turtles is strictly prohibited.
But cooking turtle soup is also extremely cruel. The recipe in the Chinese Cookbook (1917) does not contain much barbarism, but it simply says: “Put live turtles (all three at a time) in a pan with cold water.Bring the water to a slow boil. ” There is no mention of the torment of animals (the recipe quickly jumps to roasting meat in wine), but, contrary to popular belief about lobster cooking, if animals are first placed in cold water, this does not make boiling any less painful.
In fact, just try to imagine how turtles try to drink water to get rid of the heat, while slowly boiling alive.
6. Snake Heart
Such recipes, if not treated with caution, can create a false impression that most East Asian people - barbarians and bloodthirsty monsters - and that animal cruelty is their innate feature and consequence of cultural traditions (mostly Buddhist). This suggestion inspired by Western tourists forces them to flock to Vietnam’s “traditional” snake restaurants to taste the heart and blood of living snakes. But practically all of this is a western invention. In fact, this particular tradition began with the "Beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio (2000). Although some of this was used in traditional folk medicine, it was never a widespread custom — perhaps because it is disgusting, cruel, and carries the risk of salmonella poisoning.As Nguyen Tam Than said in "Animals of Asia", "because this tradition exists in general, it is mainly due to the tourism industry." Vietnamese, as a rule, do not share the thirst for the blood of tourists.
Le Mat, the “authentic” “Snake Village”, located conveniently close to Hanoi, is a hot pilgrimage for tourists. A typical visit goes something like this: a tourist chooses the size and type of snake he wants to torture (including dangerous specimens from the wild jungle), the owner cuts the snake along the body and pulls out the still beating heart; the tourist grabs his teeth and swallows blood, then the body of the snake is washed with rice and vodka for blood and bile. Different dishes are prepared from the rest of the snake, including snake fillets, spring rolls, stews and soups with crispy snake skin and broken bones.
5. “Live” young octopus
San Nakji is another dish that has gained popularity due to the film (“Oldboy”, 2003), but in this case traditions are indeed present. In South Korea, people actually eat raw tentacles of octopus cubs, along with still functioning suckers.
As a rule, when a chef begins to tear off tentacles, octopuses are already dead, but not always.And in the latter case, they definitely feel pain, just as any other animal feels when its limbs are torn off. But, in any case, due to the special structure of the nervous system, in which two thirds of the neurons are located in the tentacles, they continue to move even when torn off. This is what attracts lovers.
Traditionally, this dish is ordered by older men - apparently due to the fact that it is good for the liver and goes well with alcoholic beverages. In fact, it would be more correct to say that these drinks are an accompaniment to San Nakji, since they, apparently, help to swallow this dish and not get stuck in his throat. Each year, about six people die from such choking. Another way to avoid choking (in addition to manic chewing) is to use a large amount of raw garlic - they say that suckers "do not like" it.
4. Ikizukuri (“live cooking”)
Many of the dishes on this list are easily judged to be unsanitary, unappetizing, or simply terrible. But in Ikizukuri there is a certain charm - its elegant appearance, not to mention the technical skill, easily attracts gourmets. However, it has a negative component.
Translated from Japanese, "ikizukuri" means "cooking is alive," that is, the dish is as fresh as sashimi. After the selection of live fish, the master of sushi preparation quickly removes entrails and guts, leaving the fish alive until the moment when customers touch it with their sushi chopsticks. The fish lying on a platter continues to breathe through its gills, “trembling with its whole spine to the very tail” and twitching in agony.
Crustaceans, octopuses, frogs and other animals can be fed in the same way, but the main one is fish. “Scientists say that fish do not feel pain,” one reporter erroneously stated, probably recalling some half-forgotten headline. But even she felt doubt, realizing that she was not able to look at the convulsions of fish, not to mention swallowing at least a piece.
3. Fish "Yin-Yang"
The Yin-Yang fish serves as a symbol of balancing opposites - sour and sweet, hot and cold, alive and dead, but the cruelty of this dish is not balanced by anything. He can be considered an ikidzikuri cousin - but only more ugly. It consists of half-dead carp, the body of which was breaded in dough and deep-fried,while the head remained alive. This monster is served jerking on a platter and sprinkled with a sweet and sour sauce.
The secret to cooking, according to the owner of one of the restaurants, is the speed of cooking. Internal organs do not have time to fry, and the head of the fish is wrapped with a wet cloth. Such a fish can live up to half an hour after it is removed from the brazier. Specifically, this restaurant owner was the subject of fierce criticism from one of the customers, who even called the police. And although there was nothing criminal in this dish, it was nevertheless withdrawn from the restaurant menu.
2. The brains of monkeys
You may have heard stories about how a monkey's head sticks out of a special hole in the table, visitors smash its skull and brain eat spoons. This "dish" was shown in the documentary series "Faces of Death" in 1978, and perhaps it was the reason for the appearance of a similar scene in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Destiny" (1984). However, it seems that this is only a myth - urban legend based on a newspaper commentator jokes that appeared in 1948. The fact that this myth has lived for so long is most likely due to incorrect translation.There is an edible mushroom called Hóu tóu ("monkey head"), which is also popular in East Asian cuisine, and is also called the "lion's mane." At the same time, the word nao (brain) is also called tofu.
Although the butler of Princess Diana claims that he once ate monkey brains from banana leaves, the circumstances are not clear. But, in any case, even if once it happened (it is possible that it was even absolutely once), nowadays monkeys are protected - along with pandas, elephants, tigers and others - and the punishment for killing them can be very harsh, up to life imprisonment and death. In addition, there is a risk of infection with spastic pseudosclerosis. Ironically, eating a brain can lead to dementia or even cause death.
Despite this, a video appeared in 2017, in which several young Vietnamese split a monkey's skull, scoop out the brain and fill their mouths with it. Unfortunately, it seems that this entry is real.
1. A live screaming donkey
Gelatin from donkey bones is considered in China as a cure for anemia, wrinkles, tumors, fatigue, decreased libido and other disorders.Therefore, donkeys are in such a demand that they are often stolen from villages by organized crime syndicates.
But donkey meat is also considered a delicacy, and it costs more than other meats. So that the client was sure that they really sell the donkey’s meat and this fresh meat, donkeys are slaughtered right on the side of the road, selling them to passing motorists.
However, there is another way to sell donkey meat, although it cannot be called popular. The name - “a live screaming donkey” - quite accurately reflects the essence of the dish. Cooks bind the legs of the animal and cut off pieces of meat from it, which are served in small restaurants. It is assumed that a desperate roar serves as a spice for food.
It is said that for those who prefer boiled meat, cooks turn down a layer of skin and pour boiling water onto living flesh. Although there is not much evidence of this barbarism, it can be assumed that this makes sense because of the ultra high cost of donkey meat.
Or, as in the case of some previous entries from this list, this may become a new tradition, born on the basis of a myth.