Chickens Feet

Lunchtime in Shanghai. My Swiss flatmate and I wandered around our little local neighborhood before being ushered into a ‘restaurant’ (I’m not sure it’d be classified as a restaurant by Western standards) by a Chinese couple. The menu was, of course, all in Chinese. And no, not with pictures, where you can point at the pretty dishes and know what to expect. So, after managing to communicate that we wanted chicken, we waited. A little gas pit was turned on on our table. Seconds later, a big pan with bubbling sauce emerged from the (very authentic, by which I mean grimy) kitchen and was set on the flames. Small bowls of onions, salad, beans and carrots followed, and were swiped into the pan. While it prattled away softly, the Swiss and I armed ourselves with chopsticks and set-out to discover what it was that we had ordered.

Chickens feet. Still covered in its fat skin and drenched in sauce.

I giggled nervously as I wondered how to eat these little mysteries with its bones and nails sticking out. Our Chinese host offered us a cigarette, tapped on my bowl and, with a huge grin on his face, told me to eat. So I did. Halfway through my first little piece (I can only assume it was a joint, it didn’t have any toes), I concluded that it’s easier to put the whole thing in my mouth and spit out the bones than try to nibble around them. They were delicious. The broth/sauce in which they sat was salty and flavorsome, the vegetables soft, and the rice white and fluffy. The meat (when you could find some, there’s not much of it on feet) was fatty and easy to tear off the bones. One word: Yum.

I think my flatmate and I will continue to frequent random street shops and order in our broken Chinese. We might get another pleasant surprise. Fried snake, perhaps?


Comments: 5

  1. Monique 16 September, 2012 at 10:29 am Reply

    o! de beroemde kippentenen!!! een delicatesse in China! brrr ziet er zo helemaal niet lekker uit! Maar wat knap van jullie dat jullie dat gewoon gegeten hebben. En dus ook nog lekker! Je bent er nog maar zo kort maar je hebt al zoveel gedaan en meegemaakt, heeeerlijk.Ik was gisteren even bij opa en oma en toen heb ik je berichtje even voorgelezen en ze genoten van je verhaal!

  2. Alice 16 September, 2012 at 12:22 pm Reply

    Ha, kippentenen, het idee alleen al! Maar gebakken slang kan ik je aanraden.
    Leuk om je te volgen, ik denk dat ik een wekelijks terugkerend item in mijn agenda moet maken, aangezien het systeem mij volledig negeert :-) .

    • Renee 18 September, 2012 at 11:25 am Reply

      Jammer dat ie het niet gewoon doet! Ik kan hier ook niet zien wie heeft ge-subscribed, dus weet ook niet hoe ik het kan fixen.. Maar ik probeer nu minstens om de dag wat te posten, dus met een wekelijkse check heb je vast en zeker een goede dosis Renée-in-China verhalen :D

  3. Soph 16 September, 2012 at 3:42 pm Reply

    I absolutely love this – I wasnt sure whether the end result was going to mean it was nice or not!! Ps. We need a catch up, I’ll email you this evening.

    Congratulations on officially being graduated, even if you couldnt make it back.

    Love you xxxxxx

    • Renee 18 September, 2012 at 11:23 am Reply

      Thank you gorgeous girl, a big congratulations to you too :) I’m so glad that we’re able to talk over facebook now, I’ve missed your frequent status updates! Now I know what you’re upto, it’s nice.

      Looking forward to your email babe. Maybe a skype call soon too?

      Love you lots xxx

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