snake soup

snakesoup2018

Took my niece out for snake soup, because she wanted to try it and she asked me to take her. Sis won’t because she’s much more of an ethical/healthy type of eater, well actually she’s more squeamish. Rob won’t because he’s vegetarian lol. There are a few choices of restaurants but I picked one that is near my niece, has a good reputation and is a sit-down restaurant. Some other places I go to are holes-in-wall at markets and I wanted my niece to have a better experience first.

Snake soup is on many, many people’s bucket list. To be honest, it’s not so special although it’s not something I have all the time. I guess it’s like people don’t go out for clam chowder all the time. So, everything you want to know about snake soup:

  • it’s a soup made with snake meat, bones, chicken, mushroom, ginger, herbs and simmered for hours–since snake meat doesn’t have too much flavour it’s like a very rich chicken soup
  • the snake meat is shredded to thin slivers and looks quite similar to chicken, it can be distinguished in the soup because it’s slightly more brown and is a little bit tougher
  • snake soup has been around since the 3rd century and was a luxury dish enjoyed by the wealthy
  • it’s becoming more rare nowadays because special training is required to handle the snakes, most businesses are family-run

The place we went to has been around for almost 130 years and is currently run by the fourth generation family. It’s been in its current location since 1989. So, very traditional although it’s probably the one to take tourists and people who are trying snake for the first time.

And still a luxury. The soup is made from hours and hours of cooking and has additional ingredients to make it richer and sweeter. Equivalent to over £10 per bowl. I also had a bowl of rice with sausage and gis had rice with salted eggs.

The most pressing question, did she like it? Yes she did. She said it was unexpectedly good. She loves rich, almost gloopy soups and this one was exactly to her taste. The snake meat itself was pretty innocuous. May be next time I’ll take her to the really local one at the market.

food adventure part 2

snakesoup claypotfroglegrice

Met up with mm for lunch of soup and rice. Sounds normal enough? Ha!! The soup is thick and savoury, made with snake, chicken, mushroom and topped with chrysanthemum leaves and crunchy crackers. And yes, snake tastes like chicken — a little tougher chicken, as if it’d been boiled for too long. Tasty, very tasty.

The rice was cooked directly in a claypot. We ordered two, the first was topped with frog’s legs and more mushroom, the second was snake liver and fish swim bladder. Probably scary even just reading about it, right? The frog’s legs were our favourites, and they taste like very tender chicken. The snake liver and fish bladder were okay, a little crunchy, as if they needed a bit more braising. The rice was almost burnt, so the bottom is like crunchy rice cracker. Nice.