Oct 16, 2012

Chinese Birthday Banquet of Supreme Royal Yuckyness

My dad celebrated his 60th birthday with a Chinese banquet a few weeks ago, and my brother told me (jokingly, I think) that my dad had selected the evening's dishes in order to make an appearance here at the Yucky Stuff blog. Wish: granted!

To set the mood, he sent an email the other day that stated the four ingredients in a royal dish in the old days of China: abalone, sea cucumber, sharks fin, fish flotation sac. We had 3 out of the 4, only skipping out on the sea cucumber because my dad doesn't like it. Too yucky for him!

Now onto the good stuff. Note: since this was a few weeks ago, I kind of had to cobble together what I remembered everything was. Close enough, I think! Feel free to click on any of the images if you want to get up close and personal.

Suckling pig is a really big thing with my peeps and celebratory dinners. This one had blinking cherry tomato eyeballs and was later served with steamed buns to make little sammiches out of, kind of like peking duck.

The geoduck was served raw, but you could also ask for your slices to be cooked in broth. Most of the kids at the kids table (where I was sitting, natch) didn't know what geoduck was. I had to google it on my phone and show them pictures. I think the photos whet their appetites perfectly. If you also are not sure what a geoduck is, it's pronounced "gooey duck," often appeared on Top Chef, and is a giant clam, not a penis monster.

As far as weird food goes, this lobster was pretty tame! At least his feelers were not still moving or anything.

Shark's fin soup is always fun, as it is served with a little chunk of flaming hot purple Sterno. Fire makes kids happy! If you wanted to read up on this soup, here's the link to its Wiki page.  I do believe it will be banned in California shortly.

This was also the time that my brother and I gave my dad a bday toast. My mom told us to toast during the shark's fin soup course. I'm not sure why. I guess it's a thing.  Our toast included references to World of Warcraft, Nicolas Cage, and Applebee's, all having to do with the number 60. We're awesome.

Okay, next up, is the Dish of the Evening. The Talk of the Town. Goose Feet with Fish Air Bladder/Floatation Sac, aka, Fish Floaties.

Apparently these were so hardcore gross, that my dad contacted people ahead of time to ask whether or not they dared to eat these feet. He then asked me to create a sign so that the servers would know who lacked the constitution to to be served such a thing. My dad said to make it look like Ghostbusters.

I put on my brave face and dove in. To be honest, it wasn't the foot that got me, it was the floaty sac. It was big, and squishy, and soaked in sauce. It was like eating a big wet slimy sponge. But, you know, IT'S GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN.

I have no idea what kind of fish this was exactly, but a big ol' steamed fish is pretty ubiquitous at any of our Chinese dinners. Don't fight over the eyeballs, kids!

Chicken and ham is pretty tame, but just keep looking into the eyes of said chicken on the plate in front of you and contemplate the fact that you are chewing on its flesh. I rather enjoyed the composition of the plate, kind of like the broccolis are streams of air on which the chicken is flying.

My peeps like to end a meal with a rice or noodle dish. For birthdays, it's the long life noodle. I think it's supposed to be one super duper long noodle to symbolize a super duper long life, but I can't attest to whether there was really just one in there. 

Next up is dessert! There is a lot of it!

Okay, I don't know what those Eggy Cakes were called, but, they were like sweet heavenly manna inside a paper wrapper. THE SCENT, OH THE SCENT. Warm, sugary, custardy, delightful. I wanted to rub them all over my body so I could smell like them forever.

These Birthday Buns are called Peach Buns because they are decorated to look like peaches, but the flavor has nothing at all to do with said peaches. They are steamed buns with sweet lotus paste inside. Yummy Yummy! On special occasions, they will make a GIGANTIC peach bun and fill it with normal sized little buns. It's pretty epic. Like in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they slice open a big snake at the dinner table and all the little baby snakes slither out. We sang happy birthday, and then my dad tried to cut the big bun open with a knife, but I think he ended up ripping it open with his bare hands. True story.

The dessert parade ended with one of my childhood favorites: baked tapioca pudding. I will never stop loving this!!!

When saying goodbye to one of our family friends, she asked me to autograph her goose-foot ghostbusters sign. I didn't really know what to write. I put, "Dear Pete: No feet!" But my handwriting was so bad, she said, "Does that say 'Mo' feet?'" Hey, choose your own adventure! No feet, mo' feet, I'll love ya either way.


  1. oh my god those goose feet! i don't even understand what the fish sack IS. but those desserts look amazing! especially those cute peachy buns!

  2. That looks like a food roller coaster, a slow build up to the scary parts, a few tame options to let you get your breath back before being scared witless again! Then a nice slow coast back to the exit where you are rewarded with fairy floss.
    I don't know if I would be brave enough to try everything but it looked impressive.
    xXx Helen

  3. Yeah, I don't think your dad was kidding when he said he chose food for the banquet to get into your I Eat Yucky Stuff hall o' fame!

  4. This is awesome. I would try any and all. I've only had the shark's fin (which, of course, is fabulous) but would LOVE to be all exploratory with my food choices! I've missed you updating here! <3

  5. Is it sad that the only thing that made me shudder was the mention of lotus seeds? I guess that's what I get for working in a Chinese restaurant for a few years. Unidentifiable fish and chicken heads and all.

  6. I am intrigued by all of this! I'm really only grossed out by food when I see distinguishing features so I probably would have passed on the chicken and ham (unless the head was taken away) and maybe also the goosefeet. I can't stop giggling at the peach buns though because at first I thought they were erotic cakes ;)

  7. While no stranger to most of these foods (im chinese too) I've never had goose feet or fish air bladder! but everything else looks completely delicious to me, haha.

  8. It all looks good lol! I cant imagine the feet though - is there even enough meat to taste anything or is it just tough skin and bones? it seems like there would be nothing of substance? the desertes look Amazeballs! YUM :)

  9. that is so cool! Thanks for sharing! Its great to see the many things people eat out there!
    I will try anything once!

  10. For my uncle's 70th birthday there was a plate with a goose foot, a vegetable of some sort and an unidentified piece of meat, probably seafood. I asked what it was and my aunt said "that's the maw." ...um ok, what is the fish maw...I ate it and I survived, I was hoping it was the piece of fish under the jaw of the fish? but maybe it was an air bladder?

    I couldn't bring myself to eat the foot :)

  11. Did the goose feet taste like chicken feet? Like the ones you get from yumcha?

    OMG I cracked up when I saw "It's good for the skin" - that's what my mum said just about everything I refused to eat as a child. HAHA