Wangfujing Street – Eating Scorpion and Other Weird Treats in Beijing

Posted By Jeremy in Asia | 8 comments


Scorpions to eat in China

A must do for the off-the-beaten track crowd in Beijing is to visit one of the food markets that line the various districts.  At these markets, the appetite of the adventurous can be put to the test with many offbeat and near disgusting creatures on display for consumption. Normal foods are also available from the dozens of street carts for those wanting to have a more traditional meal of dumplings or noodles. But my trip to the Wangfujing night market, however, was purely for one purpose; to eat the weirdest food I could find.  Namely scorpion.

Going for the Scorpion

Wangfujing Street is hugely popular.

For the weak of stomach, this post will contain images of weird food that I had while at the market.  If eating weird creatures bother you, I would suggest avoiding this post.  The images, as they say, are rather graphic.

Before talking about the main attraction, a helpful piece of advice is necessary in order to successfully complete a trip into the weird when visiting one of these markets: go with a crowd.  Going alone gives many opportunities for fear to take over and to chicken out.  A crowd of like minded individuals puts you in a scenario where going forward is of greater commitment.  My group of four had a very lucky round with all the food, as most came in portions for easy sharing with just our amount of people.

Scorpion? Why not!

Living the Dream prior to eating scorpion

Within moments of entering the food district, a side street off of the main Wangfujing street, we were greeted with our scorpion friends.  Surprisingly, impaled scorpions on the stick still wiggle around in agony before being dipped into frying oil and dispatched.  Four baby scorpions, 20 yuan (~$2.94 USD).  Not a bad price when split four ways for one good bite.  I must further go on and preface my following statements with this thought: I was absolutely terrified.  Before even looking around the market, an order for scorpions was placed and a stick in my hand being the volunteer to go first.  Video camera on, cameras flashing, I popped one in my mouth while the stick was shaking in my hand…

Not bad.  Scorpion, is surprisingly not bad.  While baby in size and missing large claws, a huge mid-section, or stinger on tail, the fried scorpion only had two discernible feelings: crunchy and nutty.  Much like an over baked fried crisp of sorts.  Passing the stick along, the other guy in the group nervously tried it, and also agreed it was not bad.  The two girls in the party then dove in without fear, and scorpion got a four out of four on the edible scale.  I’d get it again, maybe.

Snake? Snake. Snaaaaake!

Shopping on Wangfujing Street

Next on the menu: snake.  A few moments later, an order for snake was placed for 15 yuan ($2.20).  Once again, it was served up fried and this time seasoned.  Four snack bites allowed our group to sample with ease much to our happiness.  Like scorpion, snake had received a positive four out of four edibility ranking.  The only drawback was over seasoning on the part of the chef, producing an overly salty flavor to our tastes-like-chicken snack.

While the rest of the cuisine sampled for the rest of the night were on the normal spectrum: spring rolls (5 yuan), sugar covered fruit (4-8 yuan), whole coconuts (unknown), gyoza (15 yuan per plate), there were a wide range of creepy crawlies available for those wanting to continue the eating frenzy.  Some of the others out there that you can get excited for are starfish, seahorses, cockroaches, millipedes, centipedes, lizards, large scorpions, something that looked like a rat, liver, heart, and many other unrecognizable organs.

Although eating the creepiest of critters turned out to be a pretty good experience for what it is worth, the most entertaining aspect of the entire event was the crowds of Chinese locals that gathered around watching our extravaganza and also taking pictures of the weird tourists eating crazy food.  I’ve expressed my concern about the language barrier in China, but on Wangfujing Street, everyone seemed to speak English only enough to ask us how it was.

Even though it was my last night in Beijing after spending 6 days in the city, the entire experience actually raised the bar on the city, which I had been fighting with myself on the week prior on whether I was enjoying my time or not.  Maybe in this case, scorpion quite literally saved the day.  Or maybe it was my dessert of sugar covered fruit on a stick:

To see the full proof of me and some friends actually eating a scorpion, watch the video below:

Jeremy

Jeremy founded Living the Dream in 2008 to chronicle his long-term trip around Asia. Since then he has been on two long-term trips, visited 68 countries, and is just getting started. He is now on a Lifestyle Design quest to build businesses to pursue a life of travel.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle PlusFlickr

Traveling Soon? Book Your Hotel Today!



Booking.com

By booking using our affiliate links above, we'll receive a small commission that helps us keep running this site. We'd appreciate it!

Popular Posts


Top 20 Travel Blog PostsTop 100 Travel Experiences
Travel Blogging SecretsBlogging Income Report
Travel Packing ListLifestyle Design



Build a Better Travel Blog


Check out the services we personally use to help our blogs grow and succeed!


Performance Foundry Hosting   Elegant Themes   Travel Blog Success

Viral Tag Social Media Scheduling   Professional Travel Bloggers Association   OIO Publisher Ad Billing

Opt-In Monster Newsletter Pop-Ups   King Sumo Giveaway Plugin   Bluehost Hosting

*Contains affiliate links.

8 Comments

  1. Man us Asians will put anything on a stick and eat it haha. I almost tried roasted cicada but I couldn’t do it. I can eat a lot of weird things but maybe I need to start small like crickets or something. That snake on a stick looks kinda scary too but I heard snake doesn’t taste that bad.

    Post a Reply
  2. Do it! Make sure to finish with one of the dipped fruit sticks. Probably the best thing I had that whole week!

    Post a Reply
  3. Nice. Can’t wait to try it when I visit Beijing next month.

    Post a Reply
  4. That is why I recommend going with a group. Before I knew it the scorpion was already in my hand. When 3 people are waiting for you to try, you just dive right in!

    Post a Reply
  5. Writing this from my desk I would say i’d try all of them, but there is this little voice in my head telling me that it wont be that easy when I have a fried scorpion or snake in my hands 🙂

    Post a Reply
  6. Haha, thanks. Sorry if I grossed you out a bit too much. I wrote this post while in China and have been itching to get it up. I had far worse stuff in Vietnam. O:-)

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest