In an interview, famous chef Raymond Blanc remembers visiting Japan and eating a plate of live baby eels at a local buffey. “We were advised to add vinegar and sake (a japanese rice beer) — which made them jump around — then you swallowed them whole,” he says. “They jiggled around in my tummy!”
Protein can be scarce in the Australian outback, which has led to the tradition of eating witchetty grubs, with some folks popping the squirming bugs like their popcorn. Nutrition-wise, 10 witchetty grubs are said to fulfil your daily requirement of protein. Traditionally eaten raw, witchetty grubs can also be pan-fried, with one “bizarre chef” declaring they taste like “fried egg with a hint of nut.”
You’re probably thinking that lobsters are boiled alive and are deceased by the time they make it to your plate — and you’d be right. New York City restaurant Azuma Kirby, however, is one of several restaurants that actually serves lobsters while they’re still alive, with diners invited to pick “belly sashimi” out of the lobster, which is still moving around while it’s served.
Sea urchins are undoubtedly an acquired taste, but those who do enjoy urchin know the best way to eat them is right out of the shell while they’re still alive.
In Vietnam, it’s considered a delicacy to slice into a live cobra, rip out its heart and eat it while it’s still beating.
A delicacy in China, this dish involves soaking live shrimp in a booze-heavy broth that the thirsty shrimp slurp up, making them both tipsy and tasty. Drunken Shrimp is traditionally served in a special glass goblet with a lid, to prevent the twitching, thrashing shrimp from jumping onto your lap.
Noma is internationally famous for using live ants as a type of seasoning, which supposedly lends a zesty flavour to its signature salad.
Casu marzu sounds much more appetizing then its nickname “rotten cheese”. In fact this Sardinian cheese has a special ingredient you won’t find anywhere else – maggots. That’s because after the cheese forms, it’s left outside with a hole cut in the top to allow flies to enter, laying eggs that become larvae that eat the cheese and then excrete some sort of cheesy deliciousness. Thats right your not just eating maggots but you’re eating their poo too.
Translated from Japanese Ikizukuri literally means “prepared alive” even though this can be done with various critters it is mainly used with fish. When fish comes Ikizukuri style, it’s filleted without being killed, served while the heart is still beating and the fish’s mouth continues to open and close. Sometimes the half-sliced fish is returned to the tank to swim around until it’s time to be served up for a second course.
Odori Don is squid that’s technically dead when it’s served. However, there’s a reason why it’s also known as “dancing squid”: when soy sauce is poured on a dead cuttlefish squid, it seemingly comes back to life, lifting up off the bowl while its tentacles twitch. The reason has to do with a chemical reaction from the salt in the soy sauce, which triggers electrical impulses in the tissue, which is still “alive” even though its brain isn’t.”
The Korean delicacy sannakji is a dish made from a small octopus that’s chopped up and served to diners while it’s still alive and squirming — patrons enjoy feeling the suckers (or suction cups on the octopus’s arms) sticking to their tongues and throats while they chew.
This dish takes eating frog legs to an entirely new level. In some eastern countries, mainly China, Vietnam and Japan, you can eat live frogs served up filleted with their hearts still beating. The dish is a delicacy and uses special bullfrogs raised for cooking. There are many ways to make the dish but this is usually how it’s prepared: the frogs are still alive when you order them, then they’re sliced open on a plate and then the organs are removed while alive. Certain parts are removed and boiled in a broth, the rest is sliced as sashimi and served on the frog. It’s all done in front of you while you’re waiting for your meal and you eat the frog complete with beating heart and flailing limbs. The dish has been called out for animal cruelty and it is banned in many countries.
Fruit bat soup
On the tiny island of Guam, in the western Pacific Ocean, locals like to indulge in a little “kå’kå’du fanihidu fanihi”, a meat dish made with a fox or fruit bat in a coconut milk soup. The still-living bat is nabbed from the wild, rinsed off, and popped into a boiling vat of water, wings, fur, and head intact, and boiled alive before being served up with a dash of coconut milk and vegetables (if you’re lucky). You’re meant to eat everything except the bones and teeth. While the bat is technically dead (or in the final throes of death) when served, the abundant parasites and bacteria it contains are certainly not. There are some serious diseases that can be passed along to humans from this dish so eat it with care, if you choose to eat it at all!
Baby mice and dipping sauce
While you might be inclined to run and call the health inspector if you were to spot mice in a restaurant, not everyone feels the same way. For some, those mice are exactly the reason they went there in the first place. Although it’s not a particularly common dish, some residents of the Guangdong province in China like to indulge in a relatively unknown specialty: newborn mice. San zhi er, which translates as “three squeaks,” is a meal where baby mice are served live with a dipping sauce. The name derives from the three squeaks the mice will make during the meal: the first when they are picked up, the second when they are dipped, and the third when the diner bites down. Not the type of takeaway you would be accpecting!
In china there is some delicous scorpions that you can pick up with your chopsticks. It is recomended to cook them but can still be eaten raw. The stinger can be kept on if well cooked as the venom breaks down when cooked. In china it is tradition to keep the stinger on as legend says that it has medical benifits. For example scorpions can hold up to 80% of protein compared to beef which only has 20%. It is completly safe to eat scorpions but you have to be careful if you dont know what you’re doing.
Fish bucket soup
If mice aren’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. There are other animals you can dip in sauce and eat alive. Another option that is easier to make and more suitable for social occasions is to grab a bucket of live fish and a bowl of soup.This technique made a bit of a stir last year, when a video surfaced showing several people sitting around a bowl of soup. Using chopsticks, they lean over to pluck a live fish out of the bucket, before tossing it in the soup, where it splashes around before being eaten. The video is believed to have been shot in Southern China, based on the Cantonese that can be heard in the background. I dont feel like fishing anymore.
Ying yang yu
This is a fish that is eaten alive. Ying yang yu means dead-and-alive-fish. This is a deep fried whole fish served in china. The fish’s head is wrapped in cloth to keep it breathing while the body is cooked. Some chinese chefs cook the dish to prove freshness to the customers.
Cockroaches eaten alive!!
Last but not least, one more strange item to add to our food eaten alive list. While not actually served in a restaurant, cockroaches are sometimes consumed while alive in extreme eating competitions such as one in Florida in 2012 that turned deadly. The “winner” of the competition ate dozens of live cockroaches (among other things) and then later choked to death on them. Witnesses say he had to cover his mouth with his hands to keep them from crawling out.