Throughout his travels, gourmet chef John Denboer has tasted and learned to prepare some of the most popular exotic food on the planet. Admittedly, most of his favorites come from the same continent – Asia.
On that note, John shares three exotic Asian dishes that everyone should try at least once in their lives.
Bird’s Nest Soup
Bird’s Nest Soup from China is known in culinary circles as the “Caviar of the East.” Made from actual swift’s nests – which comprise mostly of swiftlet saliva – this exotic soup features quite a unique texture that’s almost gelatinous. The fact that swiftlets build nests over 35 days and people can only harvest it approximately thrice a year makes this dish extremely seasonal, rare, difficult and dangerous to harvest, and most of all, expensive.
Bird’s Nest Soup is considered to be both an aphrodisiac and a great source of protein, John Denboer adds.
The Fried Tarantulas of Cambodia is not for the fainthearted and arachnophobes. This exotic treat was discovered during the perilous period when the Khmer Rouge ruled the region. Hundreds of thousands of people suffering found out that tarantulas were in fact, edible. Since then, these eight-legged terrors have evolved from being an important source of nutrition to a well-known delicacy, especially for tourists, explains John Denboer.
John Denboer mentions that as far as food for thrill-seekers goes, Japan’s Puffer Fish is at the top of the mountain. The tetrodotoxin found inside the fish is over a thousand times more potent than cyanide, which is why even the cooking of the fish requires intense training and certification.
In fact, 15 people have perished in Thailand because of this fish.