As we all know, China has an endless range of cuisines. From dog to eel and from duck to turtle, once you’ve eaten food in China, your taste buds may never be the same again. So the situation arose where I ate turtle soup, without knowing what it was! Believe me when I say this happens a lot in China and Taiwan – especially because I nearly always eat in very local places when I’m there.
So it was part of a massive feast for the evening in a popular large restaurant on the outskirts of Kaiping (also called Hoi Ping). This is in Guangdong Province. I was staying in the area while visiting the amazing Kaiping Dialou World Heritage Sites.
The menu arrived and as I was eating with a local family, I just went with the flow. Soon, countless dishes arrived, but they were preceeded with a soup. The soup was plain looking, almost like hot water with just a hint of herb in it. I started sipping in it and when asked I replied “Jung Yee” (which means “I like” in Cantonese). I was then told it was turtle soup. Basically the turtle had been smashed and boiled in hot water.
On the plate in front was the remains of the turtle. One of those occasions in life when you would rather just eat it without knowing what it was and without seeing its dead carcass on a plate in front of you, complete with the turtle shell smashed into smitherines!
Turtle Power! Don’t Stop Living!
Me Trying Turtle Soup in Kaiping in China:
(and for old times sake) Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Theme Tune: