top of page

Do Chinese People Eat These 5 Foods?

What comes to your mind when you hear 'Chinese food'? Today, Teacher Lin will go through 5 dishes that have been regularly mentioned and asked about. Are they and their rumored benefits facts or myths?

Watch the video here or read the blog post below.

1. Chinese people eat bird’s nest?

If you're thinking about bird's nest, you're probably thinking about twigs and leaves stacked together on top of a tree. However, did you know that sparrows build their nest using their saliva along cliff walls? This is actually a delicacy in China called 燕窝 (yànwō). 燕 means sparrow and 窝 means nest.

How on earth can a sparrow's saliva be a delicacy!? The reason is because the harvesting of the nests is a highly dangerous task. Tall and mountainous walls need to be scaled and the nest collectors are risking a steep drop to their death. Furthermore, the nests will also need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried. That's why in restaurants, you'll see bird's nest being sold for around $100 per bowl. You may be thinking why they are sought after, and the reason is because the saliva is said to have anti-aging and anti-cancerous properties. The richness of proteins and amino acids also make it a popular dish for growing children.

2. Snake soup can heat up your blood?

In some parts of China, snake soup is a common sight. In Chinese, snake soup is called 蛇羹 (shé gēng). 蛇 means snake and 羹 means soup. Some of you out there might be thinking that 汤 also means soup too and that’s correct. However, the difference is that 汤 has a more watery consistency whereas 羹 is more stew like. Snake soup is actually a winter soup dish. And it is true that in traditional Chinese medicine, snake soup is said to have warming capabilities. After eating the dish, blood circulation is promoted which allows the body to warm up and withstand the bleak cold temperatures of the winter.

3. Eating pig trotters give you a natural face lift?

Pig trotters, 猪脚 (Zhū jiǎo) are very a common dish in China. It is said that pig trotters contain lots of collagen, which is a protein that is very good for your skin and hair. However, it is false that eating pig trotters can give you a natural face lift or excellent skin instantaneously. This is because experts have scientifically proven that collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream or skin to have any real or visible effect when eaten.

4. Chinese people eat a lot of chicken feet?

It's technically a claw right? But regardless of the term, it's a fact that Chicken Feet is widely eaten across China. It's a tasty and convenient food which can be found packaged up like snacks in convenience stores too. In Chinese, it is called 凤爪 (fèng zhuǎ). 凤 means phoenix and 爪 means claws. Chicken feet are said to be high in collagen content, so people believe that eating them can give you great and instantaneous skin benefits.

5. Bat soup is very common in China?

Myth. Bat soup is not commonly found in menus at restaurants and is no widely eaten across China. Bat soup in Chinese is 蝙蝠汤 (biānfú tāng). 蝙蝠 means bat and 汤 means soup.

Let us know whether you’ve tried any of the dishes that we have discussed and what your thoughts are on them. Remember to like and subscribe to our Youtube channel for free weekly Chinese lessons!

39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page