Snake Soup: A Guide To The Chinese Delicacy + Recipe
Yes you heard that right! Snake soup, yes snakes… in a soup! Is it one of the most bizarre foods we’ve come across? Again, yes!
Snake soup is a 2,000 year old Chinese/Cantonese delicacy eaten in China, Taiwan and other parts of Eastern Asia. It may sound disgusting but snake meat is a light pink color with a texture similar to that of fish.
Combined with meat stock, herbs, spices and dark soy, snake soup is actually very popular for it’s warming taste and perceived medicinal benefits.
Snake soup is called ‘Se Gang (蛇羹)’ in China and is said to possess medicinal qualities and so it is often eaten as a health supplement. With such health benefits, it shares a lot of similarities with the Chinese Bird’s Nest Soup delicacy.
Different snakes can be used in Snake Soup and customers often pick them out themselves before the chef cooks them.
However, since snake soup takes such a long time to cook, the chef will usually pick the snakes with the most common being the water snake and the python.
There are other varieties of snake dishes eaten in China, such as a snake casserole or fried snake meat.
These unusual gourmet dishes can be found predominantly in Cantonese cuisine and so Hong Kong is the best place to find them.
Snake Soup Recipe
- Water snake – 1
- Python – 1
- Chicken legs – 2
- Chicken wings – 2
- Pork bone – 1
- Fish maw – 5 sticks
- Black fungus – 1 cup
- Ginger – 2 tbsp
- Lemon leaves – 2
- Dark soy sauce – 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Corn starch – as required
- Star anise – 3
- Water – as required
- Skin both of your snakes and start shredding the meat so that you get thin slivers of meat.
- Take a large pot and add the snake meat as well as the chicken, pork bone, fish maw, dark soy sauce, black fungus, ginger, lemon leaves, star anise, and enough water to cover the mixture and then some.
- Give the mixture a good stir to ensure all of the flavors are mixed in.
- Cover and put on a medium-low heat for 6 hours, stirring regularly.
- Your broth should start to smell good as it cooks through, make sure to check you have enough liquid and top up with water if necessary. If your soup is too runny, add your corn starch to reach the required consistency.
- After 6 hours your soup is ready, serve with bread and enjoy!
Eating Snake Soup In Hong Kong
Undoubtedly the best way to experience snake soup is to wander around Hong Kong and enjoy the sights and smells of the delicacy being eaten in restaurants and street food vendors.
However, if you would prefer to find top snake soup restaurants before you venture out then we have a hand-picked list of the top places to find snake soup.
Where To Eat Snake Soup In Hong Kong
If you don’t want to take the risk of eating at a suspicious looking snake soup establishment in Hong Kong then you might want to find a reliable place before you leave.
Luckily, we have found some of the top places to eat snake soup in Hong Kong, just for you.
Check out some of these top snake soup restaurants for a real, adventurous, snakey experience!