Biting the Bullfrog – Shanghai, March 2013

I know Kermit wasn’t a bullfrog, but I need to get his voice out of my head if I’m going to get through this dinner. I’ve seen some interesting meals listed on menus on this trip. If you’re squeamish, you might like to look away now..

sheep what?

sheep what?

or maybe this might be more appealing…



I’m sure some Chinese would find many things that Westerners eat pretty off-putting, but that’s for someone else’s blog.  I’ve decided that tonight is the night to push away the pork, to ditch the dumplings – tonight I’m eating amphibian.  I haven’t really extended my culinary comfort zone on this trip. The food has been great, but the moment has come to feel the fear and eat it anyway. And here he comes now…

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?

Well I wasn’t expecting that. That’s a lot of bullfrog, and a lot of vegetation as well. I’m getting images of an excavator scooping up a swamp, reeds and all, and depositing in it through the window of the kitchen into my bowl.  And how many legs must one bullfrog have, before you call him “dinner”? There are a lot of limbs in here. I’m hoping that the Chinese nuclear program hasn’t had any undocumented issues, causing a glut of eight-legged frogs on the market.  With these many limbs, there must be frog butt in here somewhere too.  So this is what it’s come to.  I’m eating bullfrog bum soup. Another dream has been realised.

This frog is going down

This frog is going down

So bullfrog tastes like chicken. I shouldn’t be surprised – so did snake, kangaroo, crocodile and goanna.  It’s fine – it’s not a strong flavour.  K has a taste and she’s not asking for seconds. It’s one of those meals where you spend more time looking for your food than actually eating it. There are so many bones and the pieces of meat are fairly small. If you’re very hungry, this can get frustrating!

Frog gone

Frog gone

So do I recommend the Bullfrog? Yes, I guess so.  It’s an ideal opportunity to either impress or shock those back home, without being too adventurous.  Just give yourself a lot of time; bullfrog is not for people in a hurry.

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5 Responses to Biting the Bullfrog – Shanghai, March 2013

  1. laurapattara says:

    Hey Mo, first of all thanks for liking my blog. I thought I’d come check you out, the biting of the bullfrog title was intriguing enough, I just wish it had come with a ‘do not scroll down if you’re actually enjoying your lunch’ warning :))) But hey, I’m lucky…I’m in Greece at the moment and the food is both palatable and attractive. China will come next year and then I’ll have kidneys, testicles and bullfrogs to look forward to?! Goodie! Thanks for taking one for the ‘travelling team’ and reporting back. I’m going to check out your other blogs now to see what else you’ve been up to, but I’m a bit anxious about your ‘Feeding Time in Beijing’ post. Should I…should I not?
    Cheers mate

    • westiedad says:

      Hi Laura – ha! Sorry about the lack of warning. This must be a nice time to be in Greece. Whereabouts are you? I have great memories of Santorini. I don’t recall eating anything testicular there. Our guide in Xi’an told us that it was just a rumour that Chinese ate dog, and that the only people in China who eat dog are Koreans. So if you come across a collar next year, blame the Koreans. I think the Feeding Time night was tame – but the big pile of kitty litter on the table next to us was weird. Cheers and happy travels, Mo.

      • laurapattara says:

        OK, so I survived your first dining experience and I am not at all surprised to hear the Chinese blame the Koreans about the dog-eating business. Noticed how, no matter where you are, it’s always the ‘neighbours’ you should be worrying about?? Funny dat.
        We’re on the coast near Thessaloniki at the mo, but will (eventually) make our way to Oz with our motorbikes. Very much looking forward to the Stans and China. My stomach not so much. Happy and safe travels to you too, looking forward to more delicious reports from you. Cheers

  2. Zooey says:

    I scrolled down and I’ve been veggie for about 30 years. I got a phone call the morning I was due to leave for Ulaan Baatar saying it might be a good idea to pack some food. I survived on fermented mare’s milk and packet soup for two weeks… 🙂

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