Would I want to eat the chicken's feet served in Chinese Restaurants?

I am a fairly adventurous eater. The other day we went for Dim Sum at a local Chinese eatery. They offered chicken’s feet and I once again did not succumb to the temptation to eat these things. Should I try them?

I mean, they are feet. From chickens. What part of it do you eat? How? It seems to me they would be all bony, with just some skin on it. And isn’t the skin all covered with scales? Are they spicy? Sweet? Succulent?

Can anyone who has ever tried this delicacy fill me in on what I am missing?


Well, that’s just my opinon. I’ve eaten them (and duck’s feet), and they’re like chicken-flavored chewing gum, not scaly but soft and chewy, and full of little bones that you have to spit out and put on the side of the plate, which look uncomfortably like babies’ skeletons. Usually, they’re steamed, so there isn’t much extra flavour, although some come with chilli or some other sauce.

I’d say try them once, since taste is subjective, but they’re not something I’m going to order again in a hurry.

you kinda chew/suck the skin off the feat and eat that part. Most people don’t chow down on the actual bones or anything. If you go out to dim sum with my relatives, all that’s left of the chicken feet is a little pile of bones that ants couldn’t scavenge.

They’re not just served in Chinese resturants, my grandmother used to cook chicken’s feet in rice. They’re good you just chew to the bone, not much meat but tasty. If you want a good animal’s foot, you can’t beat pig’s feet. I’ll settle for the pickled feet in a jar that you can get at some grocery stores or in one of the few real country stores around but I have tried for years to reproduce Granny’s pickled pig’s feet. Anyone got any ideas?

I was taken to Chinatown when I was 8 years old for a schoolfriends birthday party to eat dim sum. We had, amongst other things, chickens feet. they were really nice - a bit like crispy shredded chilli beef except you sucked it off a chickens foot. The claws were kind of gross, but all in all it was pretty nice. I think you have to try it, just for the experience.

I’m a vegetarian, but my daughter (1 & 1/2 years old) loves 'em. If you eat meat, I think you should try them and let us all know.

Don’t do it!

Sure, it might taste OK, but later that night, when you’re trying to sleep, you’ll think about those poor amputee chickens with their little footies inside you. And then you’ll feel it. A little prickle in your belly. And another. And pretty soon it’ll feel like the whole chicken Rockette chorus line doing a CanCan on the tender lining of your stomach.

Well, my stepdad pickled the cooked pigs’ feet in lemon juice, with cucumber slices and onions added. He used one of those sun tea jars and kept it in the fridge for some length of time; I forget how long. This was the recipe that he was well-acquainted with.

Hey, if you don’t want them chicken feet, I’ll takes 'em. Mmmmm-mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Almost always order them every time I have dim sum…

Me too. Every place I’ve been too for dim sum cooks them in a delicious sauce. I often end up getting a whole dish just for myself as so few people eat them…


Sounds like it would be similar to eating wings, but with less meat and more toenails.

I’m usually pretty adventurous when it comes to food (Zenster is my hero in this regard), but I’ll pass on the amputated feet, thanks.

I’ve eaten chicken and duck feet a few times. The only reason to do it is to gross sensitive people out, they’re a pain to eat and don’t have anything on them worth the trouble.

You haven’t had good chicken feet, then, bub. :wink:

If you must wuss out, at least get something tasty instead, like sticky rice in lotus leaf. Yummy…

I’ve never liked them; just little bony things with skin. When I was a kid my parents said they made it by forcing the chickens to run over a hot stove. :eek:

Now, the swim bladder of a fish - there’s a real delicacy :wink:

I will just point out that they are skinned and the nails are chopped off, thats how mom did it for noodles.

I’ve eaten them and they’re okay, but almost any other dim sum dish gives you better value for your money. Why pay $5 for some barbecued chicken skin?

I have had chicken’s feet before, and I’m completely ambivalent as to whether others should eat them.

But in reading this thread, I have had just one thought running around my skull: “The early Americans made use of every part of the buffalo…”

They used the hump for a doorstop.

Third effing time’s a charm!


Mmmmm … babies’ skeletons!

Feet are some of the most cartilaginous parts of an animal’s body. Prolonged cooking produces an incredibly silky texture. A Chinese friend of mine says that extracting the meat from all the bones is half the fun of eating them. I’ve had them before and they are interesting. However, like sunflower seeds and pomegranates, for me they are too labor intensive for the final yield. If you want a sample of dim sum heaven, try hom sui gok [hom - swee - gock]. It is a deep fried glutinous rice envelope filled with seasoned pork. This is one of my all time favorites.

Has anyone here heard of another method of preparing chicken’s feet on the hoof?

A friend once told me about a special preparation method whereby the live chicken was placed in a pot that permitted only the bird’s head to protrude. It was forced to stand in some sauce that was slowly heated (yes, cruel, I know). As the chicken began to dance about in the increasingly hot sauce, it effectively self-basted its own trotters. At some point the chicken expired and the feet were removed and brought to table with other parts following in subsequent order.

I think your friend has mistaken it with something else.

There is a special Chinese banquet called the Wun-Han Banquet where they serve a course of duck feet. That is rumoured to be prepared by having the ducks running around on a hot metal plate, then cut their feet off while they are still alive.

Brutal, ain’t it?