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Chinese Snacks 101: Let Them Eat Chicken Feet

It’s Nora and Hollie back again and this time, we’re eating some weird and wonderful snacks from China for your entertainment! We wanted to start off this new video series with a classic Chinese snack. Ready for it??? CHICKEN FEET. Watch as we munch on some spicy chicken feet, claws included!

Have you seen or eaten chicken feet? We want to see it! Post your chicken feet pics on Instagram and tag us! @writtenchinese


Now, you may think that chicken feet are a strange thing to eat but as our Chinese friends always say, “It’s good for the skin!”. This is true. These little morsels are chock full of natural collagen and really are good for the skin. As my friend Joe with a TCM Masters told me, after a certain age our bodies stop making collagen. In the West, a lot of people take collagen supplements to enhance their skin tone later in life. You don’t have to do this in China as the diet is rich in different fatty foods that we would snicker at back home. So what’s better? Getting this inexpensive and more natural form of collagen directly from your food on a regular basis or popping pills and shooting your face up with poisonous botox? Hmmm…


So what do chicken feet really taste like? To be honest, when I first came to China it was the texture and the look of this dish that made my skin crawl, not the taste. The fingers sometimes even flex on these things as you bite into the tendons making them a snack not for the faint of heart! It took me years to wrap my head around eating feet, but I’m glad I did. They taste like most other parts of the chicken but are more fatty and stringy in texture. They’re often eaten here for morning tea as an accompanying dim sum. They come in lots of flavors and can be eaten as a snack as we might eat beef jerky in the US. This is the exact brand and flavor that was chosen for us in the video:



I prefer to eat them freshly cooked, but this wasn’t bad. I doubt I’ll be buying it the next time I hit up the 711 but it’s certainly not the strangest thing I’ve ever eaten in China!


Here are a few words you might want to remember that go along with this video. Don’t forget, you can click the “+” symbol while logged-in to our web dictionary to add these words to your flashcards. They’ll sync with the Written Chinese Dictionary app and you can study them on the go.

(kǎo) to roast / to bake / to broil

鸡爪 (jīzhuǎ) chicken feet

花椒 (huājiāo) Sichuan pepper / Chinese prickly ash

麻辣 (málà) hot and numbing

吃素 (wǒ chīsù) I’m a vegetarian. (Remember this phrase if you want to get out of eating chicken feet and not offend!)


If you’re too chicken to eat chicken feet and want to get in on the action, you can just sport these glorious socks. What better way is there to promote the joys of chicken feet to the world?!

Have you tried chicken feet before? What did you think? We want to hear your Chinese snacking stories! Tell us in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Two White Chicks in China podcast to listen to us discuss all aspects of life in China. You can even leave us a voicemail to get your own question answered!