Since coming to China, we’ve had hot pot on numerous occasions. The husband and I are actually not huge fans — most times, it’s just too damn hot in Shenzhen to be sitting around a steaming, boiling pot, and the super popular Szechuan-type hot pot has that strange peppercorn numb-spiciness that neither of us like. But we’d been pretty curious about a hot pot restaurant near our school called Top Wu Populace Healthcare Restaurant that has a reputation for selling weird/exotic meats, so we decided to check it out. We went with the husband’s first semester students, whom I adore.
I’m not really sure why this is a “Healthcare” restaurant. Maybe because some of the exotic animals and animal parts are considered to have some therapeutic properties in traditional Chinese medicine? Anyway, the menu is hilarious:
They have a section called “Beasts” and it lists various types of penises and other unusual animal parts that you can add to your hot pot: Mongolia Bull Penis, Deer Penis, Donkey Penis, Dog Penis, Bull Testis, Sheep Placenta.
This was our hot pot. We ordered mushrooms, potatoes, sliced beef, corn, scallions, dates, cabbage…
… and bull penis. I believe it was the Mongolian Bull Penis, Small Size. One of the students ordered for us.
It comes out frozen and sliced on a bed of lettuce. Elegant!
Cooked bull penis. It was ok, didn’t taste that weird or anything. It kinda had the texture of beef tendon — chewy and transparent — which I love to have in my pho. Everyone at our table agreed that it tasted OK, and we ate all the penis in our hot pot.
Related: I tried cock (chicken) testicles in paprika sauce many years ago when I was in Hungary, and I think penis tastes a bit better than testicles. Testicles taste like organs — e.g. giblets you get in your Thanksgiving turkey — and it just gets to be too rich or something. I had a hard time finishing my testicles dish, so a Hungarian dude we were with offered to switch his dish with me. But in general, I would advise anyone against eating a whole big plate of this stuff — testicles or penis. Only in small doses, friends!