Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Duck Blood Soup

Oof! It's been a busy few days since I last posted. Since I last wrote, I have been to Suzhou, Nanjing, and Hangzhou. Today I will be heading out to Hefei, in Anhui Province. Before that, though, a review of one of Nanjing's street foods: Ya Xue Fen Si Tang (鸭血粉丝汤), or duck blood soup.

This is a local specialty in Nanjing, and quite tasty. The soup has an oily broth with a touch of spiciness to it. The bowl is densely packed with vermicelli noodles, long and slippery like the worms with which they share an etymological base. The noodles don't have much flavor themselves, but they function superbly as a base for the broth and the duck's blood. Naturally, the highlight of this dish is the duck's blood itself. Upon hearing the name, you might suspect the blood to be the liquid basis of the broth in the soup. In fact, the blood has been fermented and is served in solid blocks with the shape, texture, and consistency of tofu.

The taste, however, is quite unlike tofu. It's a bit hard to describe, actually. It doesn't have the iron-y taste you might expect from fresh blood, nor does it taste like duck. That being said, there is a very clear taste of an undefined "meat" in the blocks. Sort of like a meat-based broth--you can tell it came from an animal, but it doesn't exactly taste like beef or chicken.

You can find this dish in restaurants and on the streets around the city. Perhaps the best place to look is near Fuzimiao (the Confucius Temple). Expect to pay around 5 - 10 Y per bowl.


Mark Rebstock said...

What is 5-10 Y in US $?

Frank Kasell said...

Between 1 and 2 dollars right now. Not too shabby.

Unknown said...

Never had this duck blood soup. Will try it this time. Asian Travel Guide

Unknown said...

No, Jimmy. There is such a thing. However, they're extremely rare, maybe about 2 to 3% of the entire Muslim population.
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