Eating fried sea dog in Wang Fu Jing
August 19, 2008 | 10:06 AMJulie Chiu
On Saturday I took Shira and Danny to check Wang Fu Jing. It's the touristy shopping area very close to Tiananmen Square. It’s a pedestrian shopping area. Put into LA terms for you, it’s like Third Street Promenade but bigger and busier.
Shira asked me if Wang Fu Jing is like Fisherman's Wharf to me (as in being an uber-touristy spot) — somewhere that I only go with friends in town. But I do go to Wang Fu Jing from time to time. It’s fun to show people around the sites and see their reactions to new things.
Wang Fu Jing is always busy and crowded on weekends. I couldn't say that it was even busier because of the Olympics. The obvious difference is that there was probably more foreign visitors but probably same amount of people.
We wandered around the food stalls. Everything you can imagine, served on a stick. Besides the boring stuff like beef, chicken, pork, mutton, you can get scorpion, chicken heart, star fish, sea horse, silk worm sea snake, and sea dog. There was also corn on the cob on a stick, fresh coconut and glazed fruit on a stick. It’s like walking around the county fair…with all the food vendors yelling to sell their food.
I had never heard of sea dog. I saw a girl eating it and asked her what it was. She told me "sea dog" in English so it's not like it got in translation.
I asked her how she liked it. She said there wasn't much taste. She didn’t have an awful reaction as she bit into the sea dog. I watched her chew and swallow. I thought, if she can eat it, so can I. Danny dared me and offered to buy it for me. I’ve had silk worm and scorpion a few years ago so I do have a track record for being an adventurous eater!
So, you're wondering how I like the sea horse and sea dog. Just crunchy. When you deep fry anything, you can eat it and it tastes fine. Just ask people who live in the South. I ate the head and tail of the sea dog. It wasn't like potato chip-crunchy, more like glazed caramel crunchy but not sweet, of course.
All in all, it was a great afternoon showing Wang Fu Jing to Shira and Danny. They really enjoyed themselves and I was happy to show them around and have them try different foods. It was a very cultural experience indeed and that's what traveling is all about.
About this blog
A blog by and about UCLA athletes, coaches, students and alumni at the Beijing Olympics
Julie, who works with the media in Beijing, prepared for her third Olympics by studying Mandarin for two years.
Jessica competes in the hammer throw for the U.S. Olympic team.
Andrea, Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2006, plays on the U.S. Olympic softball team.
Jillian, head coach at UCLA, is an assistant coach for the U.S. women's soccer team.
Natalie, a UCLA alum, is a member of the U.S. water polo team.
Kimberly, UCLA '05, moved to Beijing on a whim two years ago and stayed for the Olympics.
Kara, a student at UCLA, is a member of Canada's Olympic soccer team.
Nicolette swims the breaststroke for the Singapore Olympic team.
Liz is a senior media relations officer at UCLA. She is happy to be at home during the Olympics.
Kevin is director of the UCLA Newsroom. He wishes he were in Beijing.