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What does duck tongue actually taste like?

By: Reading Time: < 1 Minute

Along with crispy duck, duck tongue dishes are nothing out of the ordinary in traditional Chinese restaurants. But what do they taste like?

Uniquely Chinese

When we talk about traditional Chinese cuisine, duck tongues are mentioned in the same breath as dishes such as fried pig ears in spicy sauce, shark fin soup or boiled chicken feet. In contrast to many Western countries, it is common practice in China to use every parts of an animal. This is why, alongside fillets of beef and other standard cuts, chicken feet, pig ears and duck tongues make their way onto restaurant menus, creating dishes that most people outside the country of the Great Wall would find unusual.

A food with versatile usage

There are different ways to eat duck tongue. Many restaurants offer braised duck tongue served with various sauces, but you can also order it crispy or deep-fried. Although the tongues might be served as an appetizer or main course, they are also a well-known and popular snack among the Chinese.

Duck tongues: easy to prepare and a distinctive intrinsic own taste

Duck tongue is very simple and easy to prepare compared to preparing an entire bird or other parts of it. The meat around the bone in the middle of the tongue becomes particularly tender when cooked over low heat and for an extended cooking time. Thanks to its subtle and distinctive intrinsic flavor, it can simply be eaten on its own, without any fuss or frills. However, whether with a bit of salt or in combination with other bold flavors from spices and other ingredients, duck tongues are very much a part of multi-faceted Chinese cuisine.

Duck tongue is an exotic departure from the all-too-familiar dishes like sweet and sour pork, crispy duck, spring rolls or fried noodles, which appear on the menu of just about every Chinese restaurant. Usually packaged and sold frozen, they are available in well-stocked Asian supermarkets or online.


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