Eating the bugs of Wangfujing one by one

Wangfujing Snack Street is a little offshoot from the Wangfujing Road shopping district. But here you will not find any snakeskin bags – you will just eat the snake!

So much to choose from!
So much to choose from!

A lot of people may complain about such insects being on sale for Human consumption in Beijing, but really it’s no worse than anything on sale in Vietnam, and remember the Japanese routinely eat weird things, even tuna eyeballs and raw pufferfish! Oh, and lest we forget the delicacy of guinea pig in Peru!

So when me and a few friends had the chance to experience the Wangfujing Snack Street in Beijing, we tried as many unique delicacies as we could find, and gave each of them a taste test! Check out our results below!


Snack: Locust

Tastes Like: Days-old beef, but with a Tang

Creepy Factor: ****

I have seen locusts or grasshoppers on sale in Thailand before so the sight of them on sticks here at Wangfujing is not as shocking as some others that I would see. However, they look so ugly whether they’re on a stick or not, that I just cannot look at them for long, let alone taste them. And apparently, it’s like eating stale beef!


Snack: Starfish

Tastes Like: Quite Bland, but Chewy

Creepy Factor: *

Unlike some of the items listed here, the starfish is not actually that bad, although it doesn’t have much taste and is very chewy and gamey. I wouldn’t eat it again, but at least I didn’t get disgusted about eating it the first time.

Roasted baby birds
Roasted baby birds

Snack: Baby Birds

Tastes Like: Sweet Taste, Possibly Garlic

Creepy Factor: **

I don’t know if these birds at Wangfujing were coated in a sauce before or after frying, but my friends detected a taste of garlic in these. I didn’t try them myself, but I can report that they have a soft texture.

Baby sharks
Baby sharks

Snack: Shark

Tastes Like: Very Chewy, like eating Rubber

Creepy Factor: ***

Again, a very chewy delicacy, the shark is one of the more unusual creatures on offer at the Wangfujing Snack Street. You don’t eat the tail, only the abdomen, but even that was bland.


Snack: Scorpion

Tastes Like: Chicken

Creepy Factor: ****

Many backpackers will come to Wangfujing and want to try the infamous scorpions on a stick. There are so many YouTube videos around of people eating them, but in reality, these disgusting creatures taste like chicken – but then again, doesn’t everything?!


Snack: Seahorse

Tastes Like: Actually quite nice, maybe like normal fish?

Creepy Factor: *

Unsurprisingly, these seahorses tasted like real fish, although with a somewhat chargrilled taste (they weren’t chargrilled). I heard that male seahorses are the ones who carry unborn young, rather than females, so we were assured that only females were available to eat.


Snack: Silkworm

Tastes Like: Pungent bread-like texture

Creepy Factor: **

Mouldy bread tastes like silkworm larvae? Yep, pretty much. It’s not quite as bad as you think, but I don’t know how anyone could actually eat these regularly.


Snack: Tarantula

Tastes Like: Chicken Skin

Creepy Factor: *****

Another delicacy that I didn’t want to try, the deep-fried tarantula (also sold in Cambodia, known as A-Ping) apparently tastes like chicken skin, which is a more rustic taste than the actual chicken meat. You shouldn’t eat the abdomen though, as it may contain eggs. Yuk!


Snack: Centipede

Tastes Like: Chewy Meat

Creepy Factor: ****

The centipede actually looks worse than it tastes, and I guess that’s because of the sharp legs. You don’t eat the legs, but the actual body itself is very, very chewy.


Read about another slimy experience at Wangfujing Snack Street from Katherine Belarmino.

Luckily, not all things in Wangfujing Snack Street are creepy and crawly, as I discovered a lovely stall selling tanghulu (candied fruit). Just the tonic for a wimp like me!

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