Eating Penis, Testicles, and Giant Spiders at the Donghuamen Night Market

Everyman reaches a crossroads, for some men it’s deciding to move in with their girlfriends, for others it’s the decision to put childish things behind them, and for me it was the decision to eat sheep penis and balls. To be or not to be a penis eater my friends, that is the question I really had to consider.

The place of food wonderment that leads me to such a conflicted question is the Donghuamen Night Market in Beijing. The Night Market has become one of the most famous in Beijing due to it’s 100 food stalls that carry every culinary delicacy of crickets, dog, giant spiders, starfish, cat, scorpions, squid oysters, and yes, sheep penis and testicles.  Everything is not a foodie leap of faith, for those less adventurous there is fried ice cream or even simply corn on a stick.

So many wonderful choices it's too hard to decide.
So many wonderful choices it’s too hard to decide.

The prices of the food items are anywhere from 10-100 RMB, for instance a grilled stick of chicken hearts is 10 RMB while a giant grilled Spider King (Tarantula) will run you 80-100 RMB. However, this is China and you can haggle, it always helps the more you order to, because you are always going to get a better deal for two or three things than just one.

Even if you don’t have much of an appetite the Donghuamen Night Market, only a 20-minute walk from Tiananmen Square, is worth a see. There is no doubt you’ll have fun taking pictures of endless rows of scorpions and squid side by side ready to be thrown straight on the grill.


Squid on a stick!
Squid on a stick!

Back to the crossroads like Eric Clapton, I had a decision to make, so after I had a little alone time to contemplate as my buddies headed over to chop down some starfish I grew some balls and made a move to walk over to the booth selling them. After a little haggling I got the whole set, a stick of three sheep testicles and a stick of sheep penises. I told em to make extra spicy; I didn’t want to taste anything even though the battle was going to be wit the texture. My friends came back, and with a little encouragement we all dove right in together and ate those babies down. Honestly, they weren’t too bad, the sheep penis sort of tasted like spick chicken heart sticks and the balls, for lack of a better comparison, sort of tasted like chicken, go figure.




The Shameless Traveler gearing up for some balls! Just like mom used to never make!
The Shameless Traveler gearing up for some balls! Just like mom used to never make!

Now I’ve expanded my culinary palette a little further, so watch out for me at the next foodie conversation, my guns will be a blazing. So head on down to Donghuamen Night Market and get yourself a pair of balls, or maybe just a delicious stick of kiwi or watermelon. Either way the experience is a can’t miss.

Next entry: The Shameless Traveler: Why I do what I do.

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