Shuāngliú lǎo mā tù tóu (双流老妈兔头)

Chengdu 成都, Sichuan 四川, China — The rabbit head odyssey began at Chengdu Mix Hostel, where “Mix” agreed to take a group of rabbit head eating rookies if there were at least five of us. I convinced the five at the table then managed to recruit a few more to indulge in the adventure. A few blocks away from the hostel, we arrived at an average looking restaurant and ordered eleven rabbit heads – all Sichuan spice flavored, but three.

Heads in hand (photo by Robin Dumont)

Checking the goods (photo by Robin Dumont)

Sichuan flavored (original photo by Robin Dumont)

Three rabbit heads stewed without Sichuan spices (original photo by Robin Dumont)

The lesson began for how to eat rabbit head.

(original photo by Robin Dumont)

I chose the Sichuan flavored rabbit head.

Start with eating the meat off the cheeks. No problem here, it was more tender than chicken. Next, remove the bottom jaw and eat the tongue and the piece of skin from the roof of the mouth. Take the bottom jaw and pull the left side from the right. These two pieces become tools. Using one tool, scoop out the eyes from both sides. These didn’t taste strange at all; the eyes only felt like tender piece of meat, again.

Using the tool again, pry off the piece covering the brain. The rabbit brain was the size of an egg yolk and had the texture of a hard boiled egg yolk. The taste was comparable to a hard boiled egg yolk if not richer.

Meat cleaned to the bone

Greasy fingers, we finished and felt accomplished.

How was it, Shanti? 不错!Not bad! The Sichuan flavor was delicious and candy coated the experience. The textures weren’t so different from eating meat off a rib. If it weren’t for my bias towards eating anything with a face, I might eat this more often.

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12 Responses to Shuāngliú Lǎo Mā Tùtóu Rabbit Head

  1. elaine cheng says:

    Do you think Pei will be very envious of having this delicacy?

  2. Mix says:

    wow! Such a group of sweet bloody pics, could I forward them to hostel’s facebook? It looks good!


  3. showshanti says:

    Ma, Pei was more surprised and said I could go on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. It was actually tasty, and merits being called a delicacy. Have you tried it?

  4. showshanti says:

    Mix, Absolutely! Post the link and photos! Thanks for the experience!

  5. Jordan says:

    I want to try it! But, I don’t know where I can find such cuisine on this side of the pacific. Next time!

  6. Paul J says:

    Ohhh, now I get it!,…the last picture says it all!…you have to down a few,…and then the liquid courage comes in,…to bite off the weddo bunny wabbits Heads. :-(

    I think your photos are so beautiful
    and I love to tease

  7. showshanti says:

    Jordan, next time indeed! Aunti Shanti will travel more of China and next time you come out you’ll have highlights to choose from this site.

    Paul, I didn’t have enough liquid courage – only one bottle of 3.6%. Though I was nervous, in the end the head was more tasty than scary. I believe the restaurant I went to had some of the best rabbit head in Chengdu. However, I think it is for me just a novelty and won’t ever be a craving.

  8. Leslie says:

    C’est Robin !!! Avez-vous mangé les yeux, euk!

  9. April says:

    Oh Shanti, poor little Thumper. I’ve eaten rabbit, but it’d be tough to look one in its eye…and then eat it. Glad it tasted good!

  10. […] involved manner. I’ll never forget the night Mix told me, “If you gather five people, I’ll take you to eat rabbit head.” I gathered a few more than five. I can’t imagine how persuasive I was just saying, […]

  11. […] I realize that rabbit might seem like an odd thing to be eating on a weekly, if not bi-weekly basis, but here in Chengdu rabbit not only graces most tables but the head is the most precious part. Considered a local delicacy, many Chengdu-ren enjoy dedicating the time it takes to work around the tiny bones involved in eating a rabbit head. Don’t be grossed out, rabbit is that good. If you’re intrigued on how to disassemble a rabbit head check out this traveler’s post here. […]

  12. […] dish was an entirely new experience for me. I have eaten shrimp, crab, lobster, fish, and even rabbit head! Somehow, eating eel in this fashion may not find an encore. Jiǎng Yì walked me through this very […]

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