flat·u·lence 1) The presence of excessive gas in the digestive tract. 2) Self-importance; pomposity.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

DOG meat in Vietnam

I know I said I won't be posting any updates becos of my addiction to the kickass anime, Naruto.

Well, after finishing the manga (main) story arcs (that's 135 out of 211 episodes), I decided to take a break and leave the filler episodes for next year. The main story arcs aka Naruto: Shipp┼źden - The Hurricane Chronicles will only continue in Feb '07. It's not uncommon for Naruto episodes to end in cliffhangers and I definitely don't want to end up waiting every week for fansub groups to release the latest episode...


Back in June, back when I was still working at that scam of a company, I made a biz trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Having spent 6 mths staying in HCMC back in 2004, it was really nice to catch up with old friends / colleagues again. They invited me to dinner, to try something I always wanted to but never had the chance - DOG meat.

Dog meat is a delicacy in some Asian countries such as South Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is more popular in the North Vietnam than in the South. Dog meat is believed to bring health benefits and is seen as auspicious to the Vietnamese.

In other parts of the world, eating dogs is generally frowned upon. Which I think it's just stupid. If you eat meat (pork, beef, chicken & mutton), dun be a hypocrite - just shut-the-fuck-up, ok? Important thing to understand is dogs are being eaten, not PETS. The dogs are raised to be eaten, just like cows, pigs & poultry. That's why I always feel that the only ppl qualified to debate about this issue are the vegetarians, ok?

Me? I'm just a hungry meat-lover in a foreign country. Anything goes for me...

Most of the dog restaurants in HCMC are located very near the airport in Ho Chi Minh City. My host & dear friend, Van, told me that it's becos alot of Northerners live around this area. Van says about 90% of the jobs at the HCMC airport are held by Northerners. Van doesn't like his Northern countrymen.

Van is about 50++ yr old, a HCMC native and hates the Northern Vietnamese to the bone. He loves to reminisce about the 1960s, during the Vietnam War. Back then, he was a 10 yr old boy, peddling cigarettes to American soldiers. When it was evident to the American forces that the South will fall to North (Viet Cong), his family tried to sneak onboard the ships of fleeing American marines. Unfortunately, Van was caught and was seperated from his family. According to Van, life under the Americans, was much better compared to life after the Vietnam War. Sad stories like this are reasons why discussing politics with the Vietnamese is taboo.

Anyways, back to the dog meat...

The restaurant was pretty run down. Small shophouse size with dim lighting, similar to most local eating houses in HCMC. There was only 1 stall, displaying various dog parts & processed, marinated dog meat. Meat cleaver & big chopping block included.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
From left to right - Boiled dog head & parts, dog meat sausages & dog meat satay

Crispy rice cakes are served as appetizers. Also in the pic are 2 Vietnamese meal staples: assorted raw veggies & "cha da" aka iced tea (in red jar below the rice cakes)
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Appetizers - Crispy rice cake

The rice cakes are to be dipped into a pungent purple sauce, made from fermented beans & chilli. Also in the pic is a mineral water bottle filled "ruou", strong home-brewed Vietnamese rice wine liquor - the Vietnamese equivalent of vodka. The liquor is to be drunk via a communal shot glass.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Bowl of funky smelling purple sauce & "ruou" in plastic mineral water bottle

First dish is a plate of sliced, boiled dog meat. The meat comes primarily from the head & neck regions. The meat slightly salted & very much tasted like pork, albeit tougher texture. To be eaten with the purple sauce. Note the shot glass is in front of me - it was my turn to drink!
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Boiled dog head & parts, sliced

Grilled dog sausages. Not my favourite dish of the nite. The skin was pretty tough and the insides were semi-mushy... Tasted abit like the dark Chinese liver lup-cheong.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Grilled dog meat sausage

Dog satay. I liked this alot. The meat was very tender and marinated to perfection. Fatty bits, drenched in satay oil, adds extra flavor to the taste. There was no peanut sauce but dipping the satay into the sauce will kill the scrumptious burnt fat flavor of the dog.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Dog meat satay

Clear bamboo stew with dog meat. Ermm... didn't like this. I never liked the weird taste of bamboo. The soup was light though...
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Dog meat bamboo stew

Last dish of the night was dog meat curry. Very nice - not too spicy and the meat was very tender. You eat this with bun, a type of Vietnamese rice noodles. Alternatively, you can dip mini french loaves into the curry.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Dog curry with "bun", a type of Vietnamese rice noodles & a french loaf

As with all local Vietnamese meals, that dinner was good value for money. A great way to spend a cold, windy night with the guys over dog & rounds of ruou.


Anonymous said...

I definitely will chop and eat the human who willing to eat dog
and cat.
As a human being no matter
where you are no matter what culture is they should know any better what no to eat.

Jo said...

well, come over and chop me up then cos I ate dog meat and it tasted delicious!

in fact, if you do goto Vietnam, remember to pack a chopper cos you'll have to chop everybody there... what a dumbass...

"what not to eat"
why is chicken, beef and pork acceptable and dog meat not? why do ppl have such double standards?

and by your earlier statement, human meat is acceptable to eat and dog meat is not? WTF!

Anonymous said...

northerners arent viet cong you idiot. the south rebel villagers were viet cong smartass. north were nva (north vietnamese army) viet cong were a slang used towards nlf (national liberation front) a group of people united from the south to overthrow american puppet regime. learn your facts from real history not "van".

Jo said...

errrrr, the post is about DOG MEAT

if my historical mistakes does irk you so much, my apologies.

but I'll never apologize for eating DOG MEAT

Ashley M. Brooks said...

I must say that the meat doesn't LOOK very appetizing, but then, I've eaten brisket and roast that didn't look so hot either that tasted great.

I don't have a problem with anyone eating dog meat, or any kind of meat. However, as with any other livestock animal, I usually insist that there be some standard for ensuring the animal was killed humanely. Otherwise I've got no problem.

I had a friend who got stationed in Korea and said that the dog meat HE tried "tasted like wet dog" and didn't like it very well.