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Cooking with urine

I was reading some comments on Ruhlman's blog where one poster said the newest thing in Singapore was cooking with dried urine, sprinkling it on fried foods. Has anybody heard of it or tasted it? I know historically urine (from a baby boy) was added to Chinese medicinal herbs, but people don't do that anymore (thank goodness!). What kind of flavor does it add?

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  1. I have heard of urine used as a mouthwash in ancient rome and also today on many home remedy websites it is suggested to drink your own urine to help cure toothache. I would rather have the toothache then the pee breath I think? I also heard of jewish prisoners during the holocaust drinking their own urine instead of the poisoned tea.

    1. Interesting topic Miss Needle (gulp...)

      Dried urine would probably resemble a salt of some kind, perhaps not that different from MSG :) Urine is mostly water, with some salts and metabolites dissolved in it. It would take a lot of urine to get a small amount of dried urine, so if this exists, it is probably pretty expensive.

      There is an excellent section on urine drinking in the book "Extreme Cuisine" by Jerry Hopkins. There are many people who believe in the health benefits of "urine therapy" (usually your own). There has been a world conference on Auto-Urine Therapy,and proponents of this medicinal practice hail from all over the world, including places like India, Germany, England, Netherlands, Japan, China and Tibet. However, the author does not mention anything about dried urine.

      One of the speakers at this conference apparently reported that up to 5 million Germans drank their own urine, and another source estimated that 3 million Chinese did the same. (That seems like high estimates to me, frankly).

      Morarji Desai, an ex-prime minister of India, publically attributed his good health and longevity to the ingestion of one cup of his own urine on a daily basis.

      The book section concludes with a recipe for mango urine lassi, which I would paraphrase, except that then they would move my post to the Home Cooking Board. Let's just say that the recipe is pretty self-evident, you can probably figure it out on your own. Good luck!

      4 Replies
      1. re: moh

        Fascinating Moh. The whole idea of urine as therapy is interesting, though not something I would probably want to take part in unless I'm exhausted all my other more palatable options. 5 million Germans and 3 million Chinese drinking their own urine? I can see the Chinese estimate before the German estimate, but they do both seem awfully high. Didn't Marcel pee on his hand when he was bit by a sea urchin?

        Haven't been to Singapore but watched Bourdain's show in Singapore where he ate at the latest restaurant concept which was eating in a hospital. People sat in wheelchairs and food was served with syringes. Personally, I thought it was a bit tasteless as nobody really wants to be in a hospital unless you're giving birth. But it seems like there are a lot of experimental Singaporeans in the food world. The poster said that this trend has started over the past month so it's really new. Frankly, I'm not really interested in seeing this trend pop into the States but may try a bite if I'm presented with it. I'd rather have a few urine crystals than that poop-filled rectum Bourdain ate.

        And I think I can hold off on the urine mango lassi for now. : )

        1. re: moh

          ..."It would take a lot of urine to get a small amount of dried urine, so if this exists, it is probably pretty expensive"...

          Yes, but there is a lot of it freely available.

          Therapy or seasoning, why would I want to take back in what my body is purging?

          1. re: DockPotato

            Hee Hee DockPotato! I don't disagree with what you are saying, just letting you know what's out there! :)

          2. re: moh

            I don't know about Desai, but supposedly Ghandi did it. Maybe it's an Indian thing.

          3. The very idea makes me spiritually ill. I'll have to insist on full disclosure, i.e. Trans fat--4 g, Urine--5ml, etc.

            1. Years ago, at work, I had to extract a certain drug's metabolite from Urine and then dry that down. I can be very adventurous with food. I figure if I don't like it, there's a glass of water beside me ( or beer :)). Now maybe the ether I used to extract is what I smelled in that dried down urine but, I would not be able to eat my food if I smelled that.

              10 years later and those test tubes are still sitting in a drawer in one of our labs. Oh the memories that flash through my head when someone opens that drawer. gahhh

              1. Apparently in Iceland, sheep's testicles are pickled in urine and served during certain winter festivals. But this is also where putrefied shark is served.

                4 Replies
                1. re: cresyd

                  Thank you! The first culinary answer I've received!

                  Wow, I'm surprised this wasn't on Bizarre Eats when Zimmern went to Iceland.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Apparently this is apart of Viking cooking technique and only appears in Iceland during January/February during a winter festival. And now they're not always pickled in urine, but apparently pickled in whey and then put in gelatin to create a pate sort of creation.

                    I've never eaten this, so I can't comment. But Iceland has a tradition of preserving foods in ways that are relatively unusual.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      Did not Bourdain try that shark on the first or second season of no reservations?

                      1. re: Dax

                        That sounds right....and since we're on the subject or urine, the reason why the shark is putrefied that way is because it has no "normal" bladder system. So it just leaks urine through its body. And that urine is toxic to people. While it's being putrefied, the urine in the shark's body is used as a preservative and is allowed to leak out.

                        Apparently, the taste is truly acquired.