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Dim sum Chicken feet.

Like it or hate it?

I personally love it! It's like eating a sweet wrinkled jellyfish with bones what's not to like?

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  1. My mom used to eat lunch in chinatown so often that she could order off the chinese menu at some places. She used to tell me that the chinese people who ate at those places always seemed to order the chicken feet, which probably meant they were good. She never managed to try them, but I have always wanted to try them. Thanks for reminding me, I know what I'm eating next weekend! So, any recs for dim sum in nyc?

    1. How am I supposed to eat them? The Spousal Unit and I went for dim sum recently and had the chicken feet.

      Negotiating the chicken feet with chopsticks was challenging. But negotiating all of those little bones in my mouth was more challenging.

      What should I do with all of those little bones? There seems to be no elegant way to handle it. I feel like a Neanderthal.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BeaN

        You spit them out, daintily of course, onto your personal plate and w/help of your chopsticks, hoping your lunching partners aren't looking. They are most likely similarly occupied.

      2. like it!

        there are multiple ways that you might find it in dim sum places - braised, pickled, stewed....some spicy, some not....

        BeaN - suck the meet & skin off and build yourself a little pile of bones on your plate....if adept enough, transport by chopsticks from mouth to plate....look around, you'll notice people just spitting them out and onto the plate, this is comfort food, not fine dining! :-)

        1. Love chicken feet. First time I ran across them was on a ferrobus from La Paz to Cochabamba--a highland woman was complaining that her soup had no foot. Ate them all the time while having beers and balut in the Philippines. Eat the whole thing minus the main leg bone.

          1. Don't you mean "Phoenix Claws"?


            1. I don't like it at all. Just don't get it. But I love the juices formed from the chicken feet and will take a couple of spoonfuls of that.

              1. Chicken feet is one of those dim sum items that seem to totally wierd-out a lot people but I just love them. They are, of course, almost all skin, fat and bone, so that's usually the negative for the nay-sayers, but the flavor is so good that it more than offsets the cholesterol hysteria and the small bone issue.

                1. I will eat a chicken foot if it is put in front of me and like it, but I won't order a whole plateful and eat it up. I prefer pig feet, because there are more chunks of meat.

                  Now here's the strange thing. How different is a chicken wing tip from the chicken foot? But for some reason I prefer gnawing on the chicken wing tip than foot. And I don't think it is a foot thing, I love pig foot. I think there is a qualitative difference in texture. There is something about the texture of the chicken foot I don't love, I can't quite put my finger on what that difference is. I will have to give it some thought the next time someone puts a chicken foot on my plate.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: moh

                    When I've had chicken wing tips, they're usually fried. So it becomes crispy and tasty and I can hear the satisfying crunch as I chomp on the bones. I don't think I've ever had chicken wing tips prepared in a "soft" manner. But I've only had chicken feet stewed/braised. It's just plain old mushy and not to my taste. I also agree with you about the pig's feet -- it's a lot better.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      Yum, fried chicken wing tips! Love it when you don't even have to spit anything out!

                      But I've also had chicken wing tips in stew (Mom's Korean stewed chicken), and I like them there too.

                      I think the chicken feet skin/fat combo is loosely adhered to the bones, and it gives it a slippery texture when you suck them off the bone. I think it is this textural element that keeps me from really loving chicken feet. Whereas there is more gnawing involved in the chicken wing. Also, the balance of chicken skin/fat is better in the chicken wing.

                      1. re: moh

                        I'm impressed by your analysis of the chicken wing/feet! I do think it is a textural thing as well why I'm not crazy about the feet as I love the flavor the feet impart.

                      2. re: Miss Needle

                        Best chicken feet are braised in liquid and then finished on the grill with BBQ sauce! Filipino pulutan style.

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          If they're finished off the grill, does it crisp the skin somewhat?

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            Yes, of course. No gelatinous, limp, white foot. NO! A slightly crisped/toughened and BBQ flavored morsel complete with slightlky charred sauce and meat parts.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              Definitely sounds more appetizing than the soggy chicken feet I've had at dim sum. If I ever run across that in a restaurant in the near future, I'll try it! Living in an apartment in Manhattan has its disadvantages as I can't grill. : (

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                Oh that sounds really good, I'll have to search out feet next time I have the opportunity to eat Filipino. I had some really tasty brown duck feet this weekend, but only ate half the order because the texture started getting old.

                            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              Here's a blog post about the chicken feet Sam was talking about.


                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Thanks for linking that. I was gonna refer to it but felt lame for not knowing how to link properly. I have some in the freezer and plan to give em a shot this weekend. Love the name (Adidas) and the "West side" photo.

                          2. re: moh

                            I had a roughly similar conversation with a friend this weekend. I limit my feet consumption to pigs. Chicken feet, while I'll eat them, just don't do it for me. Too much work for too little reward.

                            1. re: JungMann

                              Hate them! I've tried once or twice but the jelly like texture just wierds me out bigtime, squishy skin thing I think. I dont like the skin on braised chicken dishes either so for me it is less of a "foot" thing and more of a jello thing...jello makes me gag a little.

                          3. Love the braised (brown) ones, don't at all like the boiled (white) ones. Former rich, succulent, melt right off the bones in your mouth; latter amount to unseasoned, chicken-flavored rubber. Bleagh.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Will Owen

                              My friend's young son (6 years old) can dust off a large bag of boiled white chicken feet in about 1/2 hour.

                              Left to his own devices, he can probably go through 6 or 7 bags a day.

                              It's his preferred snack food ... for him it's better than chips, ice cream, candy, etc.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I am in awe. Okay, can there possibly be anything wrong with a kid like that? I mean, yeah, I hate the white ones, but it's good somebody likes them, and even better that he's six!

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  So am I.

                                  He's six now. Can you imagine him as a teenager? Pretty soon we'll be seeing chicken running around feet-less.

                            2. Chicken feet ar one of my husband's favorite dim sum dishes. My 3 yr old son loves chicken feet too. He does not spit yet, so he just picks the skin off the bones and sucks on the toes. For him a great meal is chicken feet and tripe!!!

                              1. Even better than chicken feet are Duck Feet. They are much harder to find and, in fact, I haven't seen them since I left San Francisco.

                                BTW: The best Dim Place I've found is the Dim Sum Restaurant in Charlotte at 2920 Central Avenue. They will also sell partially-steamed Dim Sum that you can take home, freeze and defrot and steam to complete the cooking. No, they don't have Duck Feet (:0(

                                1. Love them depending on how you cook them. Agree with Will Owen that the preferred cooking method is the brown braised ones at dim sum. The white rubbery ones are just that, rubbery. IMO, the entire experience revolves around the sauce. If the sauce is bad, it really brings down the entire experience. The foot is just a vehicle to deliver some outstanding braising liquid!
                                  Also love it when my mom used to make chicken feet soup. Throw in some raw peanuts and other stuff and boil for a couple of hours. Used to devour all the feet in one sitting and she threw in a lot of feet!