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Mar 1, 2009 11:00 AM

Got blood?

An odd question perhaps, but I'm trying to find out if it's possible to find chicken blood for cooking purposes. Many french recipes (coq au vin, for example) are really best prepared with blood as a thickener instead of flour. Not something you tend to find at the local supermarket however. Anyone know of a source? I live in Connecticut.

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  1. I'm almost positive it's illegal to sell blood in the states. It is not illegal though to purchase a chicken and butcher it yourself.

    5 Replies
    1. re: corskier

      If selling blood is illegal, there is a major organized crime conspiracy involving every large asian market in California. I've never come across chicken blood (perhaps because I've never looked for it), but pig blood is common.

      If the blood is coagulated, just hit it with a stick blender for a few seconds. Be careful. You don't want your kitchen to look like a set from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

      ps -- In CA you can buy a live chicken at a market but you cannot take it home alive butcher it yourself, so the bird must be killed at the market. Don't ask me why. Maybe they're afraid of feral chickens running loose on the freeways.

      1. re: Zeldog

        When did they change that law in California?
        Go to Stockton Street in San Francisco Chinatown and they're selling live chickens out of trucks on the street......if they're aren't taking them home to butcher them where are they doing it in an alley?

        Matter of fact a year ago I had to get a live white rooster for someone (Los Angeles Chinatown) doing some kind of ritual (they put it in a box for me to take home) and when they were done someone took the live rooster home killed it and ate it.

        I'm sure anywhere that sells live poultry will sell you chicken blood. I'm sure there isn't much of a market for it, so it isn't a stocked item. Why would you be able to buy the chicken and not the blood? .

        1. re: monku

          Apologies. I checked what regulations I could find online and it seems I was misinformed. A vendor told me they could not sell live chickens, but seems like they just didn't want to for some reason.

          1. re: Zeldog

            Maybe they need a special permit or something to sell live chickens and they didn't have one.

            1. re: Zeldog

              Do you know where to find the regulations?

      2. I've seen pig blood for sale in the meat case at my local Asian grocery. It was coagulated - looked kind of like jello - so I have no idea whether it would work as a thickener. Might be worth a shot, though.

        7 Replies
        1. re: alanbarnes

          I've seen blood for sale in Manhattan at a Puerto Rican owned/run butcher - advertised for use in making blood sausage - I'm guessing it's pork blood but, well, I've not inquired further.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Probably was pork blood. Spanish and Latin American morcilla and French black boudin recipes typically call for pork blood, although you probably could use blood from other critters. A recipe I do not recommend:


            1. re: MMRuth

              To MMRuth

              I live in NYC and would love to make blood sausage. Do you remember the name of the butcher shop that sells the prok blood?

              1. re: lestearce

                I get blood either at the Phil-Am Market in Woodside or at various markets in Chinatown like Asia Market.

                1. re: lestearce

                  tp:// It appears you can get almost anything in the Big Apple LIVE CHICKENS EXOTIC MUSHROOMS IN BUSHWICK (HOME GROWN) .I've been watching NYC TV station and can't get over whats available food wise, Not to mention hand rolled cigars La Rosa Cigars

                  1. re: lestearce

                    I think it's called Casablanca, in Spanish Harlem, just west of Lex. Maybe 106th?

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Casablanca is on 110th just west of Lex. You recommended the place to me and you were right, I love it.

              2. Find an Asian grocery store. Either ask the butcher or check in the frozen food section. You'll be able to find both chicken blood, as well as pork's blood.

                1. I know chicken blood is sometimes used, but not as often as pork or beef blood (the former being more delicate than the latter). You can often find pint- and quart-sized containers of a burgundy-to-black liquid in the frozen section of Asian butchers containing blood for cooking. The blood "jello" Mr. Barnes refers to above is prepared and would not be suitable for cooking.

                  Bear in mind, if you are going to use blood for thickening, you need to add acid to it, otherwise it clots.

                  1. Looking specifically for rules and regulations about buying blood. Anyone have any good sources?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: doona

                      There is currently a ban by the FDA on the import of pig's blood under the USDA's FSIS system. Not sure about domestically (within US) blood, however.

                      Best bet is to check the USDA FSIS website for more info.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I'm curious about this, having had Pig's Blood Cake last week at a Taiwanese diner in the Greater Los Angeles area. ipsedixit, I couldn't find a thing at the USDA site, and last Fall there were rumors (apparently unsubstantiated) from Taiwan that there had been a ban of the sale of food items containing pig's blood. As you know, there are a lot of soups and stews using pig's blood cubes. So what's the deal?

                        Exactly, how are pig's blood cubes and pig's blood cake prepared? Heated then chilled for the cubes?

                        1. re: JThur01

                          "Ban" might be the wrong word; rather, it should be that imported pig's blood cake from Taiwan does not meet USDA standards. Dunno why. But then alot of things of Taiwan don't meet USDA standards.

                          One can always find domestic pig's blood, but making it into actual pig blood cake is another matter. As far as I know, there are no domestically licensed pig's blood cake manufacturer or facility.

                          As far as how to make pig's blood cake? Well, it's actually pretty easy and takes only about an hour (if you're making a household quantity, and not something for commercial use).

                          Begin by mixing some salt and fresh pig blood. Then dd and mix with some peanut flour and sugar, and cook the entire thing with stick rice and cook it until you get this thick mixture that resembles cold molasses. Cut into blocks and steam and, voila, pig's blood cake.

                          Pig's Blood Cake is essentially Taiwanese scrapple.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Thanks. How about the blood cubes? Same process? (well, minus the peanut flour and rice). Chill them, dice into cubes and then add them to soup, hot pot, etc.?

                            1. re: JThur01

                              I'm not even sure you have to cook the blood to make the cubes. It's basically just congealed blood, right? Just a dash of vinegar should do it.