Man Food: Fried Pig Intestines at China King

If you can get past the awkwardness, fried intestines are awesome.

Photo by Katie Barszcz

When it comes to nose-to-tail cuisine, everyone has their limits — while we say we want to eat every part of the animal so as to not be wasteful, even the most hardcore food veteran has a stopping point. Of course, eating offal can be a pleasant and sustainable way to eat, and different cultures are far more adventurous with their eating habits.

At the newly-opened China King, you’ll find everything ranging from approachable, Americanized Chinese cuisine (like excellent scallion pancakes and pork dumplings), to more authentic dishes, like fried pork intestines. Of course, having never tried this particular type of offal, I decided to go for it. Arriving on the table was a tidy pile of fried nuggets of intestines, which were surprisingly delicious. Very lightly battered and fried beautifully, the crispy rings were served doused with sliced chilies and salt.

Despite resembling a hybrid of calamari and oysters in texture, they had their own distinct, mildly funky flavor. They are a bit slick on the tongue with a somewhat awkward creaminess, but the delicate batter and subtle distraction of the chilies balances this out — and the combination of salt, spice, and crunch proves addictive. If you forget about the origins of this food, you might actually enjoy it. In my case, it turns out I’m a fan of fried pork intestines.

(China King, 60 Beach Street, Boston, 617-542-1763)

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