how to eat chicken feet

Dim Sum Eating 101: How to Eat Chicken Feet Right

Chicken feet—they’re on the menu at your favorite dim sum restaurant, and it’s one of their most popular dishes. You’re itching to try it, but you’re not sure how to eat it. Don’t worry; eating chicken feet isn’t that difficult, and it’s a delicious experience. Keep in mind: there’s no graceful way to eat chicken feet.

What Is Chicken Feet?

Chicken feet are basically the chicken’s feet, a delicacy in Asian countries like China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. There are many recipes for chicken feet, but the most common method is having them braised and marinated in black bean sauce topped with red chili slices and chopped spring onions. It undergoes a three-step process: deep-frying, braising, and simmering in the sauce. 

Don’t get it wrong, though. Deep frying will not make the feet crisp, but it’s intended to make the skin puffy and the cartilage gelatinous. Thanks to deep-frying, it makes it easier to separate the cartilage from the tiny bones. 

How to Eat Chicken Feet

To eat chicken feet, it’s best to use chopsticks or your hands to get a good grip on the chicken feet. Remember, don’t eat the bones and nails; the rest is edible. 

Get a grip on the foot and bite off the toes between the joints—do it one toe at a time. Chew off the skin and suck the bone, but make sure you spit the bone out. 

When you have finished eating the toes, move on to the little pad on the foot, which contains the most flesh. Eat it like how you did with the joints—chew off the skin and suck all the cartilage off the bone. 

Other Things to Know About Chicken Feet

Aside from marinating and serving chicken feet, some chefs use them to make stock because they make a beautiful golden broth that gels beautifully. 

In Hong Kong, chicken feet are called “phoenix claws” and are served in two types: sweet and sour chicken feet and braised chicken feet. 

Chicken feet are tasty, but they also have cosmetic benefits. They contain a lot of collagen, which led Asians to believe that eating chicken feet will give them more youthful-looking skin. This is also the reason chicken feet and peanuts soup is popular among Chinese women who want to achieve glowing skin. 

Chicken Feet Eating Done Right

There really is no right or wrong way to eat chicken feet. Some chicken feet eaters would consume the whole thing and spit out the bones and nails. Others do take their time, moving from one toe to another, as mentioned in this post. 

What you need to know is that there’s no graceful way to eat chicken feet. It will contort your face, which is why it’s not something you should order on a first date. 


Eating chicken feet is a delightful experience, and most people find them delicious. It’s natural to hesitate at first, but when you sink your teeth into it, you will appreciate its flavor and how enjoyable it is to eat. Go ahead and try it; it’s an experience!

For the best dim sum in Houston, TX, visit us here at Ocean Palace Houston. We have delicious chicken feet and other dim sum to satisfy your cravings.

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