The Dish: Deep Fried Duck Tongues
Where to Get It: New Big Wong, 610 H St. NW; (202) 628-0491
What It Is: A pile of about 30 amply salted, formerly quacking, fried tongues
What It Tastes Like: If you’ve ever fantasized about cutting out the tongues of everyone that still does a Donald Duck voice, this dish may be for you. Each tongue is about two inches long and tastes super savory and fatty, like a cross between chicken liver and bone marrow. Each bite contains something hard, and no, it’s not a bit of beak: Duck tongues have a small, delicate bone that runs right through the middle. And it’s edible.
The Story: “I did not know regular people can eat that,” a New Big Wong waitress remarked when asked for the “special menu,” not typically offered to non-Chinese diners. Little does she know that D.C. tapas titan José Andrés offers a duck tongue and lychee taco, aptly named “taco silencio,” at China Poblano in Las Vegas. Maybe the tongues will debut at his soon-to-open D.C. sister restaurant, China Chilcano?
How to Eat It: Use chopsticks to pick up one deep-fried tongue after another until the waitress is sufficiently impressed.
Photo by Laura Hayes