0

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Chicken feet from Asian Grocery Store: Safe + Gross or just gross?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 27, 2013 at 6:51 PM

I'd like to add some extra gelatin to my bone broth.

However, I'm squeamish about chicken feet in general, and even more nervous about buying them from the local Asian grocery store.

Am I a food racist?

If I allow the broth to cool and skim & toss the resulting fat, will the health-positives out way the health-negatives?

Thanks, Mike

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:43 AM

I believe in you! No need to tail spin. We can do thus together.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:23 AM

But seriously it throws up a lot of impurities. I wouldn't ingest it without a Pre boil.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:22 AM

No, it's to allow full gelatin absorption.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 29, 2013
at 12:05 AM

Kelleil: your suggestion to trim the nails sent me into a tail spin. Just to be clear: my initial thought was to toss the feet in the pressure cooker for an hour, then strain and toss the solid stuff, and just use the broth. I wasn't planning on eating the feet or anything. Maybe that's why the suggestion was to trim the nails?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 28, 2013
at 11:45 PM

Don't be too proud of me Kelleil. I started a new question based on your comments: http://paleohacks.com/questions/176418/prep-tips-for-chicken-feet-beef-bones-for-broth

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 28, 2013
at 09:27 PM

Well, yes, you *can* add powdered gelatin to stock, but I wouldn't add it during cooking. I would add it while you're reheating the already made stock on a soup, stew, or even just plain in a mug, like some people like to drink. NOW Foods has one that I use: http://www4.netrition.com/now_beef_gelatin_page.html And other people swear by this brand: http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/ I'm not sure how different either are from what you'd get in a pack of plain, unflavored gelatin used, say, for canning or preserving.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 28, 2013
at 07:14 PM

Yay!! I'm so proud of you!!! I do a blanch in boiling water and you'll see all sorts of foam and scum come up. So, let that happen. Then remove, rinse them in cold water and trim of the nails (My least favorite part). Make sure to wash the pot again. Then add those chicken feet to your stock. I'm a big fan of chicken backs too (roasted) for a full flavor.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 28, 2013
at 06:40 PM

ok. I'm going to step out of my comfort zone. Any tips on feet buying? When making broth, I presume it needs to be fully immersed in liquid to get all that feet goodness into the broth, right?

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 28, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Those pictures of the rice drying look like small farmers, villagers, not large rice companies. Yeah, it's pretty gross, and I would be concerned if I went to Asia. The Basmati rice is better for you anyways.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 28, 2013
at 04:16 PM

Then of course, there's the 'hygiene' hypothesis: that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If Karen is correct that the chicken feet are from the USA, then I'm only left that chicken feet scare me.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 28, 2013
at 03:35 PM

I think the transport time for fresh meat from Asia, and the cost of transporting it, would make it not worthwhile for US Asian Markets. In the ones in my neighbourhood, in Canada, the prices are actually cheaper. It's true that if one is used to shiny superstores, the smaller makets can be a bit "real", but I like them. Certainly, any particular store can have health issues, but it isn't part and parcel of being an Asian store.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 28, 2013
at 03:24 PM

Unless you're literally going to Asia to get Asian food, these "Asian stores" you speak of are *American* food stores. They are under the same regulations that everyone else here is.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on January 28, 2013
at 03:08 PM

Karen, what can you provide to back that up? It seems like nearly everything in Asian groceries are imported from overseas...

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 28, 2013
at 02:37 PM

Am I a food racist? Possibly. Or you may just be influenced by cultural bias and misconceptions.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 28, 2013
at 02:34 PM

If you get the chicken feet from an Asian grocery in the US, it's a good bet that the chicken feet came from the same factory farm in Arkansas or the Delmarva peninsula as the boneless, skinless chicken breasts down at the megamart. If you want to control quality, better to get to know a local chicken farmer near you who sells at the farmers market and ask about raising conditions.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 28, 2013
at 02:29 PM

Mike, If you want to limit the arsenic coming from rice, you'd be better off eating white basmati rice from India or white jasmine rice from Thailand that OG rice from California.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 27, 2013
at 11:26 PM

zero change of it being organic, pastured. I'm just hoping it's not laced with antifreeze and PCB's !

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Mike, Mike, Mike... you really don't want to know where most of your food comes from I think. You'd never eat again! :)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:19 PM

After seeing those two photos, I started buying organic USA California rice.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:18 PM

That's exactly why I'm squeamish. Well said Dan. Take a look at how rice is dried over there: http://impressive.net/people/gerald/2007/01/13/11-34-52-sm.jpg and http://daniel.haxx.se/travel/vietnam/017-big.jpg

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:11 PM

They are really good. Koreans fry them to the point they are actually eatable and delicious too!

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:01 PM

The quality control in Asian stores is a lot laxer than in American ones. A lot of the products are imported directly without the same USDA scrutiny, I believe.

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6 Answers

best answer

1
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on January 28, 2013
at 07:42 PM

I have almost this same problem haha. I buy mine at a super sketchy grocery store where all the meat is totally CAFO but you find the coolest organ meats (tongue, cheeks, tripe, etc.). In my personal experience, the gut-healing benefits of the broth seem to give me a net benefit, but YMMV...

0
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 28, 2013
at 09:24 PM

For use in making chicken stock, I say use 'em!

Obviously, it would be best if you could get chicken feet from a local farmer, raising the birds "the right way," but in terms of the health benefits, I think using regular ol' supermarket or Asian grocery store chicken feet is better than not using them at all. (Especially if you're aiming for a really good, gelatinous stock -- even better if you can get some chicken necks & backs as well...I've found you really need fair bit of bones for chicken stock to gel. Beef is a lot more forgiving.)

Kind of like Chris Kresser says about fish -- even with concerns about mercury and other pollutants/toxins, eating fish is still better than not eating fish.

0
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 28, 2013
at 05:31 PM

You may be food racist? :) You can also buy them at the mexican grocery store if you find Mexican food less scary. Chicken feet are absolutely crucial.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:22 AM

No, it's to allow full gelatin absorption.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 29, 2013
at 12:05 AM

Kelleil: your suggestion to trim the nails sent me into a tail spin. Just to be clear: my initial thought was to toss the feet in the pressure cooker for an hour, then strain and toss the solid stuff, and just use the broth. I wasn't planning on eating the feet or anything. Maybe that's why the suggestion was to trim the nails?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 28, 2013
at 11:45 PM

Don't be too proud of me Kelleil. I started a new question based on your comments: http://paleohacks.com/questions/176418/prep-tips-for-chicken-feet-beef-bones-for-broth

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:23 AM

But seriously it throws up a lot of impurities. I wouldn't ingest it without a Pre boil.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:43 AM

I believe in you! No need to tail spin. We can do thus together.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 28, 2013
at 06:40 PM

ok. I'm going to step out of my comfort zone. Any tips on feet buying? When making broth, I presume it needs to be fully immersed in liquid to get all that feet goodness into the broth, right?

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 28, 2013
at 07:14 PM

Yay!! I'm so proud of you!!! I do a blanch in boiling water and you'll see all sorts of foam and scum come up. So, let that happen. Then remove, rinse them in cold water and trim of the nails (My least favorite part). Make sure to wash the pot again. Then add those chicken feet to your stock. I'm a big fan of chicken backs too (roasted) for a full flavor.

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on January 28, 2013
at 02:26 PM

Could I just add a package of jello plain gelatin and be good to go without the scary chicken feet?

I suppose that might address the scary factor, but I guess a pack of jello isn't any more healthful than the chicken feet, regardless of source?

Thx Mike

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 28, 2013
at 09:27 PM

Well, yes, you *can* add powdered gelatin to stock, but I wouldn't add it during cooking. I would add it while you're reheating the already made stock on a soup, stew, or even just plain in a mug, like some people like to drink. NOW Foods has one that I use: http://www4.netrition.com/now_beef_gelatin_page.html And other people swear by this brand: http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/ I'm not sure how different either are from what you'd get in a pack of plain, unflavored gelatin used, say, for canning or preserving.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on January 27, 2013
at 09:33 PM

i've never been to an asian market but i use chicken feet in all of my broths. i can never get a gelatinous broth without 3-4 of them. it's worth it to me. i buy them from uswellness meats and a farm near me.

do you know if the feet are from organic, pastured chickens? that's what i would be most concerned about.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 27, 2013
at 11:26 PM

zero change of it being organic, pastured. I'm just hoping it's not laced with antifreeze and PCB's !

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on January 27, 2013
at 06:57 PM

Why, exactly, are you squeamish about buying them from the Asian store? It might help to actually know your issues.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 28, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Those pictures of the rice drying look like small farmers, villagers, not large rice companies. Yeah, it's pretty gross, and I would be concerned if I went to Asia. The Basmati rice is better for you anyways.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Mike, Mike, Mike... you really don't want to know where most of your food comes from I think. You'd never eat again! :)

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 28, 2013
at 02:29 PM

Mike, If you want to limit the arsenic coming from rice, you'd be better off eating white basmati rice from India or white jasmine rice from Thailand that OG rice from California.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:01 PM

The quality control in Asian stores is a lot laxer than in American ones. A lot of the products are imported directly without the same USDA scrutiny, I believe.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 28, 2013
at 04:16 PM

Then of course, there's the 'hygiene' hypothesis: that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If Karen is correct that the chicken feet are from the USA, then I'm only left that chicken feet scare me.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on January 28, 2013
at 03:35 PM

I think the transport time for fresh meat from Asia, and the cost of transporting it, would make it not worthwhile for US Asian Markets. In the ones in my neighbourhood, in Canada, the prices are actually cheaper. It's true that if one is used to shiny superstores, the smaller makets can be a bit "real", but I like them. Certainly, any particular store can have health issues, but it isn't part and parcel of being an Asian store.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 28, 2013
at 02:34 PM

If you get the chicken feet from an Asian grocery in the US, it's a good bet that the chicken feet came from the same factory farm in Arkansas or the Delmarva peninsula as the boneless, skinless chicken breasts down at the megamart. If you want to control quality, better to get to know a local chicken farmer near you who sells at the farmers market and ask about raising conditions.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 28, 2013
at 03:24 PM

Unless you're literally going to Asia to get Asian food, these "Asian stores" you speak of are *American* food stores. They are under the same regulations that everyone else here is.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on January 28, 2013
at 03:08 PM

Karen, what can you provide to back that up? It seems like nearly everything in Asian groceries are imported from overseas...

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:18 PM

That's exactly why I'm squeamish. Well said Dan. Take a look at how rice is dried over there: http://impressive.net/people/gerald/2007/01/13/11-34-52-sm.jpg and http://daniel.haxx.se/travel/vietnam/017-big.jpg

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 27, 2013
at 07:19 PM

After seeing those two photos, I started buying organic USA California rice.

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