Food stalls claim rat feast helps eliminate the four pests

Chinese people have been notorious for eating cats and dogs or animals of any kind. As a Chinese I can’t say I like them, but I am totally cool with that. However, when I come to the following piece, it still gives me the creeps.



There are a few food stalls in Zhong Village of Panyu District, Guangzhou that run rat feasts. According to staffs, these stalls are doing very good everyday, receiving numerous diners that look to experience the special wild taste of rat dishes.

Rat dishes are prevalent in food stalls in Zhong Village, many restaurants make it house specialties. "We’ve been running the restaurant for more than a decade, rat dishes have always been our specialties." said one staff from a "Chicken Finger large stall" in Zhong San Village.


Reporter visited some of these stalls and find each of them place a cage of rats beside the door. About noon, the reporter saw a rat feast going on: braised rat, rat hotpot, and stewed rat on the table, there are rat dishes that come in whole, some come in parts, while diners are glutting themselves without any signs of fear.

It’s said that restaurants are selling rats at ¥50/kg, one can make 120 or 140 kg sales a day. Sometimes people have to make reservation in order to get their dishes, while those served on the table are often eaten up including flesh on rat head and bone.

A restaurant’s boss told the reporter that raising rats cost too much, so most rats on the table are field rats or mountain rats "imported" from other provinces instead of home rats. The difference between field rats and home rats are that the former taste fresh and sweet while home rats are dirtier and smelly; and that field rats feed on plants in the field, their hair are soft while home rats’ sparse and rough.

"The rats we use are from a sugar cane field in Zhanjiang City, people there send us 50 kg or so rats at a time," said the boss who said it is not against the law to eat rat,"field rats eat crops, it belongs to the four pests not protected animals,it even helps to eliminate the four pests (rats, bedbugs, flies and mosquitoes)."

Most dinners are local people, with a good number of diners from other places. However some locals said that they dare not to eat that much of rats any more.

"Rats are too dirty now, there are not many fields in Panyu, those rats are from outlands, once cooked nobody can tell the difference, so I haven’t tasted rats for more than 10 years." said 70 years old Uncle Tao.


"Braised rats have crispy skin and silky flesh." according to most interviewees. "I tasted rat dishes in Zhong Village ten years ago and thought it is good at the time. Recently I went back and tried again, I ordered one at first but felt for more, so I order another one. But after some time I got sick of it suddenly and stopped." said Mr. Zhang.

Villagers said eating rats has long been a custom of Zhong Village. They developed many ways to cook rats such as hang-roasting, stewing, shredding, making soup, hotpot etc, each way brings luscious tastes. Rats are also used to make wine, according to the saying "one rat equals 3 chicken", rats are thought to be nourishing and prevent baldness.

Villager Mr. Chen told the reporter that he missed the fun of catching rats in fields when he was little:"Panyu used to have a lot of fields, we all grow up eating rats and I miss the old days when we went catching rats. October is rat season, children on their holiday will gather and go down to the field for rats, once we grabbed one, we wrapped it with mud and roast it like making beggar’s chicken(roast chicken wrapped in lotus leaves and mud, firstly made by a beggar). But kids nowadays can not possibly know the fun."

  1. Think of the possibilities,, rat burgers, rat pizzas, rat-on-a-stick. Goes to show that Guangdong people will eat just about anything,, no wonder they have such a bad rep.

  2. This is grossness to the next level. If there’s anything I can’t stand next to cockroaches–THIS.

    I keep on looking at the photo. I don’t know why.

  3. as a vegetarian (for nearly 18 years), i am always bemused at how meat-eaters pick and choose their gross-out factor. how is eating rats any worse than eviscerating a cow or a pig and sinking one’s teeth into it?

    if you’re going to eat meat, eat it all! and kill it and cook it yourself! then you can look me in the eye.

    1. I don’t agree with you Jonathan.
      Psychologists showed that phobias for certain kinds of animals (like snakes, scorpions, rats) can develop more easily than for others (like chicken or rabbit).
      So there is some evolutionary mechanism that makes most people feel disgusted and scary when thinking about eating certain animals compared to others.

      1. yes, crystal, i would agree. however, those studies don’t clearly control for cultural factors (why europeans, for example, having been influenced by cultural perspectives on rodents which developed as a direct result of the bubonic plague, exhibit greater inhibitions when it comes to small rodents) and do not make a clear case for phobias that are epigenetically generated, say.

        anyway, you’re talking about general phobias, and i’m talking about actually eating the blessed things. i for example, am absolutely (physically!) disgusted at the thought of eating a large mammal, and i still can’t understand the hypocrisy of westerners who judge asians for their “weird” diet and then proceed to eat cows raised on hormones and yet other cows (though you do admirably try to offer an explanation)!

        1. Don’t worry. You don’t come off as a saved I-am-better-than-you guy. Enjoy your carrots Bugs.

  4. Dood Jonathan, please don’t hug my tree. I can find you a cow you can share your love with.

    I eat em all buddy. Thumper, Bambi, Chip and Dale, Snoopy, Nemo, Moobie, and now Mickey Mouse.

    1. mazeltov to you, white monkey. let me know how that colon cancer works out for you.

  5. I wonder how long it took after the cultural revolution for the rat population to make a comeback that there are enough to be served in restaurants.

  6. I always thought it was an urban legend that Chinese ate cats (I read in National Geographic about them eating dogs), but eating rats is crossing the line. Rats are rodent vermin for petes sake…are the Chines that short of food??

    1. A Chinese friend once told me that dogs and cats are not eaten in China and that I was confusing the culinary appetites of Chinese with those of the South Koreans, and this was all the while she was mounting a defense of eating cats and dogs.

      I miss her.

      Another thing I was told by a Chinese colleague much more recently. Chickens’ feet are more popular in China than chicken breast. I have nibbled on steamed chickens’ feet and not even the tasty sauce could disguise the fact that I was biting on bone, gristle, and some unidentifiable transparent semi-soft gelatin bits. I guess it’s just what you grow up with, to a point. Even the only person to have ever escaped North Korea’s “Special Control Zone” will never go back to feeding on rats.

      1. hey chicken feet is good for you.. Mother f*king nature made tasty animals out of more than just legs and wings. Lose the burgers and eat the bone and the soft unidentifiable bits so you won’t offend Mother Nature’s hard craftsmanship…

    2. Eating random things is part of Chinese Folk Medicine… don’t worry, I’m a Chistan not a Folk Believer.

  7. C’mon people, don’t be so quick to judge! IF the rat is raised just like any other “meat” animal like cows, or is truly from the wild, then why not eat them? Meat is meat. It just shows your own prejudices to say one animal is acceptable and another is not. In Peru they eat guinea pig all the time, and that is just another type of rodent – why spare rats?

    1. Sadly I am 100 percent certain that when “Drifter” Wang stops by with a load of rats he caught in the nearest sewer the restaurant owner will buy them if he can get a good price. Sorry but that’s just the way it is here. No one cares about anything but money these days.

    1. cows give you bse (or mad cow disease). pigs get you hookworm. if you want to stay healthy, try not killing things.

      1. In your 18 months of veggie life and tree hugging did you grow a particular fondness of the smell of your own farts? Nature does not stop because you want to hug trees. If you were hungry enough , you would be surprised at what your smug ass would eat.

        Come hang out in my canopy if you ever hungry, we can go find something tasty and dangerous together (:

        Do you eat fish Jonny? Because eating fish from the songhua river in heilongjiang will give you benzyne poisioning. ~ Im just looking out for you <3


  8. Not a big deal for a person who was raised in a barrack. My father was serving in a scout company in the PLA and eat-everything-that-you-can-catch-with-a knife is a part of the daily training, and I got my share sometimes at home when I was a child. The hardest thing is that in some occasions they have to swallow the meat in raw since a camp fire would reveal their position. Rats, birds and snakes are all editable but one has to be careful to remove the poisonous glandular organs before wolfing down.

    Personally I see no problem if rats are raised to serve on a dinner table (then they are clean). Meat is meat after all and people should free themselves from their old mindsets. However, I doubt how economically efficient eating rats is, given that they don’t have much protein, unless it’s irresistibly delicious.

  9. I see no problem neither. I myself couldn’t stand eating it, because it’s always been tagged “not eatable” in my education. Why wouldn’t it be eatable after all.
    It’s mostly Guangdong people that are known to “eat whatever they can find”.

  10. I’ll go ahead and quote Samuel L. Jackson for the first and last time of my life since no one else did it: “Hey, a sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie. But I’ll never know ’cause I
    wouldn’t eat the filthy motherfuckers”

  11. Seeing as rats are known for scurrying about sewers it would not surprise me if that’s where these rats came from. If there was an organic choice, as an occasional meat eater, I’d give it a shot. Probably tastes like chicken anyway.

    1. Are you gonna hate us for beng “disgusting”? Some of my family eats DOG MEAT but I don’t hate them.

  12. opossums and rats are both scavengers.opossums are eaten in numerous parts of the world and i for one have had it in trinidad and in louisiana. if you like to eat your rat and you grew up eating it i for one am not going to turn my nose up at you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove you are human! * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like