This South Korean Delicacy Smells Like an Outhouse and Causes Your Mouth to Peel

by Owen James Burke


(Photo: Flickr/삼합)

Hongeo, or fermented skate wing, is one of the popular dishes of South Korea’s southern islands. It’s most commonly served as sashimi, and it’s scent is described as being akin to that of an outhouse, even by those who enjoy it.

If you’re brave enough to try it, you might not only find that it smells like a Porta-Potty half-way through Coachella, but that it could start taking the skin off the roof of your mouth.


Not feeling appetized yet? Hongeo can’t pee, so they excrete uric acid through their pores, giving them the delectable flavor that keeps restaurants — which specialize in the dish — operating.

But there are health benefits, proclaimed hongeo restaurant owner Kim Young-chan to the New York Times: “I have never seen anyone having stomach trouble after eating hongeo.”


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