When it comes to turtle soup, commonly known as Pi Oh in Jakarta, people tend to think they need to have the courage of a Fear Factor contestant to try this out. Hold up that imagination for it actually looks just like any ordinary soup. For those who are unaware, it appears to be more like a bowl of chicken soup.
However, you will need the patience to brave the crowd in the Chinatown of Jakarta to taste the delicacy from this specific stall, especially in the morning. There are two ways to enjoy Pi Oh through the types of the soup, mainly herbal and ‘tauco’. In herbal, the turtle meat is served in clear soup made with ingredients from traditional Chinese herbs. While in ‘tauco’, the soup is darker and thicker thanks to the addition of fermented soya beans that leaves a sweet and salty after taste.
Still, whichever way, the turtle meat remains the main focus thanks to its distinct texture that tiptoes between chicken and fish. It is soft and yet slightly chewy at the same time. Of course, downing down a bowl of Pi Oh is not just for the sake of novelty or a showcase of one’s bravery. For years, the Chinese believe that the consumption of turtle meat helps to improve and strengthen one’s health.
Whether you believe its beneficial properties or not, Pi Oh remains an enjoyable delicacy as it is without any myths attached.