Yaks are an important source of food for the Tibetans, as it can live at high altitude. We don’t normally see yaks in Europe or Asia, but in the Tibetan region they are quite common. A yak is a bovine, so it more or less a different breed of cow. Sure, it’s hairy and it has big horns, but I was expecting its meat to taste much the same as beef.
On a recent trip to Xiahe, a Tibetan town, I found myself having to choose how I would like my yak cooked. I opted against a steak, as I haven’t had many good experiences with steaks in China. Instead I went for the sizzling platter. Pieces of stir-fried yak came together with onions and peppers on a cast iron plate mixed with some chili and spices.
The yak meat did indeed taste almost exactly like beef. I just had the idea it tasted even beefier than regular beef. Though it could have just been because it was locally bred on the grasslands and not stuck in a cage somewhere.
Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 9