China: Around The Nation

Brainy idea: Chinese university graduate rakes in good money selling roasted pigs’ brains

Chongqing delicacy gains popularity in Henan thanks to 26-year-old’s creative ways of promoting the dish

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 2:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 2:47pm

A university graduate in China is making more than 15,000 yuan (HK$17,400) a month selling a bizarre-sounding delicacy – roasted pig brain – according to Chinese media reports.

The amount is considered a fortune in China, where the average monthly salary is only 4,134 yuan, according to 2012 statistics from the International Labour Organisation.

Zhai Yifan, 26, who graduated in 2013 from the Beijing Sport University where he majored in martial arts, was previously a salesman with a property firm in his hometown, Henan province, China News Service reported.

He earned a decent 10,000 yuan monthly salary then, but quit after a year because he felt bored with the job.

While travelling in Chongqing in March, he discovered that locals considered roasted pig brain a delicacy, and decided to open a stall back at home to promote the dish as it was not widely known among Henan natives.

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Roasted pig brain is a delicacy from Chongqing that is usually combined with peppers and served up in tinfoil. It was listed among “the world’s top 10 most daring delicacies” on an international cuisine website in 2012.

For three months, he worked on mastering how to prepare the delicacy and opened his stall in June upon returning to his hometown, the city of Luohe.

The dish became a hit among Luohe residents immediately.

Zhai’s creative ways of promoting his dish – including using QR codes and limiting the availability of the delicacy – also helped draw crowds, further improving his business.

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But just one stall isn’t enough for Zhai – he says he plans to open several branches selling various unique delicacies from across China.