Do People Eat Donkeys Meat? Taste Profile, Benefits, And Recipes

Meat has taken a crucial role in the diets of many people around the world, and this is because it holds such a high amount of protein.

People enjoy different varieties of meat with the majority being beef and pork. There are also rare kinds such as deer, bison, beat, antelope, and donkeys. It is quite more common to eat deer, bear, and antelope but do people also eat donkeys?

Let’s find out in this article. Ahead, this article talks about donkey meat – the taste profile, people who eat donkeys, the nutritional benefits, and recipes that feature donkey meat.

Do people eat donkeys?

Yes. Donkey meat is eaten in certain areas around the world, most especially in China, Italy, and North America. There is even a famous Chinese dish, donkey burgers, that features donkey meat.

Donkey meat is also called poopy. This name originated from Kenya, one of the highest producers of donkey meat. In Italy, donkey meat is called asino.

What does donkey meat taste like?

Donkey meat tastes gamey and is full of flavor, most people describe its taste as a cross between pork and chicken.

Others describe the taste of donkey meat as tender, crunchy, and not too salty. However, it depends on how it is prepared.

Which country eats donkey meat the most?

1. China

Donkey eating is very common in China, mostly in Hebei province and the northeast region of the country.

China suffers a shortage of donkey meat production, but they import them from countries like Kenya that produce a high number of donkey meat.

Donkey burgers were invented in China, and up to this day, they are a major part of northeastern Chinese cuisine. Also, this dish is increasingly being used to attract tourists to this region.

The first annual donkey festival was hosted in Hebei province, China in 2017. It was hosted by Fat Wang’s, a popular donkey meat restaurant chain in China.

2. Italy

Apart from China, donkey meat is a staple in Italy, particularly in Vincenza, and it is called “asino”. It is used in various Italian cuisines such as ravioli, salami, and stew.

3. The United States

Due to the popularity of Chinese cuisines in the US and North America, demand for donkey meat has been on an up-rise.

In places like Toronto, donkey meat is as common as beef, pork, and white meat because of the large number of Chinese restaurants.

Is donkey meat healthy?

Donkey meat can be considered a healthy alternative to red meat because of its low-fat content. It also has a favorable fatty acid profile and is rich in iron and cholesterol.

Donkey meat is known to cure respiratory and breathing problems. There are also reports that it has aphrodisiac properties.

This meat contains more protein than mutton, beef, pork, and chicken. These proteins aid the proper performance and growth of your body cells.

Donkey meat also contains essential vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, biotin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, and pantothenic acid.

Additionally, the organ meats of donkeys are rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K. It also contains minerals such as copper, zinc, iron, and manganese.

Dishes that feature donkey meat

1. Donkey sandwich

This local dish is common in the street of Baoding, north of China. The bread is oily, and flaky on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside and is best enjoyed when served warm.

The bread is filled with chopped or shredded donkey meat that is spiced with green bell peppers and cilantro.

2. Donkey hot pot

This is a spicy soup that was invented in Hong Kong and is enjoyed in various cities in China to this very day.

Donkey hot pot can be served with rice, soft tofu, and vegetables which is a very healthy combination.

3. Donkey salami

This dish is a bit more expensive than your regular pork or beef salami. It is usually made of the lean part of donkey meat, making it a very healthy dish. You can order them from Italian delis, although they know it as salami asino.

4. Donkey ravioli

Donkey ravioli is made by stuffing ravioli with donkey meat. The ravioli is then dipped in butter sauce and parmesan, or agnolotti d’asino.

5. Roasted donkey

This was one of the favorite food of the former North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il. He mentioned in an interview with The Telegraph, that his fondness for this dish began during his trip across Siberia to Russia in 2001.

6. Donkey burger

A donkey burger is made when chopped or shredded donkey is placed within a huǒshāo or Shao bing. The huǒshāo or Shao bing is a roasted, semi-flaky bread pocket.


Should you breed donkeys for their meat?

No, you shouldn’t. The demand for donkey meat isn’t blooming in the US. Also, the reproduction rate of donkeys is very slow, they are best kept as pets.

Is pepperoni made of donkey meat?

No, it is not. Pepperoni is made of pork and beef, and most times turkey, but not donkey meat.

Is donkey meat better than cow meat?

Although it boils down to personal preference, however, donkey meat has a better nutritional profile than cow meat.

How many calories are in donkey meat?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a 4-ounce (100 grams) of donkey meat holds around 380 calories.

Conclusion: Do people eat donkeys?

Donkey meat is a steady staple in China, Italy, and some parts of the United States. It is considered a healthy alternative to red meat.

Donkey meat has a gamey taste that is particularly flavorful. It is used in a variety of dishes such as donkey sandwiches, burgers, hot pots, salami, and ravioli.

Explore another unconventional meat with this guide on the taste profile of bear meat.

Thank you for reading this article.