For most people who come to Thailand for the first time, one of the most appealing things is the delicious Thai food. Thai street food is something that everyone should try, whether it’s Somtam, Phad Thai, or barbecued meats and fish. However, one type of food which always gets a mixed response is insects, and it is fair to say that these highly nutritious creatures aren’t for everyone. If you are willing to give them a try but don’t know where to begin, our guide may help.
Grasshoppers are one of the most popular and common types of insect that you will see. They will be cooked in soy sauce and are fleshier than many other insects, primarily due to their size and quite salty. The worst part about these insects is their rough legs and easily get stuck between your teeth! Removing the legs first is an option, but that would take away half the fun!
2.Crickets (Jing Reed)
Crickets and grasshoppers look very similar, but crickets are considerably fatter than the counterparts. They are pretty bitter and this combined with their texture, makes them less popular, although it is common for them to be ordered in error!
3.Silkworms (Nhom Mhai)
Silkworms look similar to maggots, so they are often avoided by westerners. They are typically fried with kaffir lime leaves which give a pleasant citrus taste. They are soft, almost gooey in texture, and if you can overcome their appearance, they are one of the most popular types of edible insects and often eat as a nutritious snack.
4.Red Ants (Mod Daeng)
Red Ants are another of the staples when it comes to edible insects. Once again, they are fried and coated in soy sauce, and their chewy texture is similar to rice. As they are small, most people use a spoon to eat them, and if a red ant has ever bitten you, it will feel like you are getting your revenge!
5.Red Ant Eggs (Kai Mod Daeng)
Red ant eggs are frequently used in salads and look similar to rice. As you would imagine, they are soft and slightly chewy, although they can leave a bitter or sour aftertaste. They are one of the few insects that are frequently used in regular Thai cooking, and for this reason, you may have already unwittingly tried them!
6.Giant Water Bugs (Mang Da Na)
The largest of the edible insects that you will commonly find are giant water bugs. They have a very meaty texture and have a smell like boiled sweets. The downside is that they are quite tricky to eat, and the head needs to be removed. It is not for the fainthearted, but the taste makes it all worthwhile.
7.Scorpions ( Mang Pawng)
Scorpions are one of the rarest delicacies that you will find on an insect stall and are often sold singularly. They are generally sold on skewers and have a crispy shell and moist center with the poisonous tail removed. It is advisable to season them well to disguise the taste, which has often been described as “sour milk”. You will probably try these for the experience rather than anything else.