Writer: Prabneet Doowa
Editor & Publisher: Jaspreet Narang
Bangkok is loved for food, but beyond what you see in typical restaurants are the culinary mavericks that not only foreigners are repulsed by, but also some local Thais. However, there are some people that like eating red ants, cockroaches and scorpions. I am not one of those people but I do know a couple of brave souls who’ve tried these “dishes”, or should I say, “delicacies.” Perhaps, there is something to it – the crunch? Slimy-ness? Spiciness? Perhaps, the protein? Whatever it may be, there ought to be something that makes people want to eat it. Want to know if you could stomach it?
The Dancing Shrimp
The ‘Goong Ten’ for example, which literally means dancing shrimp suggests that the dish is alive – and it actually is. That’s terrifying to me, but perhaps entertaining to others. Along with that crunch, you get those squirmy shrimps in your mouth. Want a party in your mouth? Try the Goong Ten.
The Lime Ants
Something that would surprise most people would be the ‘Larb Mot Daeng’, which are red ants. Because they eat mango leaves, once you bite into their bodies, you get the taste of lime. Who would have thought red ants, tasted like lime? Interesting… but I still couldn’t stomach it. It’s a red ant… and when they bite, it stings! But, if you want revenge, then take a bite back and maybe you won’t be disappointed by the acidity.
The Fish Sauce
My personal favorite is ‘Nam Pla’, which, directly translated means fish sauce, and comes from hanging dried fish upside down and collecting their juices. If you get over the smell (and the way its retrieved), then you’ll actually learn to love it. To be honest, I can barely even smell it now – it’s become so normal to eat to the point where Thai Friend Rice or Phad Thai without Nam Pla feels like its missing a key element. This for sure is one of the easiest things to get used to in Bangkok. If you’re looking to ease into these culinary mavericks, I would start with Nam Pla.
The Crunchy Scorpion
The scorpion, I would say is the most popular. I’ll admit, I’ve never dared to eat it but those that do, tell me it tastes like crunchy chicken. To me, it’ll never be or beat chicken, but I guess this is one of the things that make scorpions better than the other repulsive ‘sources of protein’.
Bangkok is all about a food adventure, and with the good, sometimes you got to eat the weird. Who knows, your new favourite snack could be fried cockroaches or toasted worms. If you don’t mind a little adventure and entertainment with your food, by all means, try out Bangkok’s culinary eccentrics.
Note: Photos from this post were taken from Asia Web Direct & Food TV Thailand and I take no ownership or credit for them.