Do you consider yourself to be brave and daring? Fancy a highly nutritious snack that you can munch on while in Bangkok? Let me introduce you to the World of Insects!
You are most probably wondering, why on earth would anyone want to eat insects?? Some of the insects you’ll see in this list may be the fuel of nightmares, but did you know insects are actually highly nutritious and don’t actually taste as bad as they look?
Insects are generally high in protein and low in calories, and pair really nicely with a cold beer. They are a great alternative to a pack of potato chips, and not to mention they are priced much cheaper too!
You may find many push-carts and stalls around Bangkok’s Night Markets selling this exotic delicacy. For easy reference, we have compiled a list of popular places where you can get your Insect Snack Fix.
- Khao San Road
- Soi Cowboy
- Klong Toey Market (on Rama IV road)
- Banglamphu (near Phra Athit Pier)
- Pahurat (the textile market near Chinatown)
I bet all of you are eager to find out what kinds of Insects are available for your consumption. We will be running through the insects from Beginner to Expert level – based on how daring you are!
First-time insect eaters who just want to see what this insect delicacy is all about may choose to go for the insects at the Beginner tier. However, if you are feeling super daring or just want to show-off to your friends, be sure to jump straight to the Expert tier.
The insects listed in this tier are great first time snacks for people new to this whole Insect-eating phenomenon. They are bite-sized and generally have a neutral taste, so don’t expect to have to spit them out due to a disgusting taste.
First up on the Beginner tier list are Bamboo Worms. These worms sell fast, and it is not surprising why. Not only are they nutritious in value, but they also have a pleasant crunch to them and taste rather neutral. A perfect snack to have as you sip on your cold beer!
Now that you’ve tried the Bamboo Worms, how about try some Crickets? They taste almost like the Bamboo Worms, just a little bit saltier.
Beware their legs and wings though, as some of them may end up getting stuck in your teeth. Best to pluck them out before you pop them in your mouth!
Last in the Beginner Tier list are Silk Worms. They are the least crunchy of the 3 insects mentioned in this tier and have the consistency of mashed potatoes as you bite on them. Shaped like a pill, they are easy to swallow and not too big and obstructive when in your mouth. Silk Worms have a salty and nutty flavour, so nothing too extreme for your tastebuds!
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Feel like stepping it up and notch? Come try these insects which we have compiled in the Intermediary Tier. Be careful, some of these are not for the faint-hearted! They are generally bigger in size than those listed in the Beginner Tier and require more than 1 bite to consume.
Usually one of the top attractions in each bug-cart in Bangkok, these creepy-crawlies may vary in size. Usually, they would be on the lengthier side, coming in at an average of 10 centimetres. Their legs would usually be protruding out and their big bulging eyes staring at you.
Don’t worry, once you get over its size and appearance, they’re actually relatively easy on your tastebuds as they can be chewed rather easily. They are crispy and taste rather salty and nutty, but they may have a little bug taste if you don’t get enough seasoning on them.
Used to seeing ants crawling around your house? Ever seen a Queen Ant in real life? Don’t worry, you’ll get to EAT them now. Much bigger in size and with developed wings, these ants pack a punch, literally.
They secrete formic acid when in danger, which explains the slightly sour taste you get in your mouth when you first bite down on them. (The ants probably secreted the acid just as they were getting cooked)
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Oh hello there. So you’ve got the guts to stomach all the above, and want more? Here are the top 3 creepy-crawlies you can possibly eat in Bangkok. Be sure to snap a picture of yourself chomping down on them, so you have the rights to show-off to your less daring friends next time.
If you’re looking away now or covering your eyes, we can totally understand. They look absolutely horrendous. I wonder who came up with the great idea of cooking and eating them.
Well, they’re about the size of your palm, and taste…salty. Their wings are massive and inedible, so be sure to remove them before biting down on its hard exoskeleton. This bug won’t be a one-biter, so you can enjoy your large water bug snack in 2 bites or more. Breaking them into 2 reveals a gooey substance which resembles scrambled eggs/ the inside of an eggplant.
Boy are Scorpions long! These Scorpions are long and have a thick exoskeleton, which means you’d need to work your jaws a lot harder for this one. They come in a variety of tastes, ranging from cuttlefish, salty peanuts, to beef jerky. The list of flavours goes on and on, depending on what kind of seasoning they’re cooked with.
Do not worry about its stinger, the people who cooked it would have already taken care of it for you to ensure that it is safe to eat. You will be alive to tell your friends about how to managed to conquer this beast! (and show them a picture of proof too)
Last but not least, the 8-eyed creature, also known as the Spider. This is probably the stuff of nightmares, and to think that people actually catch them with their bare hands and fry them to eat…
However, as frightening as they look, they do not actually taste that bad. Their abdomen is filled with meat and it actually tastes like crab meat! How interesting…but I think many people would rather just stick to eating crab meat from a crab…
Their fangs have also been carefully removed before cooking, so not to worry that this will be your last meal.
If you’re headed to Bangkok soon, why not give these Insects a go! You might very well just find out your new favourite snack! Just be sure to purchase from stalls which have freshly cooked Insects, as you wouldn’t want to be eating Insects which have been sitting out in the open for hours.
Also, remember to be nice towards the stall owners! The stall owners are working hard to make a living and know that tourists come to taste these exotic bugs which they will never find in their home town. However, do not be too ridiculous and ask for free samples/ bargain too much! You wouldn’t want to create a scene…