Insects galore

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Flying insect

You can’t get enough bugs in Thailand, that’s for sure. These choice bits were purchased during a brief stay in Udon Thani, far up in the Northeast of Thailand. The first three photos are small crickets and are called jing riid [จิ้งหรีดทอด]. After that we have a bag of silk worm larva (dakdae [ดักแด้]). Not only are they used for making silk, but they are a countryside snack as well. Nice, plump, and juicy.

Lastly, we have the infamous maengda [แมลงดาทอด], known as a water cockroach although it is nothing like dirty city cockroaches. Thais hate city cockroaches just as much as most people and they would never think of eating them. Maengda are caught nearby bodies of water in the countryside. A light (I think blacklight) is placed in the air with buckets underneath. The maengda are attracted to the light but then get disoriented when they get too close and then fall in the buckets or on the ground where they are quickly scooped up.

To eat a maengda you break off the legs (sucking the juice out is optional) and discard.  Then you bite off the body and discard the head while enjoying the pleasant taste.  Actually, I don’t think the taste is very pleasant, but Thais say the bugs have a fruity aroma and I can definitely agree with this.  In fact, maengda is even used as an ingredient in some dishes because of this.  Most notably is nam prik maengda [น้ำพริกแมลงดา], where they take a maengda and cruash it up with chilis, garlic, fish sauce and a couple other items to create a chili sauce with a distinct flavor.  You can then use this sauce for dipping vegetables.

These are just a few of the different insects available in Thailand.  In the future I’m sure I’ll cover some more. All of these insects can be boiled or fried; these ones were fried.

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Cricket closeup

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Bag fulla crickets (จิ้งหรีด)

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Silk worm larva

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The infamous maeng daa

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  1. By Ramblingspoon.com || Karen Coates on April 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    [...] crumbly style, slightly sweet, with the consistency of pork flossy. Its ingredient of note was a water cockroach that lives in the [...]

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