I went in search of a bug cart!
Deep fried insects in Thailand are a street snack
Bug snacks aren’t only in Thailand; they can be found in Southeast Asia and in rural economies. The way eating deep fried bugs became one of the more notorious street foods of Thailand, is through the region of Isaan. The economy of the Isaan region leans towards rural lifestyle. Bugs are known to be a source of protein.Isaan villagers move to Bangkok for work and it is said you’ll find many women working in Bangkok bars. Thus, bug carts occasionally frequent the bar area as a snack cart for workers. Occasionally, you might find a bug cart at a night market ; usually they are meant for locals (and daring tourists)!
My six course insect menu
0:44 Spicy Lemongrass Wasp Salad
02:21 Cricket Lemongrass Salad
03:50 Deep Fried Crickets
08:06 Deep Fried Locusts
14:03 Bug eating in Asia | United Nations
14:25 Behind the Scenes: Ordering from the bug cart
How do deep fried insects taste?
I’m not going to lie- they’re hardly like potato chips. They taste closer to shrimp chips, some having a unique and sweet aftertaste. Bug cart vendors have their own individual mixes with herbs and spices to create a pleasant flavor. The first two bugs I tried were lightly flavored with what tasted like lemongrass. The following ones are deep fried and larger so they have more of roasty shrimp-like flavor. The waterbug, well… you’ll have to be your own judge.
This video is *not* meant to offend Thai culture or people. It’s meant to be a fun taste test and to see how far I can push my travel comfort zone. As an American, I wasn’t raised to see insects as a food source. I’ve encountered many fear factor foods in my travels, but insects are the first ones on my list that I’ve felt okay with trying.
How much did my insects cost?
The bugs I got from a street food bug cart cost 10 baht for a small snack bag. The Waterbug cost 10 baht for one, clearly the prize delicacy! Thanks to my friend Scott Kim for his support and sponsoring of my 6-course bug plate!
Do they farm the bugs?
Due to the gross amounts of bugs which need to be gathered, many vendors are said to farm them.
What is your comfort level with deep fried insects in Thailand? Would you do a deep fried bug taste test? Where would you draw the line?
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