Insects Food

(Photo from http://www.neverthelessnation.com)

Eating bugs is neither strange nor disgusting, actually insects food—officially called entomophagy are very popular in many countries. In southern Africa, Mopani worms — the caterpillars of Emperor moths — are popular snacks. The Japanese have enjoyed aquatic insect larvae since ancient times, and chapulines, otherwise known as grasshoppers, are eaten in Mexico. But these traditions are noticeably absent in Europe and European-derived cultures, like the United States.


A research in the Netherlands shows that insects provide as much nutritional value as ordinary meat and are a great source of protein. They also found insects cost less to raise than cattle, consume less water and do not have much of a carbon footprint. Plus, there are an estimated 1,400 species that are edible to man.

In Thailand, many people enjoy eating insects as a snack food, often enjoyed with beer. Today we’d like to share some popular insects food in Tailand. If you have chance to go Tailand someday, remember to try it!

Following photos and description are from importfood.com

Thai Insects - Popular Snack Food in Thailand - Jing Leed

Jing Leed (1.25″ – 1.5″ long)

One of the most common insects for snacking, it’s a cricket. Fry it in a wok briefly, remove, add a light coating of Golden Mountain sauce and add Thai pepper powder. Eat as a snack alone, or with beer. Click image to see larger Jing Leed pictures.

Thai Insects - Popular Snack Food in Thailand - Maeng Kee Noon

Maeng Kee Noon (1.25″ long)

Similar to other Thai insects, fry the maeng kee noon in a wok briefly, remove, add a light coating of Golden Mountain sauce and add Thai pepper powder. Eat as a snack alone, or with beer. Click image to see larger Maeng Kee Noon pictures.

Thai Insects - Popular Snack Food in Thailand - Non Mai

Non Mai (1″ long)

Non means worm in Thai and Mai means wood. This is a wood worm insect with a soft shell that’s crispy after fried. Fry the non mai in a wok briefly, remove, add a light coating of Golden Mountain sauce and addThai pepper powder. Eat as a snack alone, or with beer. Click image to see larger non mai pictures.

Thai Insects - Popular Snack Food in Thailand - Non Pai

Non Pai (1″ long)

Non means worm in Thai and Pai means bamboo. This is a bamboo worm insect and one we found to be the most tasty. Anyone who likes Cheetos would love it. A nice hint of corn, slightly fibrous. Our 2 year old son couldn’t stop eating them on a recent trip. Also known as “Rot Duan”, which means “Fast Train”. Fry the non pai in a wok briefly, remove, add a light coating of Golden Mountain sauce and add Thai pepper powder. Eat as a snack alone, or with beer. Click image to see larger non pai pictures.

Thai Insects - Popular Snack Food in Thailand - Tak Ga Tan

Tak Ga Tan (1.5″ long)

This is a common grasshopper, it was known as a pest that damaged rice crops. Farmers discovered they could eat the insects as a tasty snack, so they gathered them up and sold them off to vendors who turned them into a popular snack nationwide. Fry them in a wok briefly, remove, add a light coating of Golden Mountain sauce and add Thai pepper powder. Eat as a snack alone, or with beer. Click image to see larger non pai pictures.

Thai Insects - Popular Snack Food in Thailand - Maeng Da

Maeng Da

This is by far the largest insect eaten as a snack. At about 3.5″ long it’s not something the average tourist to Thailand might munch between meals, but it is enjoyed by many locals as a snack, notably in the NE region.

As with other insects, fry it in a wok then season with a bit of Golden Mountain sauce and Thai pepper powder. The head and the shell directly behind the head is not eaten, as it is too hard. To eat whole, locals rip off the pincers and eat those, then rip the head and top section off and discard, eating the rest whole. Some people discard the wings, and others enjoy eating them.

 

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