My opinion on Bangkok’s Edible Insects
Everyone will tell you that Thai people are the biggest world insects consumers. It is not entirely true… Amazonia, Mexico, Africa and even China are also important consumers. But what is true is that Thai insects are the most well-known. Sold on Bangkok’s markets, Thailand capital city, it is almost impossible for a tourist to wander without seeing these famously fried insects skewer: scorpions, tarantula, cockroaches, crickets, silkworms and many other things!
In 2014, I tried these Edible Insects in order to form my own opinion:
With its thick carapace, the scorpion is not easy to bite and it feels like eating the shell of a fried prawn… Then, there is not a lot to eat inside and everything tastes like frying!!! I was a bit disappointed in this insect which is, in my opinion, more a tourist trap than a local dish 😉
For those who are concerned, the scorpion tail is cut beforehand so there is no risk of poisoning !!
I removed the cicadas’ wings before tasting it. Its carapace was quite hard to chew similarly to the scorpion’s one, however, the taste was way better! I found it a nutty taste although a bit masked by the frying flavour. Cicadas are one of the most appreciated insects in the world and taste like prawns when freshly cooked.
Crickets are the most well-known and consumed Edible Insects in Thailand. The ones I tried were pan-fried with some salt. It was delicious! Crickets are quite small with a very dark colour. In mouth, they are very crunchy and taste like barbecue.
Well, to be honest, I didn’t try tarentulas because of a severe phobia. But my friend Charlotte described it as juicy and very flavourful. According to her, it tastes like chicken with a Jerusalem artichokes’ after-taste. She did a complete description on her blog.
Silkworms still constitute an important part of the economical activity in Thailand. Once grown, the silkworm turns into a pupa inside a cocoon before turning into a butterfly. This cocoon is used to produce silk and the pupa inside the cocoon constitutes a rich protein dish. On Bangkok’s market, the pupa is served on fried skewers with a crunchy texture, like a crisp. However, the taste is not great and reminds of dried fish…!
Bamboo worms are moths’ caterpillars. They are pleasantly crispy in the mouth but totally tasteless!! Fried bamboo worms are definitely less tasty than silkworm pupa.
My overall opinion ?
Overall, I was disappointed by all these fried skewer insects. I could only taste the frying flavour and they are really hard to bite. It is very different from all the other freshly cooked insects I had the chance to try around the globe!
What’s my advice? Don’t stick to insects sold in Bangkok touristic market but go to local villages and try those same insects freshly collected and cooked with local recipes which will excite your taste buds!
More and more companies dealing with Edible Insects in Thailand !
Nowadays, several companies export and import insects from Thailand such as Hiso, Eco Insect Farming, Bugsolutely or Nexfood. One of the scheme consists of producing crickets in Thailand and exporting them to Western countries. Indeed, Thailand climate is suitable for crickets’ needs, therefore, there’s no need to heat or humidify the rooms. Moreover, non-automatic crickets’ breeding requires a large amount of labour force, which is way cheaper in Thaïland than in our countries. For more information feel free to contact us!