Are You Game For These Creepy Crawly Thai Delicacies?

Variety is the spice of life? “Green food” of the future? Well, if you’re looking to #YOLO in Bangkok, this insect-eating challenge is just what you need.

At the hipster Khao San Night Market, you will be treated to some of the most nutritious and succulent skewered insects. And it’s not just one or two types here, you’ll actually have up to six kinds of creepy crawlies to conquer, so ready your stomach and taste buds! On today’s menu: Bamboo worms, crickets, grasshoppers, queen ants, giant water bugs, and of course, the chef’s recommendation, fried scorpions!


#1 Bamboo Worms

It may be hard to believe, but these worms sell like hot cakes in Khao San! Perfect for beginners, these exotic, protein-rich snacks boast a surprisingly pleasant bite: Crispy on the outside, and soft inside. The taste is pretty neutral (nothing outrageous or puke-inducing, yet) and will go well with a few mouthfuls of chilled Singha beer.

The creepy crawlies sold at the popular Khao San night market, vary with their seasonal availabilities.


Suitable for the amateurs, these worms are mushy, soft and have a “nutty” taste. (Image credit: Takoradee / CC BY-SA )

#2 Crickets

Distinct for their salty notes, crickets are crispy but beware of their razor-sharp legs.

Next, try these deep-fried crickets. They taste similar to the bamboo worms, but with a saltier flavour. The pieces are mostly smooth, so you can pop the entire insect in your mouth like popcorn, but watch out for the legs and wings. They tend to get stuck in between teeth, so don’t be too quick to smile after stomaching this one!


Distinct for their salty notes, crickets are crispy but beware of their razor-sharp legs. (Image credit: Qazwsx96 via Wiki Commons)

#3 Grasshoppers


Even crunchier than crickets and bamboo worms, grasshoppers taste both sweet and salty. (Image credit: Thomas Schoch / CC-BY-SA)

Upping the difficulty a wee bit are these grasshoppers! Not quite like your average potato chips, these are slightly more challenging to eat as they have hard exteriors. It doesn’t help that they’re 10cm long either. Once you manage to chow through the tough shell, the insides are very soft. Taste-wise, these insects will tickle your taste buds in more ways than one: It’s sweet, salty, nutty, and peppery, all at the same time. It’s truly an unexpected gastronomical delight in the heart of Thailand!


#4 Queen Ants


Chomp these larger than usual ants that offer a sour, vinegar-like aftertaste.

Fun fact: Some ants secrete formic acid when they’re threatened. Perhaps that explains the tangy, sour taste you’ll experience right after your first bite. Wildly exotic, these ants are not the common harmless ones that you find crawling everywhere. They’re much bigger, so there’s a lot more to munch on!

#5 Giant Water Bugs


If the size doesn’t daunt you, the extremely gooey insides will make you squirm. (Image credit: Takoradee / CC BY-SA 3.0)

You’ll need to break this giant into two before devouring it. If you thought the 10cm grasshoppers were big, wait till you take on these 13cm bugs. Cracking it open will reveal a gooey substance reminiscent of watery scrambled eggs, except more pungent. The taste is very strong, and is similar to black liquorice (and some say banana). Note: The wings are inedible, so be sure to yank those off first.


#6 Scorpions


It’s a common misconception that all scorpions are lethally venomous, but in fact, only 25 out of the 1,750 species are. But don’t worry, the king of creepy crawlies can only be devoured after removing the sting.

If you’ve made it this far without spilling your guts, congratulations! You’re king (or queen) of steel stomachs. Depending on what type of scorpion you get, the flavours range from something similar to beef jerky, cuttlefish, regular salted potato chips, and more. Although tough on the first bite, it is mostly chewy, and has an odd bitter aftertaste.

Don’t forget to take photos throughout the challenge! Remember, it didn’t happen unless you have a photo of it. (Need Wifi? Book it here.) Other places you can find similar skewered insects include the Patpong area, on Soi Cowboy near Asok Skytrain Station, Ratchadapisek Night Market, Chatuchak Weekend Market, and outside Major Ratchayothin Mall.

Bug appétit!

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