13 Bizarre Food in Thailand to Try... If You Dare

13 Bizarre Foods in Thailand to Try… If You Dare

Food in Thailand isn’t just about tom yum and seafood, check out some of the weird and bizarre Thai food that you must try at least once!

While tastes and preferences in food are subjective, we are pretty sure if you genuinely delight in any of the foods in this list you’re part of a very, very niche group. It’s our nice way of saying that you’re a complete wacko. This is a sick, twisted, perverse version of food porn that is so popular nowadays. We were required by our sponsors to make that declaration, so if you choose to continue reading, you alone are responsible for whatever sickness or vomiting that’s about to happen. Here are some of the weirdest Thai food we could find.

1. Larb Leuat Neua (Raw Beef with Uncooked Blood)

Image credit: bestof2worlds-bestof2worlds.blogspot.com

If you thought you were manly for ordering your beef rare at the local steakhouse, well you’re nothing compared to this. Folks, this is completely RAW. Yup, because doing the sensible thing and putting it over a flame to kill the bacteria is not macho enough.

What’s that you say? What about steak tartare? Just to one-up their western counterparts, larb leuat neua is served with a healthy dollop of uncooked blood. That’s right. To go along with the uncooked meat comes uncooked blood! Pretty much akin to eating the meat straight off the cow I suppose.

Also read: The Bangkok Bucket List: 20 Challenges For Your Next Trip

2. Mok Huak (Developing Tadpoles)

Image credit: poramint.blogspot.sg

At first glance eating a plate of developing tadpoles might not scare off the seasoned exotic food hunter. After all, they’re shaped somewhat like a small fish. Except that some of them might have started growing legs and feet.

But then the smell hits you. And boy does it hit hard. The dish is coated with a generous serving of fermented fish sauce, and any determination you had 10 seconds ago to conquer this dish just went right out the window. Instead you’d be thinking to yourself, “why do I put myself through this?”

3. Goong Ten (Dancing Shrimp)

If I referred to something as “dancing shrimp”, what would you think I’m talking about? A club perhaps? Or maybe a local fast-food joint which attempted to have a memorable name? Well in Bangkok, its none of the above.

Goong Ten, or dancing shrimp, is a dish where the cook will season the live shrimp in the local Thai style. Expect lots of fish sauce, coriander, onions, chilli and lime juice. The dish earns its name when you spray lime juice on top of the poor shrimp, as they inexplicably start to jump about in a complete frenzy! Most shops will give you a covered bowl to ensure that your lunch doesn’t just start hopping away.

As far as disgusting goes, this one actually tastes pretty alright as compared to some others on the list. If you can get past the fact that you’re putting a live critter in your mouth. You couldn’t? Yeah neither could we.

4. Larb Mote Daeng (Red Ants Eggs)

Image credit: travelstart.co.ng

Fun fact: a conservative estimate has put the number of ants on the planet at a rough 10,000 trillion ants. Put into perspective? A BBC Four documentary has suggested that the total weight of ants on the planet is roughly equal to the total weight of humans. This got us thinking, if we could feasibly eat ants, we’d have found the one-stop solution to world hunger.

The smart folks in Thailand have been one step ahead of us this whole time. Larb mote daeng, or red ants and ant eggs, is an exotic delicacy that surprisingly tastes better than it sounds or looks. If you can just conveniently forget that you’re scooping up a portion of ants’ eggs onto your spoon, we have a sneaking suspicion that you might actually like this dish at the end of the day.

Malang Tod (Fried Insects)

Fried insects are sort of your local Thai bar grub (pardon the pun), they’re crunchy, flavourful, and go great with an ice cold pint of beer.

5. Hon Mhai (Silk Worms)

Image credit: Mai Le

A quick taste test of this quickly brings a thought to the back of your mind, “If they taste so awful, why not we just leave them alive and let them what they do best – spin silk.”

6. Mang Da (Waterbugs)

Image credit: Alpha

Waterbugs look decidedly like giant cockroaches, so good luck with trying to force one down your throat. Even if you somehow manage that mini-Herculean feat, the squidgy insides of the waterbug make it hard for you not to think about what you’re eating as it slowly makes its way down your gullet. For a flavour that at best draws a “meh” response, probably not worth it. But still, an insect to tick off your exotic food bucket list and a good photo opportunity.

7. Rod Duan (Bamboo Worms)

Image credit: Alpha

These look absolutely disgusting, if you let your mind run wild, you could conceivably come up with a hundred different guesses of what they actually are. But if you don’t make that ameteur mistake and quickly stuff one into your mouth, you’ll find that they actually make decent finger food. Paired with some Singha, these can match up to Doritos or Pringles. Almost.

8. Scorpions

Image credit: Kenneth

You’ll need to be careful on this one, make sure that the vendor has removed the sting out of the tail of the scorpion. (it contains venom which is unlikely to be covered in your travel insurance). A horrible, bitter aftertaste soon ensues, making you question yourself for the 10th time that night, wondering “why the hell did I do this again?”

Tip: For those who want to appear extra macho, ask for the scorpions to be alive. That’s right, in this day and age where everything can be found on the internet, you need a way to stand out. It’s time to go big or go home.

9. Takatan (Grasshoppers)

Image credit: Fabio

You’ll be surprised to know that many people around the actually eat grasshoppers for nutrition value! Per serving, it can almost match the amount of protein that a chicken breast contains. Focus on that and you might be able to force yourself to try a grasshopper or two. We can’t make any promises about the taste though.

Also Read: 21 Bizarre Asian Delicacies That You Either Love or Hate

10. Kai Khao (Balut)

Image credit: Shankar

Made popular in the Philippines, somehow that infamous Balut has found its way to the streets of Bangkok as well. For the uninitiated, this is a fertilized duck egg which has a formed embryo within its shell. This one is definitely not for the weak hearted.

What most people do when they try a really exotic food for the first time is to close their eyes and devour it in quickly. This not only shortens the suffering, but also prevents you from involuntarily gagging or throwing up by cutting out any visuals. Don’t think you can get away with this trick when try khai khao though. The fertilized embryo means that you’ll be crunching your way through several unmistakable textures, including bones and feathers. Take a deep breath, and good luck. You’ll need it for this one.

11. Gong Chae Nam Pla (Raw Mantis Prawns)

This could be one of the most intimidating dishes you’ll ever eat. When we say intimidating, well its better if you take a look for yourself.

Image credit: Sandy

Be sure not to get an accidental piercing as you try to slurp up the meat, or you might find yourself making an unplanned trip to the nearest hospital.

12. Baak Bpet (Fried Duck Beaks)

Image credit: JD

Look at those adorable beaks, what a pity 🙁

When we were young, we were taught not to waste any food as there are children across the world who are starving. Logical fallacy aside, the Thai people seem to have taken that saying to heart.

Here, every part of the duck is considered fair game, including its beak apparently. Grilled over a hot flame, the beak is marinated with soy sauce before being served. Again, this is one of the dishes that is supposed to taste pretty good! That is, based on the word of the only 2 people in the world who have managed to ignore how weird it is to have a duck’s beak on your dinner plate. (We might be exaggerating about that last fact)

13. Luu Muu (Raw Pig’s Blood)

Image credit: VICE

This is one which you’ll need an iron stomach and an absence of common sense to try. Luu Muu is raw pigs’ blood combined with a spice mixture and eaten with noodles. That’s right, it’s just like your regular Thai bolognese sauce. Except that your ordinary bolognese sauce isn’t trying to kill you.

Think we’re exaggerating? According to Bangkok-based veterinarian Dr Daniel Schar, the consumption of raw pig’s blood may cause “Streptococcus suis infection” which “may result in a fatal outcome in upwards of 15-20 percent of cases”. You might want to say your prayers and your last words before you try this one.

How many of the above have you eaten? Let us know in the comments section below!

Also read: 10 Bizarre and Controversial Delicacies to Try in South Korea

About Author

Nicholas Teng

A firm believer in the concept of the grass is always greener on the other side, Nicholas has therefore been chasing the greener grass for the longest time. So far it has remained tantalisingly out of reach, but with time on his side, he hopes that one day the greenest grass will indeed be found.


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