I am a strong believer that you gotta do something slightly crazy once in a while to stay sane in this world, so last Saturday I invited a bunch of daring friends and hosted an Insect Cook Out. The attendees were Kim, Su Ann, Sammy, Terence, ST, Dree, and of course my house mate Rachel. The following 6 minute video is the whole insect cook out adventure, check it out!
The whole idea actually started right after Terence, Dree, and I went to Bangkok and had our weird and wonderful creatures including insects, worms, and frogs. Kim was protesting the fact that we did not bring back anything for her, and that’s when Terence came up with the idea that we should just cook some ourselves.
the ingredients from aquarium shop and grocery store
I eventually tabled the idea to Kim and she responded enthusiastically, then I got Su Ann, Sammy, and the rest of the gang to join in as well. This thing is actually going to work!
So I set up the official time for this unusual cook out at 5pm on Saturday evening. I went out to grocery store to get the seasonings: pepper, curry leaves, shallots, dried chili, and garlic. Just half an hour before the cook out, I got to an aquarium shop near Sunway and got a box of good size worms (RM9) and 120 crickets (for RM3)
ahhh, glorious protein enriched food
Contrary to Su Ann’s believe that we googled for the recipe, it was completely original sans the “salt juice” suggested by Terence.
First I fry some shallots, garlic, dried chili, and curry leaves to flavor the oil. These are then taken out and the crickets and worms thrown in the hot oil. Some salt juice is then added for extra kick. It’s that simple, and boy it turned out great! (the insects were freeze in the fridge for about 15 minutes prior cooking to prevent them from jumping everywhere)
the crazy diners
The dish actually tasted a lot better than what we had in Bangkok, and we didn’t even save up anything for my buddy Douglas who came late. The worms were a bit like soft shell crab (as described by Sammy), and the crickets still juicy inside while crispy on the outside. Very nice.
There’ll be another short video for this where Rachel and Kim ate the bugs raw, stay tuned!
I’m so going to prepare this again for the next x’mas eve party!
One of my main aim going into the Bangkok trip was to taste some of the weird and wonderful foods the land of smile has to offer, something that is very difficult or impossible to get from Malaysia. This of course, would be the infamous deep fried worms, insects, and alike.
for a few ringgit, we got all these wonderful snacks
I was expecting fried insect stalls to be on every street corners. In actual fact, they are not very common. We weren’t able to locate anyone selling this for the first couple days of our stay. It was only on the 3rd night at Bangkok that Terence managed to buy a plastic bag full these weird and wonderful food from the streets near Pantip Mall (the one that is famous for selling Amulets, not the IT mall with the same name). Myself and Dree were overjoyed!
McBugs, McFrogs, and Worm Fries
Inside the goody bag there were worms, crickets, grasshoppers, dragonflies, praying mantis, and of course, those little fried frogs in whole. Not knowing exactly how to start, we first arranged them into McBugs, McFrogs, and Worm Fries combo meal. A couple minutes staring at these creatures, we decided to bite the
bullet bugs and go straight to it to get the maximum taste instead.
having a feast!
I attacked the worms first. I don’t know if they were just worms or some insect larvae, but the slightly yellowish exterior sure looked a lot more inviting than the dark brown insects laying next to them. As it turns out, the worms were actually pretty good, slightly crunchy and tastes a lot better than the bee’s pupae I had in Vietnam. They were seasoned with salt and some spices, I believe.
my god, we were so proud of ourselves!
Next in line were all the different types of bugs. It was a bit weird chewing down grasshoppers, crickets, and so forth, but actually they too tasted quite ok, very crunchy and tasted a bit like having deep fried small prawns with shells on. Again, it was a little salty and slightly spicy. The different bugs basically tasted the same except but with slightly different textures, you can make out the long arms of praying mantis and the grasshopper’s legs in your mouth, neat.
naturally we finished the whole serving
The more difficult part of the snack attack session though, were the frogs. Unlike the familiar big fat frogs served in Malaysia, these are tiny frogs the size of fifty sen coins. They come with everything intact except for innards, so you get the whole head, the eyes staring at you, the legs, spines and all.
We threw it into our mouths and start chewing off, amazingly there were actually pretty tasty! Crunchy with slight taste of meat, it goes well with the seasoning and not too salty like the bugs. Once you get over the fact that you have to chew the entire head, it was all good!
Of course, we finished the entire serving and like little kids we just finished their vegetables, we were proud. If you’re going to Thailand, this is a must-have!