Adventurous Eating in Asia: A Photo Essay

The last time you had Thai food, you probably sat down in a plush red booth in the heart of your hometown and munched on Pad Thai. Well, when I ventured to the Land of Smiles back in 2013, I feasted on things that you wouldn’t normally find in the States.

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These crickets were the first bugs I ate in Asia. There I am, still so eager and full of hope.

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This dish is fried and served crunchy with green onions, a spritz of soy sauce, and a shake of seasoned salt.

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Unfortunately, these guys croaked before we were able to try them (get it?!). Street vendors offer up freshly cooked frogs for travelers looking for some protein on the go.

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To me, frog tasted somewhere in between fish and chicken.

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In Thailand, no part of the pig is wasted. Here we have a pig head being sold off to the masses.

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More crispy fried street crickets during our stint in Cambodia. This time, they were served with hot chili peppers. Locals catch crickets in rice paddies by using lights to draw them in.

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Even Jiminy can’t save them now.

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In Laos, herbal whiskies are infused with everything from geckos to tigers’ penises.

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These whiskies are used to treat different ailments such as depression, infertility, and hair loss.

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One dish unique to Asia is the hundred year old egg, or Khai Yiao Ma.

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The egg is soaked in brine before being tightly wrapped in plastic. It is then set aside for several weeks to cure. Afterward, the century egg is ready to eat and tastes like a creamy hard boiled egg but has a sulphorous smell.

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At the Pai night market, this vendor had an entire table of edible insects to choose from. His selection included a variety of crickets, silkworms, locusts, and giant water beetles.

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While I enjoyed eating my way around Thailand, I don’t think I’ll be grilling up critters from my backyard any time soon. Would you be bold enough to try these daring delicacies?

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