Eating Fried Insects in Bangkok: Beetles, grasshoppers, frogs, crickets, worms, red ants!

fried insects

It’s a veritable feast of creepy crawlies! The first thing I think of when I see, say, a spider, is to throw a shoe at it. The Thais go about it in a completely different way. The immediate thought seems to be “I’ll fry and eat it!”. smirk

fried insect stall

I found this street vendor selling all sorts of deep fried insects on the streets of Bangkok. Okay, frog is not actually an insect but she also had grasshoppers (huge and small ones), crickets (not the sport), beetles (which I am secretly scared of) and even red ants! Deep fried red ants! Imagine that!

deep fried insects

I bought a pack of large grasshoppers for 20 THB and a mixed bag of every single insect she had for 30 THB (RM 5 total). The street vendor laughed and complied with my request – a deep fried cricket here, a sprinkling of deep fried red ants there. There’s even two types of beetles (water beetle and weevil). It’s supposed to be a delicacy here.

fried bugs thailand

I ate it sitting on the steps where my girlfriend took this video of me eating all the deep fried insects:

I also made her eat some, much to her disgust, but at least now she’s tried it. :)

I’ll give a quick review of the insects:

fried grasshopper

Deep fried grasshopper
Surprisingly crunchy and delicious but the legs can have spines that can cut your tongue.
Deep fried frog
These are tiny frogs that can fit in my hand. They don’t even remove the bowels! Tasty and crunchy.
Deep fried beetle
The wings can be hard to swallow coz it sticks to the top of your mouth like peanut butter.
Deep fried cricket
Tastes like grasshoppers but has more of a bee-like texture to it.
Deep fried bamboo worms
Tasty and creamy!
Deep fried red ants
Highly toxic when consumed in large quantities. It makes my mouth itch just thinking about it.

eating insects bangkok

I’m not a huge fan of deep fried red ants – it’s hard to pick up (they’re tiny) and I find their venom to be a bit hard to take. It actually made me sick!

snacks insects bangkok

I was feeling slightly unwell after eating all these, she thinks it might be coz of the fried grasshoppers, I thought it was the toxin from the deep fried red ants. It’s an interesting experience nonetheless! :)

Posted: 10:30 am Bangkok time (GMT +7)

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38 thoughts on “Eating Fried Insects in Bangkok: Beetles, grasshoppers, frogs, crickets, worms, red ants!

  1. Horrors! You ate them like snacks! So brave HB la you. I have seen all these snacks at village fairs when I was a kid living growing up in the South. My mum used to eat those huge grasshoppers/locust wth sambal belacan which were about 4-6 inches long! Nothing could make me open my mouth to eat them. Ha ha!

    I think you felt unwell due to the worms! Hope their eggs didn’t hatch inside you!! Scary la my mouths!
    I am glad you enjoyed yourself.

    • Haha! I was actually scared of the beetles. :)

      I always say I’m only afraid of spiders, but I honestly don’t like beetles too, especially if they’re that big and fly at me.

      I don’t mind eating them though, they tasted surprisingly good! You should check it out if you’re in Bangkok!

      The grasshoppers we got were about 4-5 inches long, didn’t see any 6 inch long monsters.

      Cheers buddy!

  2. Deep fried bamboo worms Tasty and creamy! <<< This makes me sick haha, never knew red ants have toxins, are they sweet, salty, sourish or bitter in taste? :P

    • Yeah, I think red ants have plenty of toxins. :x

      I imagine – think of how painful a bite is and then think of eating a few of those ants all at once.

      It’s salty – everything is salty from the salt and soy sauce it’s fried in. :D

  3. i ate fried sago worms before! and they actually tasted like yummy fried prawn :/

    thats the only encounter of me and worms where im actually smiling. other than i am all shriek at the sight of any insects :/

    • I ate them raw – sago grubs are best eaten raw. :)

      Just pluck off the head and pop them in your mouth.

      Haha! She doesn’t like worms either, while I’m afraid of spiders (and also beetles as I found out) but I’ll eat them just for the experience.

      It’s quite tasty, except for the wings that sticks to the top of your mouth.

    • Haha! I asked her to eat some too so she can experience eating insects. :)

      She had the frogs and grasshoppers.

    • It’s quite tasty! :)

      I particularly liked the grasshoppers, red ants are the least favorite. I think they’re borderline poisonous coz I felt sick after eating them.

      …or maybe you just aren’t supposed to eat that much.

    • Thanks Melissa! :)

      It’s tasty and it’s an insect buffet! I was glad to have the opportunity to try all of them.

      I particularly liked the grasshoppers but I didn’t know I had to pull off the legs before I ate them – the spines kept cutting my tongue!

    • Haha! It’s fun to have an adventurous palate! :)

      Gotta try new things, especially on the local food side of things.

      I quite liked the grasshoppers and beetles.

  4. i rmb eating these when i was a kid on holiday in thailand. when they fry them with soy sauce, thats all yall taste. I think prolly the ants made ya sick, also might be the beetles cos ya suppose to peel off the legs, wings, head and just eat the belly.

    • Aha! Now that makes much more sense! :)

      Thanks for sharing that mate!

      I didn’t know you have to peel off the legs and wings and head. I’ll have liked the beetles better if the wings didn’t stick to the top of my mouth and the grasshoppers if the spines on the legs didn’t cut my tongue.

    • Cheers buddy! :)

      It’s good stuff – I recommend trying all of them but take it easy on the red ants.

      I still think they’re quite poisonous in large quantities – good to try but not too much. I don’t know, I just felt sick after that.

  5. LOL HB, you really will try *anything* once!!

    Enjoyed reading this post, as I do with all your exotic food/experiences post. I’m heading to Bangkok/Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos/Philippines for a SE-Asia flavoured trip on my next trip home (mid July) but I don’t think I will venture into the world of friend bugs or duck fetuses!

    • Yup, you only live once and all that! :)

      Thanks for the kind comments Jyannis! I hope that you enjoy your trip during winter break (unless you’re in the Northern Hemisphere – always thought you’re down under).

      Do give us a buzz if you happen to drop by Malaysia!

    • It’s interesting to try all the different insects though! :)

      A lot of people only tried the grasshoppers but I thought having the entire insect buffet would be much more appropriate. The are stranger ones in China!

    • Haha! Indeed, it’s something you’ve gotta do in Bangkok. :)

      They have even more unusual ones in China though.

      I thought the fried grasshoppers were tasty!

  6. HB, I thought in Australia certain tribes eat grub worm and they said it taste like potato when cooked. In Asia certain insects use in medical so must be good.

    • You’ve gotta try it at least once though! :)

      I’m actually a bit apprehensive of grasshoppers and beetles (don’t like things that fly or hop at me at high speeds). I also saw a swarm of huge horned beetles while in Kanowit (small town in Sarawak where my dad was working when I was 13 or so) and that really scared me.

      The fried insects are pretty good though…except for the red ants. I felt sick after eating them.

  7. HB, They certainly taste good with salt, sugar or MSG, basil or other herbs. For some hardcrusted insects you’ve to remove the thorny legs and wings first.
    Anyway, congratulations that you beat the UN’s announcement to eat more insects!

    • Thanks for the tip SenSen! :)

      I didn’t know that! I would have enjoyed the grasshoppers and beetles a lot better had I known I had to remove the legs and wings first so it didn’t cut my tongue or stick to my mouth.

      I agree, it tastes good from the salt and soy sauce.

      Haha! Insects will solve the world’s food problems. ;)

  8. i did exactly the same thing when I went to bangkok for the first time. It’s like a must try and I must say that it’s not really scary as they are all so crispy.

    • Yup, but I don’t like large beetles and grasshoppers coz they jump and fly at high speeds. :)

      I felt a bit apprehensive arranging them on my hand to be honest. Haha!

      They all taste good though, except for the red ants, which I think was the culprit in making me sick.

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