Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Warning: Don't read this post while you're eating or if you're squeamish. I don't want to ruin your appetite. Or worse, make you run to the nearest bathroom!

Just when I thought the Filipinos eat the quirkiest food yet, I venture into Laos and Cambodia where they eat things I couldn't even mention. Here are a few we've sampled so far:

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Jumpy Frogs

No explanation necessary. Just grab a bunch of frogs, clean them up and fry them in deep oil. In Cambodia, they don't just eat the legs, they eat the whole thing- skulls, legs spine and all!

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Balut or Duck Fetus

Before I arrived in Ban Lung, Cambodia I always thought that balut or duck fetus was a Philippine delicacy. Then I see the Khmers gobbling it up on the streets! What's interesting about it is how the egg is presented to you. It's gourmet balut with herbs, spices, peppers, sauces and a slice of lime!

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Slimy Snails

We ate the snails at the same restaurant as the balut. We saw some locals eating them and washing them down with some Anchor beer. Our curiosity got the best of us so we asked for the same dish. They served us a plate filled with boiled snails and it came with sticks to get the meat out. Snails are a tasty treat!

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

 Sundried Squirrel

The first time I saw this was in Mouang Ngoi, Laos when the woman who ran the neighborhood buffet was drying them out. They had split it in the middle and she was about to dry it on her roof. They would roast it afterwards. I never had the chance to try it but Hutch did. He ate some when he went hiking in the nearby mountains 2 years ago. He said it was really tasty and chewy. Not much meat on them though but they have a great smokey flavor.

Funky Food
Photo Credit: makkeboome
Worms and Maggots

Fried bamboo worms are a big delicacy in Northern Thailand especially in the Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai area. Locals usually trek during rainy season to find these worms. They search bamboo shoots for signs of worm colonies. Once they find an abundant colony, they chop them down and collect the insects. The worms are cooked alive and sizzled in oil.

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Innards and Intestines

On  our trip to Sapa, Vietnam we found a restaurant that offered gourmet innards and coagulated pork's blood on a stick. We tried a few of them and they were delicious! In the Philippines we eat a lot of isaw  which is roasted chicken intestines so this wasn't so strange to us.

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Crickets, Cockroaches, Beetles and Tarantulas

Insects were in abundance in Laos and Cambodia. You can see a lot of roadside stalls selling them by the kilo. I had the chance to try some crickets at the farm guesthouse where we stayed in Vang Vieng. Every night, they would place a bright purple light in the middle of the garden and catch crickets by the thousands. They collected them in the morning and fry them in oil. It was very crunchy and tasted a bit like small dried fish.
Funky Food from Southeast Asia

Funky Food from Southeast Asia

We chanced upon some tarantulas at a food stall on our way to Phnom Penh. I thought I was brave enough to try them. But the thought of biting into those gooey, alien-looking creatures didn't seem so appealing.

As far as cockroaches go, No thanks!

What weird and wonderful food have you tried lately? Did you regret trying it? Or do you look forward to trying new dishes whenever you come across a new place?

Check out other Sole Food from Incredible India and Vietnam.They would make you forget the horrible food you've just seen, we promise.

Looking forward to more funky food in Myanmar,
Sole Sister Lois

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28 Responses so far.

  1. Holy $#!+ .... Almost fainted from looking at the pictures! Ask me to jump over a cliff and I'd do it but eating these quirky dishes.. No thanks! Way to go sistahs!

  2. chyng says:

    siguro keri pa ang frogs. pero cockroaches - hell no! =)
    and whoa, they also have balut!

  3. Mel says:

    Good warning label at the beginning of this post. Pero I felt the remnants of my lunch go up my throat when I saw the creepy crawlies, especially the tarantula. I may be on a see-food diet but I say 'no thanks!' to those! ;D

  4. tina says:

    I love exotic foods but I can't handle the squirrel.

  5. Snails and frogs, very French! Our goal is to eat a fried tarantula in Cambodia this year, ayayay! But pass for the squirrels and cockroaches, eeeewwww!

  6. More power to you girls! The cockroach is just plain disgusting. I hate them so I cannot imagine eating them and the squirrel. Yuck. The rest I think I would be game to try.

  7. Supertikoy13 says:

    thanks for sharing...i'll be spending a week across Indochina and will probably try some suggestions above hehehe  

  8. Steve says:

    I'm very open to the kinds of foods that I'll try, but I'd still be hard pressed to eat some of these.  Some of them are just too gross.  Of course, I thought that sundried squirrels was more funny than gross.

  9. JODYxBUFFY says:

    At least you had the choice to eat or not eat these delights!  When I was in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, a group of hardened warriors invited me to their quarters for a meal, which consisted of a redolent broth of horse intestines and goat heads. Concerned that I may offend my hosts, I somehow managed to swallow my endless servings of the broth. The goat eyeballs were most difficult to swallow, as I did not want to masticate them.

  10. Balut and snails are probably the easiest ones to stomach for me. Is there such thing as edible roaches like the rice fields rats or are those house roaches? 

  11. OMIGOD. and you're right. I thought us Filipinos eat the quirkiest of things but the photos you just posted from Laos and Cambodia.. Uglk! 

    but this is one interesting post!


  12. Lois says:

    Wow, that was a pretty strong reaction Pia. I guess it is quite repulsive especially the tarantulas!

  13. Lois says:

    Agree with you on that Chyng! Yes, balut is very popular especially in the provinces of Cambodia.

  14. Lois says:

    Haha.. see food diet! Nice one Mel! Yeah, but photos may be deceiving. Malay natin, masarap pala ang tarantula.. especially the hairy ones! ;-)

  15. Lois says:

    The squirrel might actually be the tastiest of the bunch. I just feel bad for the little critters though!

  16. Lois says:

    Let me know how the tarantulas taste Kim and MJ. Natakot lang talaga ako i-try. Hopefully I will do that on the next trip.

  17. Lois says:

    Yeah, to each his own Graciel. Sakin parang game ako sa squirrel. I think it will be tasty!

  18. Lois says:

    Do share your experience with Sole Sisters Supertikoy! We would love to hear about your picks!

  19. Lois says:

    Now I see why they can be funny Steve. I thought initially these were the flying squirrel kind. But  they were filleted then impaled on a stick!

  20. Lois says:

    Wow! That sounds like my cup of soup Jody! I've heard that the one who gets the goat's eyeball is actually the most honored guest. Boy, were you lucky!

  21. Lois says:

    Naku Claire, di kami umabot sa conversation na yan with atend tindera. But I would say these were huge and dark coloured. Not your garden variety roaches for sure!

  22. Lois says:

    Nasuka ka ba Andresa? The thing is that it's all relative. I'm sure Europeans and Americans also eat things that to them seem normal, but for us can be really gross. Like blue maggoty cheese for example.

  23. And all the while i thought balut is rare and is just found in the Philippines 0_o

    I think i can eat all except the squirrel hehe :))

  24. Lois says:

    There were a lot of food I thought were native to the the Philippines but are not actually. Like durian, rambutan, lechon. Many SEAsian countries share the same tastes. I think I will like the squirrel best.

  25. Awwww i don't know if I felt hungry or almost passed out after seeing all those photos. 
    It was a brave feat for you guys to try some of those funky food :)

  26. kathleen says:

    nom nom and ewwww.. i thought coagulate is only applicable for milk but the term is also used for blood.. magka ano ano sila sa dinuguan dito?

  27. Lois says:

    Not brave enough Yvonne. I'm sure we'll have a chance to try even more funky food.

  28. Lois says:

    Magkapatid ata ang dinuguan at Betamax Kathleen. We do eat a lot of strange stuff. But Asians always eat every single part of an animal. Can't waste anything!

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