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Unusual Food Of South East Asia
While I was growing up in the South East Asia, I had come across some strange culinary recipes which was a norm or a delicacy in their home country. From a foreigner's perception, these dishes may seem unusual but they are a popular street foods or a high-profile delicacy in South East Asia.
1. Fried Tarantula
Tarantulas started meeting with woks in large numbers during the tragically widespread food shortages of the brutal 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. The fried tarantula is a sweet snack and has a free-range burst of protein. Clearly the responsible parent’s choice.
2. Snake and scorpion wine
Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. It can be found in China, Vietnam and through out Southeast Asia. The drink was first recorded to have been consumed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty and considered an important curative and believed to reinvigorate a person according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
3. White Ant Soup
The white ant egg soup contains mixture of eggs, partial embryos and baby ants. People who’ve tasted it said that the eggs pop in their mouth releasing a sour flavor. This soup is found in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
4. Fried Scorpion
Fried scorpion is becoming a popular street food in Thailand. This is due to the long drought in Thailand which has sent Thai farmers searching for alternatives to water -intensive rice-growing. So the supply of scorpions in Bangkok food carts may soon skyrocket, if these enthusiastic farmers turned scorpion foragers are any indication. The scorpion has a stimulant effect and is edible. Fried scorpion is also a high-profile delicacy in China.
5. Snake Soup
Snake Soup is a popular Cantonese delicacy and health supplement in Hong Kong, which contains the meats of at least two types of snakes as the main ingredients. The soup tastes slightly sweet because of the addition of chrysanthemum leaves and spices, while the snake meat in the soup is said to resemble the texture and taste of chicken meat.
6. Century Egg
Century egg also known as thousand-year egg is a Chinese preserved food product and delicacy made by preserving duck, chicken or qual eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quickline, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. Century eggs can be eaten without further preparation, on their own or as a side dish.
7. Stir Fried Gecko
Stir-fried gecko with little or no water is a popular dish to local people in Laos. The gecko meat is at the most delicious taste when it is at the gecko’s tail because the fat and cartilage concentrate here.
8. Stir fried grasshoppers
The fried grasshopper, a popular snack in Thailand and Cambodia is known to taste "like crispy chicken" .
9. Mouse Meat
In Vietnam, the most popular dishes processed from field mice are: boiled, roasted mouse meat, mouse meat stewed. The field mouse market is open only in the last three months of the year or the harvest and after-harvest time, when field mice eat enough rice to gain weight and like hiding from the cold weather in their holes.
10. Fried Bamboo Worms
Bamboo worms are found in young bamboo stalks. The bamboo worms are considered healthy and are a great source of protein and are the tastiest when coupled with an ice-cold Beerlao. The worms are usually served fried with oil, lime leaves and chili.