Unusual Thai Dishes
One interesting aspect of Thai cuisine that it is home to some unusual dishes that you are unlikely to encounter at home. A walk around a city street or food market is likely to turn up dishes you haven’t even seen or heard of before. Of course there are items available in local Thai restaurants that are just different to Western ingredients and may just seem strange to us. What is certain is that there is never a dull dish and there’s always something new to discover. Here, we’ve put together a list of unusual Thai dishes that we have encountered on our travels around Thailand.
Unusual Thai Dishes – Nam phrik maengda
Maengda are giant water bugs that are eaten mainly in northern Thailand, either fried or just like it is. A type of chili sauce is made from these giant water bugs called Nam Phrik.
It is not uncommon to come across insects for eating in many markets, especially in Northern Thailand and Isan. Deep fried grasshoppers, crickets or silkworms and scorpions aren’t uncommon sights at an outdoor food market in Thailand. When done in local spices, they can be a great snack with beer or drinks.
Unusual Thai Dishes – Khanom chin nam ngiao
I’m told this dish tastes better than it sounds, however fermented noodles served with pork blood tofu in a sauce made from pork broth, pork blood and tomato, with chilis and dry fermented soy beans just doesn’t get the mouth watering for me. Of course, you should try everything once and I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity to review a bowl soon.
Unusual thai dishes – Laab Luead
This is a pork salad with raw pieces of pork with a topping of fresh pig’s blood. It isn’t the most appealing sounding dish but is very popular with the older people in Isaan. The question is do you have the stomach for it?
Unusual thai dishes – Goong Dten
Known as ‘Dancing Shrimps’, these fresh water shrimps are not only completely intact with their heads and legs but they are also still alive! So they literally wriggle their way to your stomach.
Unusual thai dishes – Ant Egg Soup
A spicy soup packed with vegetables with the special ingredient being expensive ant’s eggs. Separating ants and their eggs is not an easy task which usually leads to the ants being thrown in as well.
Unusual thai dishes – Pat Pet Noo Na
If you are looking to try a different kind of meat, this might be your kind of thing. You can get rice field rat barbecued and served with rice or on a skewer from a street vendor.
Jess Collins is a regular contributor to Spicy Buddha, a Thai food and travel site. Currently based in Koh Samui, the ladies responsible for Spicy Buddha are always up for a chat on Twitter @TheSpicyBuddha about cooking and getting the most out of a visit to Thailand. Give a try to these unusual Thai dishes next time you are there.