The first item on our strange food list is chicken feet. Some vendors will give the chicken feet a pedicure, per-se, before cooking them in a soup – the most popular method of preparation. First, chicken feet are boiled in a salted broth until they’re tender. Then, depending on the vendor, ingredients such as sugar, chilies and fish sauce are added. You can also find chicken feet salad or deep fried chicken feet in many Thai establishments.
Malang Tod (Fried Insects)
We do everything we can to avoid insects. Whether it’s with glue traps or pesticides, people will go to great lengths to make sure their homes are bug-free. In Bangkok, however, bugs are fried, seasoned and sold throughout the sois (streets) of the city to enjoy for consumption. While this may sound like a strange, unappetizing snack, fried insects are paving the way for the future of dining. Insects are great sources of protein, iron and calcium, and raising insects is much more economical than raising traditional meat sources. So go ahead and devour that scorpion.
Larb Mote Daeng (Red Ants Eggs)
If ants ever make their way into your food, your first thought usually isn’t, ‘I should eat this.’ However, red ants do make an appearance on Thailand’s culinary scene in dishes such as Larb Mote Daeng, or Red Ants Eggs. This dish is a combination of both ants and ant eggs, and is very popular in Thailand.
Durian ice cream, durian chips, durian pastries; locals really do get creative when it comes to serving up this particular fruit. What is notably strange or different about Durian, however, is the smell. Oftentimes, people will seek out fruit in hopes of getting a whiff of its sweet aroma. Durian is the exception to this. One thing most people seem to agree on when it comes to what exactly Durian smells like is…it’s similar to rotting feet. Durian is even illegal in many public buildings such as hotels and hostels because of this potent smell. Many people, regardless of the smell, love durian, which is evidenced by the number of vendors selling this fruit throughout Bangkok.
Pla Chon Pao (Grilled Snakehead Fish)
Could something this horrendous-looking be tasty? That is the case, it can. Pla Chon Pao, or grilled snakehead fish, is also a popular dish in Cambodia and Vietnam. The fish is stuffed full of lemongrass and covered in salt before roasting. If you can stand the sight of the grilled snakehead fish, you’re in for a culinary treat.
Goong Ten (Dancing Shrimp)
If you have a weak stomach, this dish is probably not for you. Made up of live shrimp, Goong Ten, or dancing shrimp, is not a good choice for those who get sick easily. Whether it’s the sight of your food moving around on your spoon or just taking a bite of raw seafood, you are bound to have an upset stomach. However, for those with a more adventurous streak, this is a gastronomic challenge.