The 6 Most Adventurous Dishes to Try in Thailand

Foodstall selling fried insects at in Chinatown, Bangkok
Foodstall selling fried insects at in Chinatown, Bangkok | © agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kelly Iverson
5 June 2018

While Thailand is is often known to be a foodie’s haven, visitors new to the country might be surprised at some of its local delicacies. From pungent fruit to food that’s more lively than your average meal, these unique dishes are a must-try in Thailand.

Chicken Feet

Most vendors will give the chicken feet a pedicure, per-se, before cooking them in a soup – the most popular method of preparation. First, the 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.

Chicken feet in spicy soup | © vasa / Alamy Stock Photo

Larb Mote Daeng (Red Ant 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.

Malang Tod (Fried Insects)

In Bangkok, bugs are fried, seasoned and sold throughout the sois (streets) of the city for everyone to enjoy. While this may sound like a strange to some, 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.

Street vendors selling fried insects | © Steve Vidler / Alamy Stock Photo

Tu-Rian (Durian)

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, as it 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.

Stack of Durian fruits at outdoor street market in old town Chanthaburi | © Peeradon Warithkorasuth / Alamy Stock Photo

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, those with a more adventurous streak will enjoy a surprisingly athletic a gastronomic challenge.

Pla Chon Pao (Grilled Snakehead Fish)

Pla Chon Pao, or grilled snakehead fish, is also a popular dish in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The fish is stuffed full of lemongrass and covered in salt before roasting, resulting in a culinary treat.

Grilled snake head fish with Thai pepper sauce | © Smith Chetanachan / Alamy Stock Photo

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