Local Delicacies in S.E. Asia..

Any S.E.Asian market. This one is in Laos.
Nong Khai, Thailand. Eating insects is considered as disgusting or even primitive in Western societies but elsewhere, 2 billion people consume insects on a regularly basis. Now, according to a report released by the UN last month, the benefits of using insects as food is so great that it is high time we convert the other 5 billion people into insect-eaters. “Most of us are not used to seeing the animal we are about to eat, be it chicken or lamb or other livestock; but traditional ways of serving insects usually present it in its whole form – like grasshopper skewers in Thailand”, he says. “We simply don’t have the cultural heritage of eating insects … Instead the overwhelming preconception is of insects as pests. This underpins our taboo against eating them.” Crispy fried beetles are a popular street food in Thailand, while ant egg tacos is a popular dish in Mexico, as is roasted larvae served with guacamole.
Red Ants & their Eggs Ant eggs are a delicacy in Northern and N.Eastern Thailand. Especially Red Ant Eggs ( Kai Mot Daeng) which are available in many local markets. But many Thai people like to go & collect the ant eggs by themselves and this can prove to be a hazardous exercise as the Red ants do not take kindly to having their nest interfered with and will fiercely protect it.... So collect the eggs at your own risk.!! Red ant eggs can be prepared in many ways. They can be eaten raw in a salad “Yam Kai Mot Daeng” which is sometimes served along with the ants as well, made into a soup known as “Kaeng Kai Mot Daeng”, added to an omelet “kai Jiow Kai Mot” and can even be lightly salted, wrapped in banana leaves and roasted for a tasty snack ‘Kai Mot Daeng Op”. Red ant eggs when eaten raw are soft and juicy with a slightly sour lemony taste. Red ants may be small but you will certainly know when you’ve been bitten by one. Having been bitten a couple of times by Red ants, I can tell you that the bite is very painful and you won't forget it in a hurry....
Many insects are eaten in SE Asia, mainly for the protein.
Bugs... Vietnam’s love of insects and arachnids includes snacking on giant water bugs, tarantulas and scorpions. The most commonly eaten include crickets, bee larvae and silk worms. Most bugs are fried and take on the flavor of their seasonings. They have very little flavor of their own.
Silkworm... Many people eat Silkworm pupae, this is a dish that contains lots of nutritious protein. Silkworm pupae are silkworm in the preparation phase into butterflies to lay eggs, this dish is quite popular in the rural market. In some Asian countries, they also eat larvae, bee larvae even.
Spiders.. A vendor selling deep-fried spiders poses with a spider as she waits for customers at bus station at Skun, Kampong Cham province, east of Phnom Penh. It costs $2 for 10 deep-fried spiders, which come seasoned with garlic. The fist-sized arachnids are crunchy on the outside and taste like cold, gooey chicken on the inside
Balut Egg... Balut egg dish is made from a ducks egg with the developing embryo. Eggs are sold at the street corner & in small restaurants.
Snake.. Vietnam is a tropical country so there are many varied reptiles and snakes. The more poisonous a snake put into rice wine, the more stronger it becomes. But often people only eat cobras, kraits snakes, and grass-snakes. For a long time, snake meat has been recognized as a precious medicine, named “Xa nhuc” and used to make alcohalature. Snake meat is sweet, salty & fishy smell. Warm it is said to be an effective treatment of diseases related to bones, joints, fatigue and is a toxic treatment. But facing the image of a chef knife slitting the snake, then taking the tiny heart still beating & mixing it with spicy wine are still major obstacles for foreigners.
Entrails & Raw Blood... A raw blood dish is displayed with cooked entrails at a restaurant in Hanoi April 28, 2009. Frozen pudding from fresh duck or pig blood is a popular dish in the Southeast Asian country although duck blood is less consumed following bird flu outbreaks that have killed at least 55 Vietnamese since late 2003. In Vietnam, there appeared to be a degree of confusion towards swine flu which is not in fact linked to pigs alone – but an assortment of swine, human and avian viruses. One bowl of raw blood costs VND10,000 ($0.55).
Tiet Canh, or Raw Blood Soup.. Tiet Canh is made by collecting fresh, raw duck blood and mixing it with fish sauce to keep it from coagulating too quickly. Organ meats and peanuts are added, and it can be served with the blood coagulated or in a liquid form.
Dog meat.. A vendor cuts dog meat for sale at his roadside stall in Duong Noi village, outside Hanoi. While animal rights activists have condemned eating dog meat as cruel treatment of the animals, it is still an accepted popular delicacy for some Vietnamese, as well in some other Asian countries. Duong Noi is well-known as a dog-meat village, where hundreds of dogs are killed each day for sale as popular traditional food. Dog-eating as a custom is rooted in Vietnam and was developed as a result of poverty. One kilogram of dog meat costs about 130,000 dongs ($6.20)
Rats... Slaughtered rats are displayed for sale at the market of Canh Nau village, 40 km (25 miles) west of Hanoi. Canh Nau is known as rat meat village where people eat rats as well as other kinds of meat from animals such as pigs, cows and chickens. One kilogram of slaughtered rats costs 80,000 dong ($3.80). Rats were eaten as a result of poverty in the past but now they are eaten at the end of every month of the lunar calendar as a special dish and local media reported that an average of a hundred kilograms of rat are sold at the village per day.
Cat... The enduring popularity of "little tiger" as a snack to accompany a beer in Vietnam means that cat owners live in constant fear of animal snatchers, despite an official ban. Vietnam has forbidden the consumption of cats in an effort to encourage their ownership and keep the capital's rat population under control. "Little tiger" is typically enjoyed at the start of each lunar month, unlike dog meat which is eaten at the end. A cat sells for between $50 and $70 depending on how large it is and how it is prepared.
Rươi (Nereididae Sandworms) Rươi are living brackish waters in the North, usually only appear in the rainy season, late September, early October. Rươi are considered a source of nutritious and valuable food because Rươi only appear seasonally, in a very short time, they are the protein-rich, effective to improve health. From Rươi, the skillful homemaker prepare a lot of delicious food, distinct flavor characteristics such as Rươi ball, Rươi sauce, Rươi boil, Rươi rolls, Rươi cooked with brine, Rươi fried with bamboo sprouts or turnips, Rươi soup…Rươi look like leech hybrid centipede, they are many legs, mushy soft body, with all colors: blue, red, yellow, gray, thick stripes in the layer of viscosity as glue and the unpleasant fishy smell.
Don't drink Snakes Blood in Vietnam....It's NOT cool... Young dumb backpackers drink snake blood and swallow hearts of snakes killed and gutted in front of them by their waiter, said Animals Asia. The activity is so popular that many of Hanoi’s backpacker hostels offer excursions for customers to drink snake blood. Consuming snake is risky to human health. All reptiles carry salmonella and this can be contracted by eating raw snake. Snake-steeped wine is produced by infusing whole raw snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The wine is sold as a cure for numerous ailments from rheumatism to impotence; there is no evidence that it does anything of that sort. “Many young tourists come to Vietnam and think that this kind of activity is part of Vietnamese culture,” said Nguyen Tam Thanh of Animals Asia in a statement. “This is not part of modern Vietnam and the fact that it survives at all is largely down to the tourist trade.” Snakes used in tourist shows at “snake villages” have had their venom glands removed, says the agency. This is usually done without anaesthesia, in non-sterile conditions and can cause chronic infection resulting in significant suffering and eventually its death.
Squid Teeth... Squid teeth (rang muc) are another example of Vietnamese resourcefulness. The mouth parts of squid form a white, marble-sized ball with a tiny black beak protruding at the end. Steamed with ginger, grilled on a kebab or friend in batter, they are a popular after-school snack or market food for moms on-the-go.
Frog... Vietnamese don’t just eat frog’s legs. After gutting and skinning these tubby, cartoonish bullfrogs, they then fry, steam or grill the whole animal. One exception: on the evening of the first heavy rain, villagers gather a particular species of smooth-skinned toad, which is boiled whole, the stomach muscle removed, and then the entire animal eaten -- skin, guts and all, with some lemon, salt and pepper. Frogs are eaten all over Vietnam. They are fried or steamed or barbecued on a grill. Not a part is wasted from the frogs body, the skin is fried and used as cracker as a supplement with the main dish. Flavoring is done by squeezing a lemon over it and sprinkling salt and pepper.
Chicken Feet... Some people say chicken feet are good for health. Chicken feet consist of bones, skin and tendons, but no muscles. These are packed with protein, calcium, collagen and cartilage that are easily absorbed by the body. These are the essential nutrients required for a good joint movement and help to minimize arthritis and joint pain. Another one of the health benefits claimed is good clear complexion. Research by the Department of Animal Science of National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan showed that chicken feet contained a lot of collagen. Most collagen or collagen supplements are expensive. Why pay so much when you can have it cheap or almost free. Use chicken feet in your soup, broth and cooking and enjoy the benefits of collagen.
This popular beverage is believed to have important restorative properties in Vietnam.Snakes used in tourist shows at “snake villages” have had their venom glands removed, says the agency. This is usually done without anaesthesia, in non-sterile conditions and can cause chronic infection resulting in significant suffering and eventually its death. Consuming snake is risky to human health. All reptiles carry salmonella and this can be contracted by eating raw snake. Snake-steeped wine is produced by infusing whole raw snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The wine is sold as a cure for numerous ailments from rheumatism to impotence; there is no evidence that it does anything of that sort.
Scorpion & Snake wine... The more poisonous a snake put into rice wine, the more stronger it becomes. Not just snake, there is also a scorpion version of rice wine. For the unsatisfied, there is a mixed flavour as well where they put more than one kind of snake in the wine.

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