5 of the Strangest Foods You Can Eat in Thailand
While Thailand is known for its amazing food, there some things you can try here that you won’t find on a Thai menu in America. Once you get past the delicious Tom Yam Gung (shrimp/lemongrass soup), Som Tam (green papaya salad), and Pad Thai, then you venture out to try some of lesser known and stranger foods Thailand has to offer.
First, remember that not everything strange is authentic.
If anyone offers you a scorpion on Khao San road, skip it. They will try to convince you it is an authentic Thai thing, but it isn’t. In fact, it can be bad for you. In general, if someone is really trying to sell you hard, it might be a gimmick. Most traditional and respect vendors aren’t going to hunt you down or harass you for business. If anyone seems too eager to sell, it’s probably not because they have your best interest in mind.
Yellow Squid on a Stick
In most of the markets in the North East, you will find yellow squid. We think it must be caught in the Mekong because it is all over the landlocked NE of Thailand. In the market, they go from 5-30 baht and are quite popular among children. I can’t imagine ever seeing a 2nd grader in America ordering squid on a stick, but Thai children are a little more adventurous when it comes to food.
Sweet Pork Egg soup (lunch food)
If you eat food at your school, you will eventually be served a sweet egg and pork soup. It consists of a very, very sweet brother, reminiscent of maple syrup, with bits of pork and whole boiled eggs. Mostly its egg in sweet broth over rice. It’s by far one of the most interesting meals we have eaten in Thailand. In general, Thai school lunches are strange to us. We often have to step back and ask, “What is this?” Many of them are quite delicious, but they also can be quite interesting.
This one is personally our favorite. It sounds like an odd combination, but we’ve grown to enjoy it. We never would have thought I’d look to having a soup with whole boiled eggs floating around in it.
Whole Salted fish
A Thai staple is whole, salted fish. Anywhere near the ocean or river, you will find whole, salted fish cooking over a fire. I’m not even fully sure how to eat it properly. The process isn’t exactly easy for us, but they are quite popular in Thai society.
Eggs are very popular in Thailand. We often eat fried rice with eggs, scrambled eggs, and omelets. All of these are very common meals at school or ordered at a restaurant. But the Thai people’s love for eggs doesn’t stop with chickens, they also love quail eggs. Quails eggs are tiny, roughly the size a Cadbury chocolate egg and somewhat similar in hue. However, you won’t find chocolate in these. If you love eggs and are looking for a new way to appreciate them, then look out in your local Thai market.
This might sound stereotypical of foreign countries, but it’s real in Thailand. I’m not talking about eating scorpions on Khao San road. As stated above, that’s a tourist trap to be avoided. Rather, I’m talking about whole cooked bugs and beetles sold in little baskets. In the market, there is an old school Thai vendor specializing in very, very local Thai cuisine. And every night at the market he is sitting out there with little baskets of beetles and bugs you can pick up and eat like peanuts. So are feeling particularly adventurous and looking for some extra protein after dinner, then you know where to go.
These are some of the lesser known delicacies of Thailand. You are not likely to run into them in any Thai restaurants in America, but walking down the street you will become very accustomed to the sight and smell. Who knows, maybe you will even grow accustomed to the taste!