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What Does Scorpion Taste Like? Guide To Eating Insects In Thailand.

Thai people love street food and we love it too. No matter where you are in Thailand, in busy Bangkok or in the countryside, you can find the food everywhere you look. You can’t possibly get hungry in The Land Of Smiles! While Pad Thai and Tom Yum are tasty, Thai food is much more than that. This post is all about eating bugs in Thailand, including fried scorpion, fried crickets, fried grasshoppers, and more.

Surprisingly, it’s not that easy to buy edible bugs in Thailand. In fact, we spent a few weeks looking for them and we finally got lucky on the Chiang Mai night market. Later in this article, I will give you the list of specific locations of where to buy insects in Thailand.

Types Of Thailand Insects To Eat

Bamboo Worm

Bamboo Worms. Photo Credit: Charles Haynes

The first of fried insects Thailand is a bamboo worm. It’s a small whitish bug, pretty similar to this that has been eaten by Timon and Pumbaa in the ‘Lion King’ movie.

It’s a really healthy snack- a bamboo worm meat contains 30% of protein (just to compare, the chicken has only 24%). How does a bamboo worm taste like? It’s hard to describe it but I’d say like a bit crispy grilled cheese.

Deep Fried Scorpion

Deep fried scorpion Thailand tastes like french fries.

That’s probably the most exotic food in Thailand. Scorpion on a stick looks quite scary but it’s surprisingly tasty!

If you wonder what do scorpions taste like, just think about the crispy french fries. The taste is very similar, however edible scorpion is much healthier. 

There are many benefits of eating scorpions, the most important one is supplying the body with nutrients. Scorpion meat consists of over 50% protein!

Some people say that eating scorpions and other bugs may be one of the solutions to the world hunger problem.


Thailand bugs silkworm
Silkworm is pretty soft.

In contrary to the other Thailand street food bugs, the silkworm is quite soft.

It tastes similar to the puffed rice and can be easily eaten as a snack.

In fact, it’s one of the best Thailand bugs (at least in my opinion). If you want to try eating insects in Thailand, silkworms are one of the best bugs to start with.

Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug

This one is the largest of all Thailand edible bugs. It’s also one of the tastiest!

Imagine a combination of french fries and cucumber– that’s how the giant water bud taste like.

You can eat it all but it’s advised to remove the outer wings.


Edible crickets are quite popular in Thailand.

Edible crickets are one of the most popular snacks from Thailand

They are crispy from the outside and soft inside. You can eat them all, however, it’s better if you close your eyes. Fried crickets in Thailand are big, so it’s quite difficult to actually eat them. They are just scary!

When it comes to taste, you can feel that you are eating meat (shrimp or chicken). Edible crickets have a nutty flavor and they are usually salty.


if you think about Eating Insects In Thailand, choose grasshoppers
if you think about Eating Insects In Thailand, choose grasshoppers.

No need to explain how the grasshoppers look like- they are long and thin.

They are really tasty, too! Actually, these Thailand street food bugs taste like cheese-flavored chips. They are crispy and salty as well. 

If you want to try exotic food in Thailand, you can choose grasshoppers. You won’t be disappointed.


Beetles are one of the worst Thai bugs.

Edible beetles in Thailand are quite popular, however, they are not tasty. At least in my opinion. Imagine eating a fish that smells like dog food. That’s how fried beetles taste like.

They are quite similar to crickets. You can eat the entire beetle without removing its legs or wings.

Dried Baby Shrimps

Dried baby shrimps Thailand.

Still looking for the exotic food Thailand? You may choose something that is pretty unique but still not that scary!

Dried baby shrimps are definitely the most popular snacks from the list. They are crispy and taste like french fries. The shrimps are really tiny, so they are usually stuck together into a larger piece.

Where To Find Edible Bugs In Thailand?

It’s definitely easier to find Thai insect food in the Northern part of the country (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and even Bangkok). However, as eating bugs in Thailand has become a tourist attraction, they are available everywhere in the country. Here are some popular places where you can buy them.

Eating scorpion in Thailand for the first time was an unforgettable experience!

Chiang Mai

Thailand insect food is available to buy at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Market. It’s open every week near the Chiang Mai Gate.

Go to the middle of the market to find Thai insect food. It’s really close to the place where you can sit down to eat something.


There is one place in Bangkok where you can buy anything that is weird– the famous Khao San Road! You won’t really need to search for the insects, as you will probably be approached by someone offering you to buy scorpion on a stick or other deep-fried insects.

You can also head to Bangkok China Town to get fried bugs.


Bangla Road for Phuket is what Khaosan is for Bangkok. If you are on the biggest island of Thailand, head to Patong’s Bangla Road to find out what do insects taste like.

Koh Samui

If you want to try Thailand bug food while in Koh Chang island, head to the Fisherman’s Village’s Walking Street. It’s located in Bophut.


You can buy edible insects at Pattaya Walking Street

It’s easy to notice that if you are looking for the exotic food in Thailand, just head to the night market in the neighborhood. You will have a chance to find there deep fried scorpion food, edible crickets, and many other insect snacks.

Here is a video of us trying bugs for the first time many years ago. The quality is really low though. It’s funny how bad was our English back then. If you have time, watch it, if not, skip it with no regrets!



If you are already in Thailand, check out these awesome Bangkok food tours:


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14 Responses

  1. This post makes me miss Thailand!

    I love Thai food, but I must admit I am not ready yet for scorpions. LOL! I salute you for trying that.

    It's so nice to see you as lovely couple. Happy Travels!

    1. Haha scorpions are really good, you should give it a try someday ;). Thank you so much for these kind words. Happy travels! :)

  2. Grest article but naive as it pertains to food safety.

    It is not only “freshness” that determines food safety.

    Many Asian countries use human and other questionable manures to fertilize crops.

    As food grows many dangerous bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites can inhabit both the INSIDE and outside of food.

    So just washing stuff off can be a joke too.

    Every region has bugs or pathogens endemic to them.

    The reason locals do not get sick as much is that often, over time, their guts develop the flora (bacteria living in their own bodies) that can help fight off other bacteria.

    If you ate raw seafood or uncooked veggies ANYWHERE on the planet, chances are about 85%- 95% you now have parasites from eating that.

    If it is raw seafood you are also accumulating cancer causing poisons and heavy metals.

    You might feel fine but your body is not. Time will tell.

    If you indiscriminately eat foods or drink water in places like Asia, Africa or S. America or ANYWHERE ELSE you may have health problems on down the road.

    Everything from cancers to heavy metal and poison accumulation can be traced to food ingestion.

    I have been to Thailand, Japan and lived a few years in Taiwan. I also have traveled in Peru and most of Western Europe.

    I ate cooked streetfood twice only in Bangkok, nothing raw, drank bottled water and ate mostly at my hotel (The Banyan Tree).

    I also got a full check up on my return.

    So far the three countries that I pivked up long term bugs are: Taiwan, Peru and the United States.

    Not every disease from food can be felt right away. Some diseases manifest years later when there is not much a dr can do except fight endotoxins and try to minimize future damage.

    People can die from being incautious anout what they eat and drink.

    I would like to try the fried scorpion. The raw? Passing on that.

    Even then as a cooked dish, not much. As for raw shellfish or even cooked shellfish: shellfish eat by filtering food in the water.

    As a result they are full of heavy metals or whatever was dumped in the water bt humans…which can lead to cancer, dementia. Blood poisoning, etc.

    It is wise to limit shellfish eating as most waters around the globe are heavily polluted due to industrial waste dumping.

    If you would not dip your shellfish in a soy sauce or fishsauce made from pesticides and herbicides, then you should try to limit shellfish.

    I say this as a true seafood lover. You cannot cook or get rid of heavy metals in shrimp, crab, clams, oysters, etc. By washing OR cooking.

    What they ate is what their little nodies are now contaminated with.

    Thank you for describing how scorpions taste.

    Someone said fried tarantulas taste like crunchy crab meat. Interesting.

    1. thanks for this informative summary. I have lived in Thailand a few years now, have been very careful about food all along, but still got heavy food poisoning couple of times (also in Egypt, India and Syria). Hygiene in food preparation is not at the top of the agenda here in Asia, to put it mildly. Street food – forget it. They prepare the food mostly by hand and touch the final product before serving you. Totally surprised when I ask them not to touch it. Very often there is no running water to wash the dishes.

      I observe the locals in amazement how they can’t resist eating clams (Hoi Naam Rom), even though they all get stomach problems each time! I’ve seen this countless times in Isaan.

  3. I’ve been to Thailand but I admit I couldn’t muster the courage to go insect-eating. I did come across the insect food stalls but something repelled me. I have always wondered how people ate them. Here in India, in the northeast too people eat insects and have staple dishes based on insects as primary ingredients. How did you feel eating a scorpion though? I know I’d never be able to do it and can only live the thought through your experience!

  4. There was no way I wasn’t gonna click on this post! It reminded me so much of one of my food experiences in Japan (cow stomach, raw liver, cow tongue, etc.). It’s so odd to think how “strange” foods can seem to us, but so normal to others. I have now chosen to eat tongue AND cow tail again in other places… because it’s delicious! I actually had crickets and some kind of crunchy worm before… but never a scorpion. I’ve been okay with bugs and similar so far, so I’d probably try it all as well. I can’t believe the scorpions taste like fries! Should I have it with ketchup???

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jeniffer. Yeah, I guess the scorpion with ketchup will taste fine! However, that’s not really how they serve it in Thailand ;).
      We’ve never had a cow tail or tongue before but we’d definitely try them when we have a chance.
      I guess the big part of traveling is getting out of your comfort zone, which includes trying new food!

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