Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Red Ant Eggs or Kai Moot Daeng

Its that time of year where red ant eggs are available in Issan.  No, you didn't hear me wrong, these are eggs and larvae of red ants...those mean, pesky, little not so little critters that bite like heck.  

Yesterday, B went to the market and found some for sale.  During the peak season, they are fairly reasonable and are very fresh.  Considered a delicacy up in these parts, 300-450 baht will get you around 500-600 grams of eggs.  Over the years that I have been living in Issan, I've come to enjoy them as well, especially when cooked with egg omelets. B knew this and so she purchased some and made omelets for us this morning and a spicy salad version for her mom and dad (laub moot daeng).
Mix with some fresh eggs and spice to taste

I know the idea of eating ant eggs sounds repulsive, but if I didn't tell you what the little white things that look like barley were, you would likely enjoy it as much as I do.  The eggs have very little taste except a bit of tartness and are almost buttery and squishy when broken.  Add that to the flavor of eggs with a bit of onion and you are in gourmet heaven.  The tinge of tartness is from the leaves of mango trees which the ants like to feed on.

Red ant egg dishes can be found in Bangkok at restaurant and stalls that feature Issan food, but expect to pay a hefty price for the dish and only a tiny sprinkling of eggs.

Oh, yes.  Marina did have her first taste and loved it.  Its a tradition up here in these parts that young girls get their first taste of red ant eggs when they are young.  

Here is a funny video of a farang guy trying to get his own eggs.  Because of the flooding we have upcountry, red ants build their nests in the trees, making them accessible for harvesting.  Beware, don't try this at home....just pay for them at the market!

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