In my line of work, I’m presented with many opportunities to sample less-than-normal foods. For example, things like this and this (click those links for a serious laugh… really) are regularly sent to my office.
The Jefe does a lot of cooking demos– at food festivals, events, private parties, corporate galas. One of his favorites? Wok-tossed crickets. Not only does it offer that ewww factor, but crickets are actually PACKED with protein and they taste absolutely delicious. Did I mention they’re alive at the beginning of the demo? Yes. Crickets attempting to escape a flaming hot wok adds some serious flair and drama to dump and stir cooking. Watch a video of it here (the magic happens at 3:55).
Anyhow, yes, I have eaten crickets and grasshoppers on a few occasions. When prepared well, they are tasty. Chapulines, as they are called in Mexico, should be sold at every Trader Joe’s. However, even though I know I like ’em, I’m still a little squeamish every single time I try them. Especially if I have to pull the legs off before I pop them into my mouth. You don’t want cricket legs lodged in your throat.
Plus, as you can see, they have EYES:
I took a big bite of these crickets at his last demo. The key is to close your eyes and just go for it. Delicious.
* * *
The next day, I happened upon another meal with a face at Khong River House. Now, most people would probably just rip a shrimp head off, toss it aside and eat the little shrimpy body. Did you know the heads are edible and actually considered a delicacy in some places? Of course you knew that because you are smart! I decided to give it a whirl. I’ve sampled shrimp heads a few times and for every one that is delicious, you end up eating at least three that are kind of off-tasting. Hence, I psych myself up every single time I try one.
Check out the video below. I make it look so easy, but in reality, I didn’t like eating this shrimp head much. It was pretty fishy (no fault of the restaurant) and I stabbed my throat with the antennae. I was just trying to convince my coworker Dusti to try one. It worked… and she did not like it. It was pretty funny.