Mobile street food vendor
Deep fried bugs
Deep-fried bugs — crickets, water bugs, silk worms, and so on — are typically deep fried with salt, palm sugar and maybe some fish sauce, and finally sprinkled with red chillies and finely sliced herbs. Foreigners are often told they’re a delicacy, but they’re not. They’re a street food snack – and they’re a snack born out of desperation. Like fried tarantulas and barbecue rice field rats, Cambodians only began to eat these during the desperately lean times of the brutal Khmer Rouge years. The best and freshest fried bugs are sold inside the local markets – look for bugs that look fat and glisten with oil. If they’re drier-looking they are probably old, as are most at the carts that roam around Pub Street and outside Old Market, which are there to target tourists set to tick off their ‘weird foods’ bucket lists. If you’re a reluctant taster and you have a choice, opt for the silk worms. They can actually taste quite delicious in small doses. Whatever you try, have something cold handy to wash it down with.
By Lara Dunston
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