10 exotic dishes to try in South East Asia

10 exotic dishes to try in South East Asia

For locals, most of these are ordinary dishes eaten every meal. For travelers and non locals however, these are rare dishes that you can’t eat anywhere else.

If you are the adventurous type that eats anything, you should try these when going on Asia tour packages and visiting the countries that offer exotic food. Be careful though and check that you are not allergic to those dishes so your tummy can take it. It is also wise if you get hepa shots to make sure you get back to your country healthy.

As I said, this is only for those with strong tummies. Eat at your own risk, make sure you have hepa shots, condition your tummy, and lastly, have fun.

Exotic food 1. Balut

For locals, this is a regular snack. Balut is a poor little unborn duckling cooked prematurely for humans. I know I’m guilty of eating this too but I only eat the yellow and white part and not the baby inside.. You can eat this in the Philippines and I discovered last 2008 that you can also eat this in Vietnam. The soup is specially delicious to be honest.




Exotic food 2. Snails

This is very difficult to eat coz you have to break the shells to eat the soft part inside. I remember when I was younger, my neighbour use to eat these kinds of shells from the rice fields but now the land has been developed into industrial zones so no more rice fields, no more snails too.. However, you can still eat these in far flung places in Laguna, Antique and Kalinga in the Philippines

snails and veggies


Exotic food 3. Frogs

The first time I ate this was in China town in Binondo. But you can also eat this exotic food in places such as Antique and Kalinga, Philippines. Taste like chicken with smaller bones.




Exotic food 4. Bugs

Bugs similar to the picture below are headache to farmers in the Philippines specially when they attack coconut trees. However, in Thailand, they solved the problem by eating them… not sure if they are the same species of bugs though.



Exotic food 5. Tamilok worm

They are called woodworms but they are not exactly worms. The slimy thing is extracted from wood.. tastes more like mollusks or oyster.. yummy if you dip it in vinegar. If you’re curious to try it, head over to Palawan, Philippines.



Exotic food 6. Crocodile meat

I tasted this in Palawan too. Kinda expensive but it’s worth a try since you’re there already. Does not have a distinctive taste because the garlic and onions in the dish overpowered it. Sorry no decent picture, but imagine a sisig style dish.

Exotic food 7. Donsol Seaweed

This is actually the poo poo of a seaweed creature called Donsol. Taste like seaweed, I didn’t know they were poo poo until someone told me.. You can find these in local carinderias in Bohol, Philippines. Want to know what it looks like?

Exotic food 8. Sea Urchin

This is very expensive in Japan. But fisherfolks just get them for free in Bohol and in other places in the Philippines where it’s offered. I love the taste when you mix it in vinegar.



Exotic food 9. Rat

I have eaten this in Vietnam and I tried not to puke. Besides we are at an expensive restaurant and I’m treating all my Vietnamese friends in this posh place so I must stay brave. You know the smell of rats? That’s what it tastes like except that it’s sautéed with garlic and served elegantly.



Exotic food 10. Ants

Although ants are regular critters that invades your food in the tropics. I never knew, you can actually mix this ants in your rice as a dish too.. hence my latest discovery.. You can find locals selling Ants in Kalinga province, northern part of the Philippines. The ant eggs have an interesting taste but the adult ants have a psychological effect on me.. I squeal a bit every time I put these critters in my mouth.. I also need to make sure they are all fried dead coz I don’t want them biting my intestines.




I’m off to discover more of these unique dishes around the world, hopefully my tummy won’t give up on me. ^_^

How about you, have you tried an exotic food and would like others to discover it too?

7 thoughts on “10 exotic dishes to try in South East Asia

  1. I’ve eaten frog and sea urchin. Have never been tempted to try either again. I’ve seen a lot of bugs in my travels, but have never tried them.

    1. it’s interesting that these are eaten regularly by some people.. well, that includes me eating balut regularly. i think i can’t eat rats again though, once is enough

  2. You can eat bat in Borneo, it has too many small bones for my liking.
    Dog meat is popular in vietnam, and still very common in China. Scorpions are another common Chinese delicacy.
    Snake Soup is a great Hong Kong specialty.

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