What bug/insect is this?
August 4, 2011 7:18 AM   Subscribe

What fried bug/moth/insect is this guy eating at 0:42~0:43? (photo)
posted by querty to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
Looks like a fried cockroach to me.
posted by jferg at 7:32 AM on August 4, 2011

The insect in the video is a grasshopper. The one in the photo does indeed look like a cockroach.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 7:42 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

The insect in the photo is a giant water bug (Wikipedia)
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:56 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yep, what those guys said. The one in the video might be a cricket, but the long body makes it look more like a grasshopper with its wings off. The photo is of Lethocerus indicus, a giant water beetle.

Both bugs look like they're in Thailand from the backgrounds and context.

Grasshoppers are a fried snack originally most popular in the North East, but there's been a bit of a fad for them over the past 5-10 years and they're now farmed all over the place. You can get them at the "Insects Inter" franchised fried bug stores in Bangkok.

Water beetles are an Isaan thing as well but they also pop up in old central Thai recipes. When not simply fried, they can be squeezed over soups to extract a few drops of fragrant garnishing liquid. The wiki link above suggests something similar is done in Vietnam, only the essence is first harvested from many bugs and sold in bottles.

You can buy both bugs online if you're curious. (Though I can't vouch for that shop, I just found it myself.)
posted by Ahab at 9:11 AM on August 4, 2011

Thirding a grasshopper in the video and a giant water beetle in the photo.

The first time I saw a giant water beetle was last year in Wisconsin. It had been squashed on the sidewalk. I exclaimed, "What is that?!" just as an entomologist was walking by. What are the odds?
posted by youngergirl44 at 5:05 PM on August 4, 2011

Hopefully the entomologist pointed out that they are true bugs (Hemiptera) and not beetles (Coleoptera). In the interest of precision :).
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:57 PM on August 4, 2011

Doh. I blame my beetle/bug mistake on 1. having water beetles on my mind after our recent canoe trip and 2. a lack of sleep last week. I've known the difference since I was about six, so those are lame excuses...
posted by youngergirl44 at 12:06 PM on August 7, 2011

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