Lethocerus Indicus (Giant Water Bug)

“The Vietnamese call this insect cà cuống. It is a highly prized food and often boiled and fried whole.” LINK

Here in Thailand, it is called maeng da or malaeng da, and is mostly used ground up in chili paste called nam phrik or jaew bong. The pheromone that so famously attracts the females has a unique and powerful scent, unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. Not unpleasant in and of itself, but very strong. I can eat it, but have never tried it raw… I found the one above freshly dead, in my driveway. It did not smell. It’s the only one I’ve seen in the wild, although they sell them live at the fresh markets and deep-fried at edible insect stalls.

Incidentally, maengda is also slang for “pimp” in Thai.

Kewpie’s Frankeneggs – Snowman Kimipuchi

On the right, a normal egg yolk. On the left, a fake yolk AKA the Snowman Kimipuchi:

A user on Twitter performed this experiment in a frying pan with a fake egg found in a convenience store bento, and the Japanese are outraged!

The list of ingredients on the Kewpie page sounds a lot like the ingredients in their mayonnaise:

I understand the concern of Japanese bento eaters, but I’m also really curious about the taste…

The Best Thai Breakfast – Vietnamese Pan Eggs (aka Egg Pan)

pan eggs? egg pan? super yummy either way!

This is one of my favorite things to have for breakfast in Thailand, because the majority of Thai breakfasts is one dish: Grilled pork skewers and sticky rice – which is awesome, but gets old day after day.

There used to be an old lady who made the best version of this in town, but she closed her shop a decade ago. The one pictured above was made at a nearby restaurant owned by the mother of one of Mina’s classmates that opened pre-COVID and subsequently shut down. It was OK, but very typically made with margarine instead of butter.

An egg pan, or pan eggs, typically go for about a dollar per pan and are served with a stuffed roll called khanom pan yuan, or literally, “gook bread.” “Yuan” is kind of an ethnic slur for Vietnamese in Thai.

“gook bread” is usually a hard oblong roll; this one was actually a hot dog bun which is unforgivably inauthentic and just lame, dude

After the old lady mentioned above closed her shop, I thought about opening a breakfast place that served this only just so I could eat it whenever I wanted – because this dish is too dirt cheap to make much money on, or even to make properly with real butter. Alas, I only eat this now when I go to Khon Kaen (where they have enough customers at established shops to keep open), or just make similar breakfast at home.

Oh egg pan, and pan egg – how I miss thee.