Crunchy Cambodian Cockroaches

A bag of fried insects. Blerch.

I’m told they’re actually crickets. Bought on the Cambodian side of the border between Cambodia and Vietnam. The transaction took place through the window of  our rental car.

Darling Man is such an adventurous eater. He had spent the long weekend wistfully regretting not buying fried insects at the border as we passed into Cambodia.

And so, he tried to make the best of our stressful exit from the country.

We had gotten caught-out — trying to be free and easy travelers — by not booking a return bus ticket back to Ho Chi Minh City. At the end of Vietnam’s national day long weekend, all the buses were booked out. We lost our traveling companions on Sunday morning. They missed the bus from Sihanoukeville to Phomn Penh and weren’t answering their phone.

In Phomn Penh two rude Nordic backpackers pushed in front of us to get the last two bus tickets to Ho Chi Minh City. And they certainly didn’t look like they needed to be at work the next day.

So we decided to hire a car. Travel agents couldn’t help us, so we tried a motorbike taxi driver, who sped off to find a friend with a car. We were worried about what would happen next but we ended up in the back of a clean and luxurious air conditioned car… stuck in the traffic jam at the border.

That’s when Darling Man wound his window down and began negotiating with the fried insect vendors. I protested. He ignored me. A plastic bag was handed in and the car was filled with a fried nutty smell. Darling Man crunched on a few as I squirmed in my seat and looked the other way.

I flat-out refused to try them, and not just because I was three months pregnant. No matter how exotic eating insects in Cambodia may sound later on, the smell of them turned my stomach.

When we got home our dog turned her nose up at these fried treats. I couldn’t bring myself to kiss Darling Man for weeks.

When pressed he said they were tasty, but I think he was just trying to save face.

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13 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jozef Maxted and dropoutdiaries, dropoutdiaries. dropoutdiaries said: Can I call myself a #foodie if I refused to eat fried crickets (that looked like cockroaches)? #streetfood #Cambodia […]

  2. Nancie says:

    I’ve taken my share of photos of these ugly critters, but no way I’m eating them.

    Great photo. You should join us for Travel Photo Thursday sometime!

  3. Debra says:

    That’s all.

  4. Theodora says:

    We’ve eaten these in Laos, in fact. Surprisingly palatable…

    Though i did shy away from the fat ones old ladies sell kebabbed and ate crispy lemongrass ones in a touristy place off Nam Phu Square…
    Theodora recently posted..Help! I’m Location Independent

  5. Andrea says:

    Trying to have his own episode of Bizarre Foods, was he? You couldn’t pay me to eat one! Made for a great post, though!
    Andrea recently posted..Bungas’s Beer of the Week- Dunedin

  6. ayngelina says:

    I’d eat them, but you probably would have guessed that!

  7. I wouldn’t have tried them either! I’m not very adventurous when it comes to eating bugs!
    Christy @ Ordinary Traveler recently posted..Ordinary Traveler Survey

  8. Grace says:

    OMG this is my worst nightmare…I am deathly afraid of cockroaches. I can’t imagine eating one!!!!!!!!!
    Grace recently posted..Achieving Clarity in Coroico- Vantage Point Bolivia 2

  9. Christopher says:

    I love that you call your man “Darling Man”. I draw the line at friend insects too. Not yum.
    Christopher recently posted..From the Ritz to the PubGluten-free

  10. Mack Reynolds says:

    i like to think i’m adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but i doubt i could bring myself to try these. their eyes are just too big.

  11. Christina says:

    I’d try fried insects, but perhaps not cockroaches. They have a bad reputation.

  12. guste says:

    No one in Cambodia or anywhere in Asia eats cockroach unless they are starving. This photo was a delicious crickets. The fried is however having different taste depending on geographically recipient. For the family fried, the stuff in the crickets’ belly will be remove, and then the peanut, coconut and some other nuts will be replaced in that belly. make the taste the best ever.

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