As this July’s issue of Chang Puak Magazine highlights the many uses of bamboo and takes you on a trip to Siam Insect Zoo, we could not resist but to write about this local dish “Rod Duan”, or “delicious fried bamboo worms”.
Historically, Chiang Mai was a small city surrounded by farmland. Today, locals still bring their produce to market from nearby gardens, forests and farms; insects for instance, are harvested using traditional techniques. A Chiang Mai local described it as “an art form that requires a lot of skill”: worms are caught in bamboo, crickets are carefully coaxed out of the ground and ant eggs are tapped from mango trees.
Rod Duan is the most common and often seen fried insect in Thailand. Its name can be translated in English as “the express train”. It is a moth of the Crambidae family which lives amongst bamboo groves and forest of northern Thailand.
Rod Duan tastes pretty much like potato chips when fried. You can eat the whole insect at once, and people sometimes cannot even stop. This insect can be easily found ready-to-eat in markets, especially at Warorot market (see our city map G3) as well as in Tops Supermarkets, (branch Central Festival and Central Airport Plaza). You can also buy frozen bamboo worms to fry at Makro. For last minute gift, you will find fried and packed Rod Duan at Chiang Mai Airport (shop on 2nd floor). This local favorite perfectly pairs with beer!