If you’ve ever taken a walk through a food market in China, Vietnam, or Thailand, you may have come across edible insects. They don’t sound appealing, but there’s always a line of tourists willing to try them.
Are you wondering what scorpions taste like? I purchased a few on my last trip to Chiang Mai, so keep reading to find out what to expect.
What Does Scorpion Taste Like?
Black Forest scorpions have a mild, slightly salty flavor with a bitter undertone. They taste a lot like crickets, and their texture is very crunchy and dry. You could compare the crunch to pork rind without the moisture or fat content. It is easy to identify a Black Forest scorpion as it has an unmistakable black shell.
Manchurian scorpions have a mildly bitter, salty taste and are also very crunchy. They share some similarities with shrimp in their taste. A Manchurian scorpion has yellow legs and a stinger, along with a dark brown abdomen.
People expect scorpions to have a similar consistency to shrimp: a crispy exoskeleton and soft flesh inside. However, you won’t get any scorpion meat for your money; they are crispy with only a dry shell to eat.
Where can you buy scorpions?
Beijing, China, has plenty of street vendors offering scorpions on a stick. Throughout China, you’ll have access to these protein-packed snacks everywhere.
This article was written in Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can get your hands on a fried scorpion by visiting the Ploen Ruedee night market. At 200 baht, they’re not exactly cheap to eat. For the price of this one insect, you can get a large meal, which I’m sure most would enjoy more.
Other cities in Thailand that are renowned for bizarre foods include Bangkok, Koh Samui, Phuket, and Pattaya.
If you aren't planning on visiting an Asian country any time soon, then consider buying your scorpions online. You can buy them in bags of one or more. Click the following link if you're interested in having some delivered to your door: Edible Dehydrated Asian Forest Black Scorpions [paid Amazon link]
How do you eat scorpions?
Here’s how I received mine. As you can see, the plating is fairly basic.
Unlike some foods like lobster, there’s no technical skill required when eating scorpions. Everything is edible, and they easily fall apart with a gentle pull. Choose which part of the anatomy you want to eat first and put it in your mouth. There are no sharp, hard bits that are impossible to eat.
Another common way to serve them is skewered on a stick. This serving style is known as a lollipop. It is a much healthier version compared to regular lollipops.
If you buy a live scorpion at a restaurant, then it could be served alive. The standard way they’re served is by slicing off the stinger and then dunking it in some form of alcohol. This process adds some extra flavor and puts the critter to sleep—permanently.
Prefer a more conventional snack?
Check out our article on how popcorn pops.
How to Cook Scorpions
- 4 scorpions stingers removed
- 2 cups milk
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 lemon
- Add scorpions and milk to a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a skillet on high heat and then add butter.
- Pour cornmeal, chili, salt, and pepper into a small bowl and combine.
- Drop each scorpion into the mix and evenly coat each critter.
- Place scorpions in the skillet and cook each side for 2 minutes, then serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice.
A cooked scorpion can be safely eaten, including the stinger. The cooking process renders the venom harmless. Raw scorpions should have the sting removed before consumption.
Beef jerky has a beef-flavored undertone with a fatty mouthfeel. Scorpion is much drier; it has no oiliness and a blander, more bitter taste.
Scorpions and lobsters come from the same group, Phylum Arthropoda¹; however, they are more closely related to spiders.
Scorpions are best fried, grilled, or roasted to maintain their crispy texture. They can also be eaten raw, with the stinger cut off.
If you're wondering what scorpions taste like, then your best option is to buy one and give it a try! The flavor is quite bland and bitter, so most wouldn't buy these creatures for their taste. The best part about scorpions is their texture, which is one of the crunchiest foods you'll ever eat. If you can look past the appearance of the dish, you'll probably quite enjoy it.
Once you've tried scorpions in Asia, you may want to try some other obscure foods. How does raw beef with uncooked blood, red ant eggs, tarantulas, fried duck beaks, or developing tadpoles sound? They're all available, and some may surprise you with how tasty they are – especially fried duck beaks.