Fried black spider – a unique and attractive dish

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The fried black spider has been a favorite dish of native Cambodian for a long time but enjoying the dish really is challenge for foreigners. Cambodians raise spiders in the holes of soil near his house and feed them and take care of like other livestock.

In the past, Red Khmer people considered spiders and insects as daily dishes because they are always in status of severe food shortages. Gradually, it became a favorite specialties sold everywhere at markets of Cambodia.

It’s about an hour to drive motorbike from Pnom Penh capital to area selling this insect – Skuon town. Plastic brasses and buckets are sold everywhere with all kinds of insects: spiders, scorpions, lizards, crickets, belostomatid, …

Fried black spider a unique and attractive dish

The next is oil pans, aluminum brasses filled with processed insect, attracting people with its aromatic flavor, of which the most impressive is the fried black spiders.

These spiders are quite big, black; full-hair pincers and body looking repulsive are as big as humans’ big toe, about 7 cm in length. Black spiders which are known as jumping ones or a-ping in Cambodian language live in burrows, mostly in the hill Ro-Vey (suburban Konpong Thom).

It is very difficult to catch them and be careful to avoid them burning, or you will be swelling and high fever for several days. The price of fresh black spiders is about 400 ria per one (equivalent to VND 5,000). And the fried spider is about 10,000. The processed spiders are not poisonous anymore.

According to the seller at here, selling the insect brings to their income. Each day, a stall consumes different types of insects (fresh and processed).

There are two ways of processing with the specie: Soak wine and crispy. The men wanting a “great heathy” wine jar for treatment of the dieases: backache, arthritis, rheumatism, or “physiological weak”. Buy about 30 fresh black spider, then wash, dry, soak into 3 liters of wine for about 3 months and enjoy.

Tourists coming here prefer to eat on the spot. The way of processing the dish is very easy and fast. Wash and drain whole black spider. Saute (oil) garlic, ground pepper, and different flavors and put black spider into frying pan until it is slightly crispy, then take it out. The back of spider is the most delicious, especially when it is dry.

Like Vietnamese people’s favorite, in the free afternoon or evening, overseas Vietnamese people and Cambodians here are in the habit of drinking Angkor beer or white wine with insects (spiders, scorpions, crickets …). Hold a fried black spider, and then put into his mouth to chew. At first be scared, but the greasy and fragrant flavor of its head and body intermingled with the fat of whole gut keep spreading and soak in the taste, creating great attraction.

Loan Nguyen

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