Recipes for grasshopper, silkworm, bamboo caterpillar, etc

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The sudden emergence of a range of unconventional food products at hypermarkets across Thailand puts these traditional Thai snacks and meats before a much wider range of consumers.

Now readily available are frozen packs of: silkworms, bamboo caterpillar, grasshopper, crocodile, frog, spotted Babylon snail, razor clam, snapping turtle, and partridge.

Call for recipes competition

Submit your best recipe for silkworms, recipe for bamboo caterpillar, recipe for grasshopper, recipe for crocodile, recipe for frog, recipe for spotted Babylon snail, recipe for razor clam, recipe for snapping turtle, or recipe for partridge using the comment form below between now and May 31, 2011.

The best submitted recipe for each product will win a small, insignificantly valued prize that I haven’t determined yet. In exchange you will also be expanding the culinary universe by sharing your personal recipe leaving a living legacy of your cooking skills long after your mortal remains have turned to dust.

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Recipes for silkworms, bamboo caterpillar, grasshopper, crocodile, frog, spotted Babylon snail, razor clam, snapping turtle, and partridge need to list all of the ingredients involved, any preparation requirements and the cooking details as per the sample recipe for Pad Thai.

Typical Thai Pad Thai recipe:

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cooking Time
15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 1/2 tbs seasoning sauce
1 tbs tamarind concentrate
1 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tsp finely chopped palm sugar
250g rice stick noodles
60ml (1/4 cup) peanut oil
300g firm tofu, drained, cut into 2cm cubes
5 purple shallots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthways, thinly sliced diagonally
1 red capsicum, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced lengthways
2 eggs, lightly whisked
100g bean sprouts
1/4 Chinese cabbage, shredded
2/3 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
2 tbs crushed unsalted peanuts
Lime wedges, to serve

Method

Combine seasoning sauce, tamarind, lime juice and sugar in a jug. Set aside. Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Set aside for 5 minutes to soften. Stir with a fork to separate. Drain.

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Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat until smoking. Add half the tofu and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Reheat wok and repeat with the remaining tofu.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok over medium heat until just smoking. Add shallot and garlic and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the shallots softens. Add carrot and capsicum, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until carrot is tender. Make a well in the centre of the vegetables. Pour the egg into the well and stir-fry until partially cooked. Add noodles and stir until well combined.

Add reserved lime-juice mixture, tofu, bean sprouts, cabbage and coriander, and stir-fry until combined.

Divide the pad Thai among serving bowls and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Notes

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If seasoning sauce is unavailable, use soy sauce instead. If tamarind concentrate is unavailable, use fresh lemon juice instead. If palm sugar is unavailable, substitute brown sugar. If purple shallots are unavailable, use red onion instead.

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