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Spicy Red Ant Salad(Koi Khai Mot Dang)

I told you I would bring you some  authentic Thai recipes and this is one. Ants are the bane of my life here you only need to drop a grain of rice and they are on it in a flash in their thousands.. well a slight exaggeration but you have to marvel at their radar so finely tuned.

I first had this salad a while ago and I must admit I was a tad..well, reticent to try it but I did and it was amazing such a lemony flavour which I love and nothing whatsoever like I imaged the taste to be.

It is quite a dangerous job as well collecting those eggs.

I was sitting in the garden one day and noticed the maid with her basket tied to one end of a long stick and a bucket full of water. She was poking the ant nest ( at the time ) I couldn’t see what it was.

This was where intrigued I went to see what was going on…she proudly showed me….

How they poke the nest until the eggs fall into the basket. Then she quickly puts the whole basket into a large bucket of water and uses the stick to stir the water……

As  the eggs sink down to the bottom of the bucket the ants climbed up on the stick and they quickly just shake them off. Angry red ants you don’t want climbing all over you… But there were a few bites so be  quick they are pesky little blighters with a big sting.

Red ant eggs are cooked in a few types of dishes such as this Spicy Raw Ant Egg Salad. ( Koi Khai Mot Dang) which  seems to be the most popular dish in the Issan area of Thailand where I now live they can be found nestling on a banana leaf on every stall.

Because they contain acetic acid, red ant eggs are also used instead of lemon juice or vinegar in many Thai dishes.

Ant eggs are also a high source of protein. 100 grams contains more than 8.2 grams of protein. They have less fat and calories than chicken eggs by containing only 2.6 grams of fat while chicken egg contains more than 11.7 grams. Now if those facts don’t tempt you to try…This lovely salad ..What will?

Let’s Cook!

3 tbsp Ant Eggs.

1 tbsp. Fish sauce

1 tbsp. roasted rice, ground to a powder.

1/2 tsp chilli flakes.

2 Spring onion finely sliced.

Handful chopped coriander

7-10 Mint leaves

2 tsp. Ground white  pepper

1/2 tbsp. Lime juice

3 shallots finely sliced.

Stir all ingredients together gently.

Add the seasoning.  Serve with fresh vegetables.


If you get over any initial reticence to try it most people like it….really….I do.

Well I will be honest….I shut my eyes…How that helps I don’t know…ha ha…but I have to admit they were tasty.

Go on …You know you want to!


What do you think?

10 Points

Written by Carol Taylor


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  1. Poor, poor babies…they were not even allowed to see the lovely sky and the trees and the…what if they wanted to be queen ants when they grow up…or what if they wanted to put up their own colonies…sigh. My heart just went out with those poor, poor, hahahahaha intriguing dish I agree

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