When it rains, it bugs: Phayao’s Jing Kung season is cracking good

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

The rainy season brings a unique culinary delight to Phayao – the “Jing Kung” or egg-laden mole cricket, which is now in abundance. Prized for its delicious taste and high nutritional value, locals eagerly dig them up for consumption and sale.

During the rainy season, the egg-laden mole cricket, also known as “Jing Kung” or “Ji Khrong,” becomes a sought-after delicacy. These insects, found burrowed in the ground, grow considerably large and are highly desired by consumers for their delectable flavour and nutritional benefits. Many locals in Phayao take advantage of this seasonal bounty, digging for these crickets to sell in markets at lucrative prices.

Residents flock to unearth these crickets, selling them to market vendors at prices ranging from 2 to 3 baht per cricket. A bag of 50 crickets fetches around 150 baht, while large quantities can sell for prices between 100 and 600 baht. The crickets are particularly popular among consumers who use them to prepare various dishes, including crispy fried crickets and chilli paste, due to their substantial nutritional content.

At the Tha Wang Thong fresh market in Tha Wang Thong, Mueang Phayao District, people are seen bustling around, purchasing ingredients for their meals.

These crickets are not only a treat but also packed with essential nutrients, making them a valued addition to traditional dishes. Particularly, the egg-laden crickets are favoured for their rich flavour.

The egg-laden mole crickets are versatile and can be used in numerous recipes. Popular dishes include crispy fried crickets and chilli paste, which are highly favoured by the northern Thai community. Other regions also have their unique ways of preparing these crickets, making them a versatile ingredient in various culinary traditions.

During this season, the crickets are plump and large, preparing for mating, which prompts locals to harvest them for both consumption and sale. Once the mating season ends, these crickets become scarce, and they are only available for about one period every year.

“We only get to enjoy these crickets once a year, so we make the most of it.”

The anticipation of this seasonal delicacy brings excitement to the community, as people prepare their favourite dishes. The brief availability period makes the crickets even more cherished, with locals eagerly awaiting the next rainy season to savour them again, reported KhaoSod.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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