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Worms, duc dude, or ដុកឌឿ

Worms, duc dude, or ដុកឌឿ !

So if thrown down the gauntlet and said that I wanted to get weird beard with some local Khmer specialties, and the challenge was duly accepted! The next thing I know I’m presented with a bowl full of bugs.

I asked our local culinary guide to explain what they were and could only have it explained that “we have a lot of varieties of this” and it’s a “worm”, or ដុកឌឿ.

Google translate didn’t do much more to explain, but I was given the English translation of “doc dude”. I immediately dove straight in (obviously).

I’ll get into how a bowl of worms tastes later, but apparently it’s prepared by frying some garlic and spring onions, before adding the worms and shallow firing it in a wok. This bowl, which is pretty damned big will set you back 5000 rials, or about $1.25. Is that expensive for bugs? Apparently they have them in Korea too, or at least that’s what I was told.

I’d gotten my bugs via takeaway, but they’re designed as street food, and you’ll see people in Siem Reap enjoying worms with beer. Definitely not against this as a concept.

It’s really hard to explain how they taste unless you’ve eaten bugs, I mean they taste like bugs, but I’ll try and give a bit better explanation. They’re heavily flavoured by the onions, with a tint of the pepper present (it’s not too spicy). The worms aren’t mushy, but soft without melting in your mouth. The initial taste is quite light, but with a heavy gamey, bug aftertaste. It’s weird, but also weirdly moorish as well.

I wouldn’t say I’m now a convert, but should I end up out with Khmer friends drinking some Angkor Beer and out come the bugs, I’ll be able to represent…..

Written by Gareth

Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.

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