Dried milk cicadas: A must try dish for visitors to Son La

Originating in the ethnic region of Thai, milk cicada fried with sour fresh bamboo and roasted cricket may not be to everyone’s taste. But for the locals here, it is a meal that makes them proud.

Dried milk cicadas: A must try dish for visitors to Son La

The young cicada is only about the size of the tip of your little finger with a round body and brown or light green colours.

To prepare the dish, young cicadas are soaked in salted water for an hour and then washed before cooking.

Spices for the dish include sour young bamboo water, chili, citronella, lemon leaves cut into threads and several spoonful of pork fat or cooking oil. The secret to the right taste is all in the bamboo water.

It is also important to fry a dried onion in fat and then put the materials into the pan, Thai people put the washed cicadas into a pan and pour the sour bamboo water in and then cook them over light fire until the pan is dried.

This helps to eliminate any bad odors from the cicadas to ensure it’s the right time to fry them with fat, fish sauce and chili until they turn to a red brown colour in order to keep young milk in the cicada’s belly, and help the food become greasier without being too dried.

After frying, the cicadas should be quickly poured onto a large plate and then sprinkled with lemon threads.