Home Knowledge What Does Scorpion Taste Like? Is It Worth Eating?

What Does Scorpion Taste Like? Is It Worth Eating?

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Holding a scorpion lollipop

If you’ve ever taken a walk through a food market in China, Vietnam, or Thailand, there’s a good chance you’ll have come across edible insects. Few Westerners would look at the display of “bug cuisine” and lick their lips. They don’t sound appealing, but there is a certain allure to them. It’s like you’re the star of Fear Factor, even if it is short-lived.

So, what does scorpion taste like? I recently purchased a few to get the answers. Keep reading to find out more.

What Does Scorpion Taste Like?

Black Forest scorpions have a mild, slightly salty flavor with a bitter undertone. They are similar in taste to crickets with a texture that is exceptionally crunchy and dry. You could compare the crunch to pork rind, without the moisture or fat content. It is easy to identify a Black Forest scorpion as it has an unmistakable black shell.

Manchurian scorpions have a mildly bitter, salty taste and are also very crunchy. They share some similarities to shrimp in their taste. A Manchurian scorpion has yellow legs and stinger, along with a dark brown abdomen.

People expect scorpions to have a similar consistency to shrimp – a crispy exoskeleton and soft flesh inside. However, you won’t get any scorpion meat for your money; they are crispy with only a dry shell to eat.

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Where can you buy scorpions?

At markets

Beijing, China has plenty of street vendors offering scorpion on a stick. In fact, throughout China, you’ll have access to these protein-packed snacks everywhere.

Ploen Ruedee Night Market
Chiang Mai is a treasure trove for food lovers.

This article was written in Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can get your hands on a fried scorpion by visiting the Ploen Ruedee night market. At 200 baht, they’re not exactly cheap eating. For the price of this one insect, you can get a large meal, which I’m sure most would enjoy more.

Other cities in Thailand that are renowned for bizarre foods include Bangkok, Koh Samui, Phuket, and Pattaya.

Online

If you aren’t planning on visiting an Asian country any time soon, then consider buying your scorpions online. You can buy them in bags of one or more. Click the following link if you’re interested in having some delivered to your door: Asian Forest Scorpion & Armor Tail Scorpion [paid Amazon link].

How do you eat scorpions?

Here’s how I received mine — the polar opposite of fancy plating up.

A fried scorpion on a paper plate
The stinger is best removed before eating, but isn’t essential if cooked.

Unlike some food like lobster, there’s no technical skill required when eating scorpions. Everything is edible, and they easily fall apart with a gentle pull. Chose which part of the anatomy you want to eat first and put it in your mouth. There are no sharp or hard bits that are impossible to eat.

Another common way to serve them is skewered on a stick. This serving style is known as a lollipop – a much healthier version when compared to the original sweet version.

If you buy a live scorpion at a restaurant, then you may have it served alive. The standard way they’re served is by slicing off the stinger then dunking it in some form of alcohol. This process adds some extra flavor as well as putting the critter to sleep…. permanently.

Holding a black scorpion in two fingers
There is no need for utensils when eating these creatures.

Prefer a more conventional snack?
Check out our article on how popcorn pops.

How to cook scorpions

Ingredients

  • 4 scorpions, stingers removed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon

Method

  1. Add scorpions and milk to a bowl and set aside
  2. Heat a skillet on a high heat and then add butter.
  3. Pour cornmeal, chili, salt, and pepper into a small bowl and combine.
  4. Drop each scorpion into the mix and evenly coat each critter.
  5. Place scorpions in the skillet and cook each side for 2 minutes then serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Need a side dish? Serve with a colorful garden salad and a bowl of rice. Mayonnaise adds a creamy element to help balance the dryness of the scorpion.

Fun factFAQ

Is it safe to eat a scorpion?

A cooked scorpion can be safely eaten, including the stinger. The cooking process renders the venom harmless. Raw scorpions should have the sting removed before consuming.

Do scorpions taste like beef jerky?

Beef jerky has a beef-flavored undertone with a fatty mouthfeel. Scorpion is much drier; it has no oiliness and a blander, more bitter taste.

Is a scorpion related to a lobster?

Scorpions and lobsters come from the same group, Phylum Arthropoda¹; however, they are more closely related to spiders.

How do I cook a scorpion?

Scorpions are best fried, grilled, or roasted to maintain their crispy texture. They can also be eaten raw, with the stinger cut off.

Final words

If you’re wondering what do scorpions taste like, then your best option is to buy one and give it a try! The flavor is quite bland and bitter, so most wouldn’t buy these creatures for their taste. The best part about scorpions is their texture, which is one of the crunchiest foods you’ll ever eat. If you can look past the appearance of the dish, you’ll probably quite enjoy it.

Once you’ve tried scorpion in Asia, you may want to try some other obscure foods. How does raw beef with uncooked blood, red ant eggs, tarantulas, fried duck beaks, or developing tadpoles sound? They’re all available, and some may surprise you at how tasty they are – especially fried duck beaks.

Have you tried scorpions before? Let us know in the comments below what you thought of them.

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Reference:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthropod