Thursday, 3 May 2012

Exotic: Ginisang Abu-os / Antik (Sautéed Tree Ants)

© Fresha-liciousSautéed Tree Ants

Have you tried eating ants? I already did.  Once.  Don’t quiver in disgust just yet.  If you are a real foodie, then you should try. I dare you (evil grin)

My husband is fond of exotic foods.  He is always on the hunt for it.  That is one of his fascinations which I really don't  understand most of the time.  I often deny and reject his invitation / idea of trying to  eat “unusual food” as it grosses me.  The mere thought of exotic food makes my stomach churn (gwark).  But last week, I could no longer escape eating exotic food specially that this ant dish was cooked and flied to Singapore from the Philippines by my in-laws.  Not tasting the dish might  offend them so I tried the ant dish obligingly.

Well, surprisingly, I liked the ant dish.  Not really liking it though but at least I chewed and swallowed the ants and its eggs without vomiting.  I find it delicious, nonetheless.  I just needed to close my eyes and free my mind of the idea that I am actually eating ants.  So I chew and swallow this crunchy bits with ease and gusto.  But once I open my eyes and see those white oblong shaped and big orange ants thingy,  my stomach starts to revolt and I feel like the ants come to life and crawl inside me.  I can feel tiny living creatures creeping in my mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, and all and biting their way out of me  (dang! I really have a very morbid imagination)

The ant dish that Mama Glo cooked is already seasoned and flavored so I’m not sure whether the smell and the taste is a result of the seasonings and how it was cooked.  But to give you an idea of how the ant dish tasted like:

-          the ant dish has a cheese-like and lemony aroma specially when it's heated several times already
-          it also tasted fruity sour like citrus (almost lemon) and a bit salty like cheese, just a little sharper and with a metallic hint

photo of tree ants c/o marketman

By the way, the ants I am talking about refer to the edible light big orange four-legged crawling insects that is often seen on fruit trees.  Its not the usual small red and black ants you see around the house.  Ilocanos call it abu-os, antik in Tagalog and simply tree ants in English.  They are large orange ants with a protruding oblong derriere.  Please don’t ask me about the specific species of this ants as I have absolutely no idea.

Anyway, here’s how Mama Glo cooked this ant dish:

© Fresha-liciousSautéed Tree Ants



Ants – eggs and baby ants (not the adult)
Salt & Ground black pepper to taste
Vegetable Oil

Cooking Procedure

1.      Sauté the garlic and onions in oil, then add the ants. Stir until the ants are fried.
2.      Season with vinegar, salt, and ground black pepper. Let simmer until the vinegar evaporates

You can serve this as an appetizer, or as main dish, or as pulutan (beer companion)

=====> Health Notes:  Ants are also a source of protein

 © Fresha-licious (03May2012)

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