The red ant seen widely through SE Asia is a weaver ant. They're fairly docile unless you disturb their nest and then they come out in force. Their bite isn't too bad and there's little after effect. Occasionally there's a mild sting of formic acid but nothing compared to other ant species. Coincidentally I have noticed that when the Red Ants are present around the property there doesn't seem to be any Fire-Ants. Certainly the numbers of Red ants is far greater than the apparent community of fire -ants. if that is true i love Red Ants and all Red Ant Immigrants are welcome.

(The cellophane bag of eggs already packaged I'm guessing would be about 200 gms and the price is written as 30 Baht. That's an extraordinary low price so I think it would be in the country and probably not Bangkok.)

Quantities of flavourants are not important in this dish but simply prepared to be enjoyed.

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 head  of garlic,
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 5-15 small "phrik ki nu" Thai  chillies
  • 1 large mild red chilies, roughly chopped
  • 3 plump green onions (scallions), white and green parts roughly chopped.
  • 3 Thai aubergines
  • 3 small red onions, (shallots)
  • 2 handfuls of ant eggs (Kai Mot Daeng)*
  • about 1 to 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime leaf, rolled and sliced thinly into slivers
*Red Ant Eggs are available in some western Asian supermarkets either as a frozen or canned product.

  1. In a low glowing charcoal bbq fire, place the aubergines, the garlic, and the chillie in the coals to roast.
  2. When each are cooked remove them from the fire and allow to stand aside to cool.
  3. Brush any black char off the vegetables and pound them into a well mixed pulp called the kheuang.
  4. Prepare the red onions by slicing them into regular segments.
  5. Place half the cut onions, three smashed and  diced garlic cloves, the chopped lemon grass and 2 Tbsp of oil into a skillet or wok. Stir fry until the garlic just starts to turn brown.
  6. Add the fish sauce, ant eggs, three quarters of the green onions and the roasted pulped kheuang and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lime leaf slivers, give the dish a final stir over high heat, and scoop the lot into a  serving bowl.
  7. Add the remaining red onion and green onion slices and mix it together or simply throw them on the top of the dish as a fresh garnish.
  8. Serve immediately, with sticky rice.and most enjoyed by eating small balls of sticky rice dipped into the egg mixture.
The dish shouldn't be over-cooked after the ant eggs are added. The idea is something like a soft cooked egg  :) The texture is quite smooth and one of the most enjoyable traditional Northern and North-eastern dishes.