Tasty frogs yield handsome Songkran income in Isan

Tasty frogs yield handsome Songkran income in Isan

A man shows a bag of fresh ueng ang frogs he has just bought from a roadside stall in Pak Thong Chai district, Nakhon Ratchasima. It's a popular snack in Isan at  this time of year - and very profitable for vendors. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
A man shows a bag of fresh ueng ang frogs he has just bought from a roadside stall in Pak Thong Chai district, Nakhon Ratchasima. It's a popular snack in Isan at this time of year - and very profitable for vendors. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Summer thunderstorms have brought the annual flood of frogs known as ueng ang phu khao to many areas of the Northeast - where they end up on roadside stalls as tasty snacks for Songkran travellers.

Residents of Wang Nam Khieo and Pak Thong Chai districts are earning handsome incomes catching and selling these appetising, to many, amphibians.

Stalls selling the frogs - also known as Asian painted frogs and bubble frogs - line the side of Highway 304 in both districts, attracting motorists heading home for the Songkran holiday.

Frogs, alive and grilled, are selling like proverbial hot cakes.

Vendor Somjai Klomkasem, 42, set up her stall along the road in Pak Thong Chai district.

She said summer storms in the mountains at this time of year regularly bring droves of ueng ang phu khao - just in time for people to catch and sell them as Songkran treats.

Whole households would go out to gather them and earn an extra income.

This particular frog species is a most sought-after snack by Isan people heading home from Bangkok for the festival, she said.

She sells fresh and ready-to-eat ueng ang. Fresh frogs are priced at 250 baht a kilo. Those with eggs fetch 350 baht a kilo. Four frogs grilled on a wooden stick cost 100 baht.

There is also fermented ueng ang, which sells at 150 baht per small plastic container, Ms Somjai said.

Her family is earning 7,000-8,000 baht a day at the moment and sales will pick up. They can earn up to 20,000 baht a day during the Songkran festival every year, she added.

Customers buy ueng ang phu khao frogs from a roadside stall in Pak Thong Chai district, Nakhon Ratchasima. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

Live frogs, ready for sale. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

Grilled frogs, ready to go. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)


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