Froggy forecast: Rain brings ‘eung pao’ craze, hopping sales in PhayaoLegacy

The onset of rain in Phayao province sparked a flurry of activity as the local delicacy, eung pao, better known as balloon frog, became available for a limited time, leading to bustling markets and a significant boost in income for local villagers.

Selling for as much as 600 baht per kilogramme, these creatures are a source of culinary delight and economic benefit, with especially high demand for female specimens with eggs.

Recent showers in Phayao have initiated the breeding season for balloon frogs, a species that emerges only during the early rainy season. This natural event has the local community eager to catch these creatures and bring them to market, where they fetch high prices and create substantial income.

With prices reaching 600 baht per kilogramme or 30 to 50 baht per individual, the balloon frog has become a seasonal economic boon.

The abundant rainfall prompts balloon frogs to emerge in great numbers, invigorating the local economy as villagers capture and sell them at morning markets. Renowned for their delicious taste, balloon frogs are incorporated into various dishes, with a preference for the females with eggs, which are considered the most flavorful, particularly when grilled.

Suk Yosathi, a 60 year old merchant at the Mae Thongkham fresh market, shared that the eung pao come out to play in the rain and breed during the early rainy season in natural water sources and agricultural fields, their loud calls filling the air.

Villagers eagerly harvest them to sell to culinary enthusiasts, with initial prices for female balloon frogs with eggs at 600 baht per kilogramme whilst males go for 300 baht per kilogramme or 30 to 50 baht for a pair. These can be used in a variety of dishes, such as balloon frog sour curry, roasted, fried, or grilled.

This marks the first appearance of balloon frogs this year, emerging from their underground burrows to frolic in the rainwater, reported KhaoSod.

Villagers capture them to sell in the markets for those who enjoy this seasonal treat, available only once a year. Not only does this provide a rare culinary experience, but it also significantly contributes to the villagers’ incomes.

The story Froggy forecast: Rain brings ‘eung pao’ craze, hopping sales in Phayao as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Nattapong Westwood