Insects & Bugs Gastronomy in Japan

From bottom cntre clockwise:
Inago/locusts/いなご, Hachi no ko/bee larvae/蜂の子, Kaiko/Silk worms/蚕のさなぎ, Saza Mushi/Trichoptera/ザザ虫

The Good Beer and Country Boys made the mistake in provoking me to write something on the various insects and bugs eaten in Japan!
These little critters have been eaten since time immemorial for their high content in animal proteins.
They definitely are an acquired taste, but escargots (snails), ecrevisses (crayfish) and cuisses de grenouille (froglegs) also are.
Don’t ask me if I like them or not, I’m just writing about them!


Locusts are generally eaten dry-fried, stir-fried, fried with soy sauce. mirin and sake, or

as tempura after having boiled them!
Pick your choice!

Kaiko/Silk worms/蚕

Like locusts, silk worms can be eaten after having stewed them in soy sauce, mirin, sake and spices.

They are ven found as sushi!

They are popular just dry-fried, making for a crsipy snack!
It is said that a single silk worm has the protein equivalent of three chicken egg yolks!

Hachi no ko/bee larvae/蜂の子

Bee or more aptly honey bee larvae have been eaten all over the world since men (animals) prowled our planet.
They are of course sweet and healthy (yes!), so it is only a matter of finding a way to make them look appetizing.
They are very popular deep-fried (see picture above) in Japan,

where they are also stewed with soy sauce, mirin, Japanese sake and of course, honey!

Saza Mushi/Trichoptera/ザザ虫

Now, these are real buggers/critters (how about feeding them to spammers? LOL)!
The plate above featur: カワゲラ/kawagera, トビゲラ/tobigera and ヘビトンボ/hebitonbo. Could not find their names in English!

They have been “popular” in Japan for a long time. Most are caught near rivers in clean areas (!).
They are cooked/stewed in mirin, Japanese sake and soy sauce for a long time, I cantell you!

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8 thoughts on “Insects & Bugs Gastronomy in Japan”

  1. Boy am I glad that I did not see this before I made sushi last night, I don’t think my guests would like that particular one. But as I told you, you have better sushi were your at than what I made.


  2. I like to think of myself as VERY open minded, especially about food, but I tend to draw the line at insects…. but I did have roasted ants once, in Colombia. Apparently a local delicacy. Crunchy but tasteless. Didn’t like the feeling of little antennae between my teeth. Gave the rest of them away…


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