Last week we brought you our first edition of China Groceries, and we featured the infamous Chicken Foot. A common snack, in many forms, here in China. This week we have another “snack” that will probably make most of you a little queasy: Silkworm Pupa.
Silkworms come from a range of families, but are all from the butterfly and moth Order Lepidoptera. Most commonly eaten in pupal form, they are a by-product of the silk industry and can be found in street markets in any silk-producing country. In South Korea, China and Japan, the Bombyx mori species is eaten and tastes a bit bland, much like tofu, but many people love them marinated in chili and garlic sauce. We have seen these in many markets around Asia, but can you believe it… we have even seen these in crates, still squirming around, right next to the scale in the vegetable section of the grocery store.
There seems to be a few ways to eat these. Apparently when they are deep-fried (炸) or BBQed (烤) then you eat the whole thing. Some say that when they fry them at home, they didn’t eat the outside. They only eat the yellow stuff inside – which is said to taste like tofu and smell like raw meat or fish.
As you can imagine, neither of us have tried these, but we are definitely getting used to seeing them in, and around, the grocery stores. In the “prepared food” section of the store, we found a few different forms of cooked silkworm pupa, alongside some very suspicious looking meats and organs.
From what we could tell, this was silkworm pupa stir-fried with celery and carrot. Hmmmm….
For quite some time we have joked about making a videos of us trying some of these crazy food.
The truth is that we will probably be gagging, and making a huge mess, but I guess that might be quite funny.
Just thinking about it makes us both feel a little queazy.