If you’re bored with the regular tonkotsu or miso ramen, why not give this a try?

There was a time in my life where, if you offered me some sort of bug for a snack, I would have recoiled in horror. I’m a fussy eater at the best of times, but eating insects?! What am I, a frog? Who eats insects?? Well, it turns out, lots of people do. And especially here in Japan, insect gourmet is becoming more and more popular. And why not? What makes insects so inherently different from the other things we eat?

Insect food production company ANTCICADA is also of the same mind. ANTCICADA are certainly not newcomers to the insect gourmet world, with their cricket beer proving a hit back in March. The owner of the company and Michelin star trained chef Yuto Shinohara is a entomophagy specialist (‘entomophagy’ meaning ‘the study of eating insects’ – the more you know!) and has been eating bugs for over twenty years.

One of their main dishes, the Koorogi Ramen (‘Cricket Ramen’) has been popular at food events all over Japan, and has even been sold in Finland and Estonia. And now, you can enjoy the cricket ramen as a takeout meal. The meal fully embraces the name ‘Cricket Ramen’, with the ramen broth, noodles and accompanying soy sauce all being made using crickets.

▼ The cricket ramen broth being made

ANTCICADA are very invested in cricket research, as it is said that the taste of the crickets differs depending on their diet and how they are raised. As such, the crickets are carefully bred and raised in Tokushima prefecture, and the Cricket Ramen boasts 100 crickets worth of broth per bowl. 

The soy sauce is also insect based, of course, made by fermenting the crickets using rice bran.

The cricket noodles are used by mixing crushed cricket powder with Maruyama noodles from Tokyo. The taste was created by trial and error, using various different crickets and different ratios. You can get a pleasant taste of the crickets when you slurp the noodles.

While ANTCICADA had originally planned to open up a restaurant in Tokyo to enjoy and learn about eating insects, the coronavirus meant that they had to postpone the grand opening. However, they were keen to share the excitement of insect eating as soon as possible, with the company motto being “Eating is not a chore, it is an adventure!” Thus, the ‘Cricket ramen takeout’ service began.

The cricket ramen arrives pre-packed and frozen, with all the ingredients needed to make the perfect authentic cricket ramen – broth, noodles, char siu, Chinese bamboo shoots and a little cricket to pop on the top. The prices are all including tax and are as follows –

Two people’s worth – 2,200 yen (US$21)
Four people’s worth – 4,200 yen (US$39)
Ten people’s worth – 10,000 yen (US$94)

The ANTCICADA online store also offers boiled crickets and silkworm tapioca milk tea, as well as clothing.

For everyone stuck at home, feeling cabin feverish and bored with your usual Uber Eats order, why not give cricket ramen a go? Even though you can’t leave your house, you can still have an adventure all of your own. Who knows, you might end up developing a new love for insect cuisine! At the very least, you can tell all your friends that you became interested in entomophagy during your time in lockdown and look super smart!

Related: ANTCICADA online store
Source, images: PR Times
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