Insect food the way it should be.

A short time ago we reported on the release of Konchu Sour, an alcopop made with the great taste of giant water bugs. At that time I saluted the makers at Bugs Farm for creating insect-based foods that don’t require people to swallow a giant rhinoceros beetle whole.

So now, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is and actually try some. However, I didn’t stop there and ended up getting a whole array of insect-based foods and beverages from Bugs Farm to make an entire meal.

The centerpiece of this feast are the two packs of ramen: a salt broth ramen made with grasshoppers and a soy sauce broth ramen with crickets. In both cases the noodles and soup contain a hearty amount of their respective insects, only ground up and mixed in like flour.

▼ “Soup mix contains about 15 grasshoppers.”
That’s the Bugs Farm guarantee!

They’re incredibly easy to make too. The noodles only require about three minutes of boiling and the soup mix doesn’t take long to put together either. You can have a piping hot bowl of grasshopper soup ready in pretty much the same time it takes to make a Cup Noodle.

▼ Each pack has two packets of soup mix and enough noodles for two bowls.

As side dishes, I made three cups of Chuchazuke which is an insect version of chazuke, a soup-like rice dish made by pouring tea or soup stock over rice. Each one was a different flavor: Cricket & Mealworm, Cricket, and Silk Moth Cocoon, Ant & Grasshopper.

These are also quite easy to make. Simply add a teaspoon to some hot water and pour onto some cooked rice. Unlike the ramen, these powders to have some chunks of insects inside, but they’re rather small and didn’t really make me feel squeamish at all.

▼ Cricket

▼ Silk Moth Cocoon, Ant & Grasshopper

▼ Cricket & Mealworm
That reminds me, I still need to see that new Dune movie.

For the drinks I prepared a cup of Silkworm Poo Tea, whose name pretty much says it all.

Inside the pack are individual tea bags filled with silkworm poo… I’m assuming. I’ve never actually seen silkworm poop before, but I can’t imagine what else it’d be.

And finally, of course no insect meal is complete without a tall frosty glass of Konchu Sour.

Since this was what got me into this whole situation in the first place I decided to toast my health and take a sip.

It was surprisingly good! But also weird.

Considering the main ingredients were giant water bug extract, brewers’ alcohol, and sugar, I wasn’t expecting such a bold and fruity flavor. It had a strong lemon feeling with a hint of something like coconut and another flavor that’s hard to describe. It’s kind of “leathery” for lack of a better word.

Next I took a sip of the Silkworm Poo Tea, but I have to admit, I’m not really much of a tea drinker. Honestly, it tasted pretty much like most other cups of tea I’ve had.

There was very little odd about it aside from what it was made of, and it had a mild, leafy flavor to it like most teas tend to.

▼ Is it good luck when your poo stands on end?

Moving on to the Chuchazuke, I first took a spoonful of the Cricket flavor. According to the jar it has a “breezy nut feeling with a slight touch of insect.” Personally, I though it had a pleasantly salty taste, and while I assume the little dark colored pieces were cricket it, felt like eating seaweed for the most part.

Next up was the Cricket & Mealworm. A long time ago I used to have a pet water dragon and always fed it these little beetle larvae, but never actually tried one myself until now.

The jar said it has a shrimp-like taste, but this one didn’t blow me away to be honest. I felt it was a little on the bland side. That being said, I usually find chazuke bland because it’s often made with tea, and I think I made my views on tea clear earlier.

So in that way, this might appeal more to fans of conventional chazuke. However, one other problem was that I occasionally felt something pricking my tongue, which I assume was the shell of the meal worms. It wasn’t horrible, but something I could probably do without.

Finally I tried the Silk Moth Cocoon, Ant, & Grasshopper flavor, which according to the label has a corn and lemon flavor.

This was hands down the best one. It had a lively flavor that was salty and sour, and the more complex mix of insects added a nice texture to the mix, but again there weren’t any whole bugs staring you back in the face, so it was all quite palatable.

▼ I mean, sure there’s whole cocoons, but they don’t have faces.

Finally it was time to try the ramen. First I had some of the Salt Grasshopper Ramen and it was quite good. The texture of the noodles was very tender and smooth, and the soup stock had a very firm salty flavor.

The Soy Sauce Cricket Ramen was a little bland, however. The noodles were also well-textured, but the soup didn’t have the same kick that the Salt Grasshopper one did. That being said, I ate them both plain to get a clear sense of their flavor, so this one would probably be better suited for adding lots of toppings like bean sprouts, pork, or egg.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any standard ramen ingredients on hand at that moment so I just tossed in some crackers and a secret weapon I was keeping up my sleeve.

▼ BAM!

Bugs Farm also makes Cricket Salt! This is a seasoning blend with a primary ingredient of ground-up crickets for an added protein boost. I had actually tried this beforehand on some rice and it was great, so maybe it could work a little magic here too. It mostly tastes like salt but has some nutty tones for a more well-rounded taste.

Sadly, it didn’t do much to liven up the Cricket Soy Sauce ramen at the time. However, in an subsequent attempt I tossed in some cucumbers, pork, kimchi and other toppings, and it did heighten the ramen experience considerably.

So, despite all the poop and bugs involved there actually wasn’t anything remotely gross about any of this food.

That being said, none of it tried to pass itself off as being non-insect food either. I would occasionally spot a wing here and there, but it just made me consider how much difference there really is between an insect wing, and a vegetable leaf and — by extension — between a mealworm and shrimp.

My personal recommendation would be the Konchu Sour and Salt Grasshopper Ramen with a side of Silk Moth Cocoon, Ant, & Grasshopper Chuchazuke. The Cricket Salt is also a very nice all-round seasoning to add to any dish you like.

Either way, if the current environmental situation continues to call for more insect based foods, then Bugs Farm is certainly ahead of the game with these highly palatable foods.

Source: Bugs Farm
Photos: ©SoraNews24
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