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Silk Worm larvae

kare_raisu Nov 15, 2006 03:26 AM

I finally tried a can of these from the korean market. Just heated them up in a pan tossed some green onions and s & p.

They taste like kidney beans first then leave a dirt aftertaste. Better than I thought they would be but I wont eat it again...unless I find myself on a street in Seoul.

  1. designerboy01 Nov 15, 2006 05:09 AM

    They come in two sizes if you go to China. It taste better when its spicy. I tried the ones in the can in the Korean supermarket and I broke out in hives.

    1. cgfan Nov 15, 2006 07:20 AM

      I was able to try some at the San Diego Korean Festival. Called ppondaegi (번데기), ostensibly they are justified in that they are considered a health food. (They kind of remind me of the candied locusts that one can still find in Japan, a hold-over from food shortages during the war.)

      I thought that they tasted much better than they looked, which I guess isn't saying much, but it really wasn't the least bit objectionable...

      Here's a picture on my Flickr site that I took while at the festival... (http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayama/238790497/in/set-72157594276823256/

      )

      FYI here's a video I took at the same festival of the 300 yard sushi roll they made to break a Guiness World Record... (http://youtube.com/watch?v=2Z1TIGGJgr0

      )

      My what lengths we humans go through for both health and posterity...

      1. therealbigtasty Nov 15, 2006 08:36 AM

        They definitely taste no good just plain.

        I'm going to buy them again and eat them all spicy.

        1. f
          FlyFish Nov 15, 2006 12:45 PM

          Every time this subject of silkworm larvae comes up I just have to post this link to "Steve - Don't Eat It" - http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/...

          The article on silkworm larvae is at the end, but there's some hilarious reading along the way. Those who are easily offended by language and such may want to pass.

          1. bitsubeats Nov 15, 2006 06:48 PM

            when I see a can of those things I always remember the awful smell of them steaming in a huge kettle in the streets of korea. The smell is kind of hard to explain, fishy, offaly, and poopy. I have never had them though so I couldn't tell you if they taste gross or not.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bitsubeats
              cgfan Nov 15, 2006 07:49 PM

              bitsubeats: By chance would you happen to know of the origin of this dish? Is it also a product of wartime, or does it go back further?

              1. re: cgfan
                designerboy01 Nov 16, 2006 05:20 AM

                My ancestors had a silk worm farm in Canton. Eating this goes back a long way. Mom told me stories about the dishes that can be made from them but I forgot. They serve them in China at the night markets. I never had the big ones.

                The ones they sell on the streets in Korea don't taste that good. They were steamed or boiled. I'd rather have them spicy.

              2. re: bitsubeats
                Mr Taster Nov 2, 2007 09:45 AM

                Oh man, you just brought up some serious memories from my 7 months in Asia.... the stink of those things stewing in huge vats on the street seriously made me want to vomit... and this is coming from someone who tolerates and eats Taiwanese stinky tofu. I imagine the canned versions must have had some of the stinky fire removed from them in the canning process.... it's very hard for me to understand how someone not raised onthe stuff would be able to tolerate the full-on, fresh stewed smell.

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              3. bitsubeats Nov 15, 2006 07:54 PM

                I have no clue what the origin is. It could've been around for a long time or it could've been a product of wartime like the delicious kimchi chigae stew with hot dogs and spam. yum yum

                3 Replies
                1. re: bitsubeats
                  therealbigtasty Nov 16, 2006 06:35 AM

                  Are you serious? Where can I get that?

                  I LOVE hot dog/spam/bad times food creations! If I were to ever be super rich or super poor or in between, there'll ALWAYS be a spot in my heart for those kinds of foods.

                  1. re: therealbigtasty
                    augustiner Nov 16, 2006 12:12 PM

                    the dish is called pudae chigae. name has a military connotation, with spam and hotdogs and such being provided in wartime by the US army presence. i've never had it myself but i am curious. my mom kind of looks down on it, probably because it reminds her of bad, bad times. but then, she used to serve me hotdogs and pork n' beans for lunch. i think today i'd rather eat them with kimchi, spicy broth, tofu, veggies and noodles. if you're in the LA area, you should be able to find it fairly easily, i'd imagine.

                    1. re: therealbigtasty
                      bitsubeats Nov 3, 2007 08:17 PM

                      my mother doesn't look down on it. Then again she was born in 54 and left the country 20 or so years later. We used to eat it a lot when we were younger and I didn't even know that it was a real dish in korea. I always thought that my mom just made it up cause we always had spam and hot dogs around. To this day I still enjoy spam and hot dogs ...especially in korean applications

                      basically just take kimchi (old and sour), add anchovy broth or water if you like and throw in some spam and cut up hot dogs with some cubed tofu. You can also throw in ramen noodles, udon noodles, veggies or whatnot. Its also popular to throw in processed american cheese, but I have never had it that way.

                  2. s
                    smssms Nov 15, 2006 11:50 PM

                    last week, i had more or less a yukkejang with the larvae as a substitute for the beef at a korean pub (dansungsa in LA). it wasn't bad at all. nice texture contrast with the spicy broth. what was funny was that i split it with a white co-worker, and later a waitress asked me in korean whether i told the white guy what exactly he was eating. she had that "fear factor" look on her.

                    (for the record, i did tell my friend as he's adventurous. the booze helped, i'm sure.)

                    1. s
                      Sharuf Nov 3, 2007 02:11 AM

                      I'm wondering -- is this a byproduct of the silk industry? Is this what's left after they remove the silk? If not, then what do they do with the pupa remains? Feed them to the chickens?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sharuf
                        Mr Taster Nov 3, 2007 10:02 AM

                        I can tell you that from our time in Vietnam last year that after the silk is spun off the cocoon (a process which involves putting the cocoon in boiling water to loosen the silk threads which make up the cocoon), what is left over is the dead larvae. Since Vietnam is a poor society, and as such tends not to waste resources, they do eat the silkworm larvae. By contrast, Korea is now a very wealthy country, although they were not just a few decades ago, but I would not be surprised to learn that the old traditions remain... including using the silkworm larvae as a source of nutrition.

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