Eating Silkworms

My friend, Cathy, the adventurous eater behind the Gastronomy Blog and the Vietnam entries on Serious Eats is leaving HCMC for points north (China for the Olympics) and west (Los Angeles). So for her final week of eating, she put together a food tour listing possible meals, so that we, her friends, could join in some of the chosen gastronomic delights. When I looked at the excel spreadsheet, my eyes alighted on the Wednesday entry: silkworms.

So, on a fine HCMC morning, I  arrived a few minutes early to a cơm trưa restaurant. With my rudimentary Vietnamese, I was able to convey that I was meeting friends. And sure enough, within minutes, Cathy and Vernon arrived via motorbike.

A northern Vietnamese dish it is interesting to note that the proprietess of the cơm trưa said that silkworms die after they finish making silk, so what we eat is their dead carcasses. Waste not, want not.

Cathy wisely ordered (only) one serving of fried con nhộng (silkworms) and rice for us to share.

Hmm, to describe the taste? It tastes a little like the dried shrimp used in Vietnamese cooking. Not, offensive, but not pleasurable. The hard part was the after texture that is, ah …unexpected. Like eating the texture of dried glue.

Cathy made me laugh at a comment she said in VN that was something akin to: “I can eat it, but I don’t really want to do it again…”


So, after consuming approximately 4 pieces, I can proudly say I’ve eaten silkworms.

15 responses to “Eating Silkworms

  1. Mai, you are so adventurous! Koreans eat silkworms too, and I have passed by many a streetside stand selling freshly cooked silkworms out of an enormous wok-like appliance.

    But alas, the smell–I could never get myself to eat any. They smell very oily.

  2. Silkworms, oh boy. I’m mustering up the courage to just imagine myself eating them. You are brave, dear!

  3. You are brave. I can barely eat the food here. Blah, I couldnt eat bugs.

  4. Wow. Just like froggylove, I can barely eat the food here in America! Much less bugs…

  5. (turn your head to the left for the ‘code’ at the end!)

  6. not sure how i stumbled across your blog, but i love it! i’ve eaten silkworms before and they are really yummy! =) definitely not for everyone, but once you get over the idea that it’s a bug ~ they’re quite tasty.

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  9. Rectal_Enforcer

    Seeing as to how nutritous they are, I wouldnt be surprised that if in the far off future, eating one of these little guys will be more of a treat.

  10. Where, please WHERE can I find a restaurant that serves these in Los Angeles. I loved having them during my travels in Asia, but i’ve not found them anywhere in the US 😦 A little help please 🙂
    Thx in advance.

  11. Pingback: Top Strangest Foods From Around the World « The Dubai Pie

  12. …tried them in korea–a 1/2 drunk festival goer insisted i try them. verdict: gross. yes–“i can eat them, but don’t really want to do it again” yes–a gluey texture, and a flavour that reminded me of rotting straw. blah.

  13. A lot of comments in so little time, I have to second, it is indeed a great post. the site is nicely desgined…

  14. Pingback: Silk Worm Pupa | Silk always the same always good

  15. Just a quick note: The worms don’t die automatically after they have finished spinning silk – They actually get killed off in their cocoons (boiling water or steam) before they can hatch into silk-moths and damage the cocoons…

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