Insect Sushi: Complete With Legs, Wings, Shells and All

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Sushi is a pretty common type of food. Usually consisting of rice complemented with various seafood, sushi seems harmless enough. On the other hand, insect sushi looks like my nightmares given life. A whole centipede draped over a perfect mound of rice. A spider arranged so that its legs are poking outwards in a parody of a wave. Fat, squishy larvae arranged on a plate meant to entice. I simply… Cannot. However, insect sushi is a thing, as well as other forms of insect dishes, and this is everything you need to know about them.

Who created the insect sushi?

Well, since sushi originates from Japan, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a Japanese chef innovated the traditional sushi. Shoichi Uchiyama is not only a chef, but an author of cookbooks as well. Staying true to his innovation, his cookbooks are all about insects. Not just sushi, but insect recipes in various styles, as well as bug dessert. If you’re really adventurous and can gain access to insects easily, go for it! If you’re squeamish, then don’t go near the book. At all.

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That centipede almost triggered a panic attack.

Why insects?

Strictly speaking, not just insects, but arthropods and other little creepy-crawlies as well. First of all, according to people that have tried them, they taste damn good. I’ll take their word for it. Second of all, creepy-crawlies are much, much more sustainable than other types of food we’re currently consuming. Chef Uchiyama is an advocate of making insect-eating a norm, and here’s what he has to say about them.

“Insects are very nutritionally balanced, have little fat and are the perfect food source.”

I hear you, Chef Uchiyama, but the fact that there are insects swimming about, on top, or next to my food just triggers my automatic response that it is, in fact, not safe to eat.

HowTo: Make Insect Sushi (Swear, It Tastes Like Nuts)
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Excuse me, how to eat that? ^

Food of the future?

Livestock such as chickens, pigs, cows and such take up more space, eat more food, and take more time to grow. Food shortage could easily be a problem in the future, and consuming insects could be the perfect solution. Insects don’t take much space to farm, they don’t eat what we eat, and take less time to mature. Or, in the case of larvae, we don’t even need to wait till they mature. Plus, they’re a great source of protein, and many countries around the world are eating them already anyway. According to Uchiyama, 1400 kinds of insects are consumed in about 90 countries, mainly in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

HowTo: Make Insect Sushi (Swear, It Tastes Like Nuts)
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Why, hello there.

What’s your take on this? Would you eat insects, or have you tried insects (or other bugs – scorpions maybe?) before? If you have, tell us what they feel and taste like in the comments below!

p.s. Sorry if this was nausea-inducing; I had a hard time with the pictures too! Great if it whetted your appetite though. *smiles weakly*