Insect-topped noodles sell out in Tokyo
Curious Japanese foodies queued up outside a Tokyo restaurant for a taste of a rare dish - ramen garnished with deep-fried worms and crickets.
Within about four hours, the Ramen Nagi restaurant had sold out of the 100 bowls of "insect tsukemen" noodles it had prepared for Sunday's single-day event.
The noodles were topped with about a dozen small crickets and mealworms, which customers then dipped into soups flavored with crickets, grasshoppers, or silkworm powder.
"It's deep-fried, so it's really crispy, and it doesn't have a bad taste," said 22-year-old student Anri Nakatani. "It's almost like a deep-fried shrimp."
The event was organized by the restaurant owner, and Yuta Shinohara, a 22-year-old who has set up insect-eating events in Tokyo, including a Valentine's Day celebration that served chocolates, cakes and cocktails featuring insects.
Shinohara, who started eating bugs as a child, wants to promote the alternative food culture in Japan and around the world, through ramen, a popular Japanese food.
"Through ramen, I'd like to spread how fun and delicious it is to eat insects," he said.
The full course, costing 3,000 yen ($27), consisted of insect ramen, a bowl of rice with crickets, spring rolls with fried worms, and ice cream flavoured with insect powder. The ramen alone cost 1,500 yen ($13.50).