KYOTO -- A new soup broth made with edible crickets and additional vegetable flavoring has gone on sale from BugMo Co., a startup based in this western Japan city's Kamigyo Ward that produces items containing edible bugs.
The broth has a refreshing taste, like sakura shrimp, and it reportedly goes well with Western cuisine. The crickets used are an edible species that originate in Africa, and they are bred in Vietnam and fed only plants including vegetables and beans. The powder, made of dried crickets, is said to be rich in umami ingredients, such as glutamic acid and inosinic acid. This is blended with onions, seaweed, cabbage, carrots and garlic to make a delicious broth.
It's billed as able to draw out the flavor and sweetness of ingredients in dishes like French beef stew pot-au-feu and cabbage roll, and can also be directly used as seasoning, such as by sprinkling it on to potatoes to make a cricket-flavored stir-fry.
A set including 15 packs each containing 8 grams of soup broth, 30 grams of cricket powder, and a book of recipes costs 3,000 yen. The set can be bought via crowdfunding website Campfire until September, and will later be sold on BugMo's official website.
(Japanese original by Yasuhiro Okawa, Kyoto Bureau)