번데기 – Silkworm pupae

번데기

Continuing my Korean culinary bucket list, today I tried 번데기 (beondegi), also known as steamed silkworm pupae. I have to be honest and admit that I don’t know what possessed me to try them, there wasn’t even alcohol involved. The stench alone, usually detectable from half a mile away, has made me retch in the past. All I can say is, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

We tried them in Insadong, from a street vendor. I’d heard that they taste like peanuts, but if that’s true then I’ve clearly been eating the wrong peanuts. There is one word, and one word alone to describe 번데기, and that is ‘nasty’. They tasted like they smelled; musty, fleshy and like burned nail clippings. Quite possibly how you’d imagine bugs boiled in their own juices to smell.

Having bit down on it it popped with a squelchy crunch, which can only have been the softened shell. The out-pour of insect guts was enough to have me reaching for the bottle of water that I’d bought from Starbucks in anticipation.

Another thing off the list, but I can safely say never again.

Advertisements

9 comments on “번데기 – Silkworm pupae

  1. 번데기, it looks bad, it smells worse and it tastes like wood mixed with cardboard. It is very healthy and good for your body, however I feel there are better ways to get your 5-a-day :).

  2. Amy they look utterly disgusting! When we were in Cambodia we tried fried crickets and actually they did taste kind of like peanuts- only downside was the legs which fell off and got stuck in your teeth- yum! We gave the bag to a lady on the street and she seemed pretty pleased with them 🙂 glad we tried them but Im not dure i could face those silkworms! x x x

  3. Pingback: My Korean culinary bucket list | Amy in Wonderland

  4. Haha Bondaegi! I remember trying this in a subway one time. I was up for anything and wanted to get into the culture and try something weird. soon after I finished the cup about 30 minutes later, my face started to itch. then my arm. then my leg. then hives started breaking out all over my body and my entire body began to itch. the more I scratched the worse it became. soon I was in a pickle. my Korean friends told me to take some tylenol and said it would get better in the morning. Trying not to hurt their feelings, I took their medicine and waited a couple of minutes for something to happen. Nothing happened. When I couldn’t stand it any longer, I bolted out of the door, furiously sprinting down the street to the nearest grocery. Grabbed a bottle of Jin and some orange juice, went through the check-out line and sprinted to the nearest apartment play ground and slammed the Jin and Orange Juice. I drank half the bottle until finally…. the itching STOPPED! whew……… I love Korea…..

  5. Pingback: My South Korean bucket list | Amy in Wonderland

  6. Pingback: My South Korean Bucket List : TEFL Bloggers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s