Silkworm Foods


This page is not about the things that silkworms eat - it's about things to eat, made from silkworms.



In many parts of the world, silkworm pupae are an important source of dietary protein. Several different species are served up, but Bombyx mori is the most common. These canned silkworm pupae are from Korea. I got them at a local Korean grocery store called Shon Chin in Dallas.



One brand is labeled "FISHING FEED (Salted Chrysalis)" - the other one is a little more frank, "SILKWORM PUPA IN SEASONED SAUCE." They're an excellent source of protein; a 40-gram serving of the bottom can has 22 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat. And *no* carbs! The can on top has a much fancier sauce, with "Chrysalis, onion, ginger, garlic, sugar, salt, water." It has a couple of grams of carbohydrate from the sauce. The analyses don't match up; I think the serving size may have been mis-figured on one of them. The top can says that it has 11 grams of protein in a 54 gram serving. They're both a genuine bargain - the "Fishing Feed" variety is $.99 per can, the "Seasoned Sauce" type is $1.29. They had a huge stack, and they have the no-dust look of fast-moving merchandise.



It seems odd to me to have the pull ring on the bottom instead of the top of the can, but they were all made that way.


I found an amusing website with a detailed description of what the silkworms look and taste like to one Westerner's palate: Steve Don't Eat It!



This is something that I was delighted to see - silkworm fungus tea. I've read about a variation of this same fungus raised on Antheraea pernyi - this appears to be based on Bombyx mori.



Rather than try to explain this fascinating and bizarre item, I'll just let the package do the talking. The part that got cut off on the lower right hand side says, "No taste, no flavour for everyone." There you go!

Because everyone always asks this: no, I have not yet tasted the products shown here. I admit to having some reservations. I've tasted one pupa, out of the reeling water - it tasted, not surprisingly, like a bug. I use these for my educational presentations, to show people that silkworms really are used as food. If you have any tried-and-true recipes that make silkworms really delicious, please let me know!