- A ramen shop in Taiwan is offering a giant isopod as part of a new signature ramen dish.
- The 14-legged “Great King-Legged Worm” tastes like lobster and crab, restaurant Ramen Boy says.
- The ramen goes for around $48 per bowl, and is served with shell and antennae.
A deep-sea isopod called the “Great King-Legged Worm” is now the centerpiece of a new dish at a ramen shop in Taipei.
The giant, 14-legged creature, found at depths of at least 550 feet in the Atlantic, is the store’s “dream ingredient,” the restaurant Ramen Boy said in a Facebook post on Monday.
Ramen Boy assured customers that the crustacean tastes just like lobster and crab meat when steamed, and that its “yellow glands taste like crab roe.”
Boiled in chicken soup and served with squid and bonito flakes, the King-Legged Worm ramen costs around $48 a bowl, according to Ramen Boy.
Diners will receive their ramen topped with the isopod’s shell and antennae, which the restaurant said is just for decoration.
“The Great King-Legged Worm is very cute, when I go to Japan, I’ll visit an aquarium to see it,” Ramen Boy’s Facebook post said.
“The takeaway girl has just said she doesn’t dare to come to work,” the post added.
The giant isopod in question is the Bathynomus giganteus, a carnivorous species distantly related to shrimp, crabs, and common woodlice.
They’re not usually fished for commercial consumption because they live at depths of up to 7,000 feet. But giant isopods are sometimes found in Japanese cuisine. In 2015, a Japanese company started making crackers out of the crustaceans.
That hasn’t stopped people in the comments from reacting with some caution to Ramen Boy’s new dish, or comparing the “dream ingredient” to oversized cockroaches.
“I did hear that it tastes very sweet, but I’ll pass,” said the top comment.
“That really looks way too scary,” said another.
Nonetheless, Ramen Boy appears to be confident that the dish has its merits.
“We of course think the appearance is very impressive,” a representative told Insider on Thursday.
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