KUCHING: SAGO WORM ADVENTURES
I'm gonna start off by saying this is a throwback post from 6 years ago before eyebrow threading was a thing and when fedoras were the shit (I still think they are sometimes). So how can sago worm be a delicacy? Or what exactly is a sago worm?
The Serikin Market is located at Kampung Serikin Jagoi, Bau; basically somewhere in the border between Sarawak and Kalimantan. It is only available every weekend and you can find all sorts of oddities there but this post is gonna focus on one main thing.
You see this things? They're sago worms, known as "Butod", technically this is the larva version of the fully evolved beetle. Think of it as the Caterpie before it evolves into Metapod. I'm just going to quote Wikipedia here:
"The worm are considered a specialty in Vietnam, Malaysian Borneo, and in Eastern Indonesia of West Papua, as well on Papua New Guinea. Sago grubs have been described as creamy tasting when raw, and like bacon or meat when cooked. "
In my opinion, it tastes like very rich butter when eaten raw, and they're not half as bad if I didn't know what I was eating. Put it blatantly, if my eyes were closed and someone fed me these, I'd probably just ask "why am I eating a chunk of butter?"
Video credits to Murphy Ng from Youtube.
But they look like this, all fat and squirmy and the smallest one was the size of my thumb. Spit-balling here but it could be a very possible truth that the dance move known as "The Worm" originated from these things.
Before popping them into your mouth, you gotta pluck off the head which is the hard brown part with a twist and pull motion. Otherwise, they've these nasty little pincers that can give you a pretty mean pinch (in their defense, if someone was trying to eat me alive, I'd probably bite them too).
Okay, so I know this isn't a sago worm dish, but I had these the same place I had the worms. These are pitcher plants, otherwise known as monkey cups, stuffed with glutinous rice. It's called "
Anyway, back to the worms. There are apparently lots of ways these things can be cooked. You can have it raw or fried, roasted, steamed, toasted, barbecued, cooked, battered and deep fried, all the possibilities. Aside from the raw ones we had, there was also the barbecued version.
In my sister's expert opinion because she had 4 sticks of it, it tastes like chicken skin, instead of bacon, but each to his own I guess.
As you can see, my grandmother looked like her entire life was offended hahaha. To be real frank though, I don't hate it, but I don't necessarily like it either. I think I can live my life fully enough without having another one. If you've never tried, it's definitely something I personally feel you should, just one off the bucketlist y'know?
HOW TO GET THERE:
The market is located about 45 mins to an hour drive away from Kuching City but there is no public bus that travels there, so you can either:
- drive there on your own or,
- follow tour groups