Do Japanese Eat Insects? How to Make Locust Tsukudani

In recent years, insect diets have been attracting a lot of attention.

Do Japanese people eat insects on a daily basis?

Around me, the answer is ” No”. It is rare to find entomophagy sold in supermarkets in Tokyo.

In recent years, I have occasionally seen snacks containing crickets on sale, but they are not popular and often remain unsold. I, too, have no appetite for crickets.

Famous Japanese Entomophagy

However, it is true that Japan has a culture of eating insects. In the mountainous areas of Japan, eating bees is very popular.

The most famous insect food in Japan is locust tsukudani (food boiled in soy sauce and sugar).

Inago no tsukudani 02.jpg
By Pqks758Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Locusts may be common because they are an easy to catch pest of rice cultivation throughout Japan.
Locusts taste similar to shrimp and seem to be a familiar food in some areas and among the elderly. Grasshoppers are bitter and not tasty, but locusts are said to be sweet and tasty.

Oxya yezoensis November 2007 WUXGA.jpg
By LaitcheOwn work, public domain, Link

I have never eaten them, but I have seen them at a farm market in my neighborhood. I would not willingly eat insects, but if I had to, I would try locust tsukudani.

How to make locust tsukudani


Locust: 100g
Mentsuyu: 1 tbsp
Water: 1 tbsp
Soy sauce: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 1 tbsp

  1. Pour boiling water over locusts, remove legs and wings, rinse well and drain.*
  2. Place locusts in a hot frying pan and roast over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Bring the other ingredients to a boil in the pan, add the locusts, and roast over high heat.
  4. Turn off the heat when the liquid has evaporated.

*Another way to easily remove the wings and hind legs is to drain the boiled locusts and freeze them once. Remove the wings and hind legs while thawing and cooking.

Japanese snacks are more recommended by me.