In Japan, "Murder Hornets" Aren't Just Deadly, They're Delicious

May 7, 2020
Murder Hornets

iStock / Getty Images Plus


Before other countries started to worry that "murder hornets" would be the next major threat, people in Japan were already eating the insects. The New York Times reports that there are over 30 restaurants in Tokyo with the hornets on the menu. When fried on skewers, the hornets leave a warm, tingling feeling in the mouth. The grubs are kept in jars and used for a savory dish called hebo-gohan. The hornets are also used in booze. Live hornets are put into shochu, a distilled beverage, and released venom turns the drink an amber shade. "It looks surprising but tastes great," says one restaurant owner. The hornets were once valued along with wasps in Japan, because they were a cheap source of protein. That type of cuisine is celebrated at a festival every year.