Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kimo-Kawaii?

Giant Isopod Made out of Sausage

Yep. Believe it or not, Giant Isopod has been quite popular in Japan recently. Undoubtedly, it must be another example of Japanese Kimo-Kawaii (gross-but-cute) fad. Just try an image search with ”stuffed giant isopod”and see how much people love it here. ;)

I was aware of it because some of my Facebook friends have posted about their love of this creature several times in the past couple of years. But it was when I had dinner with some university students the other day that I was told how crazy some people are about seeing these creatures alive -- or even, tasting them! Think about it. Some passionate folks drove for hours to go to China Town in Yokohama just to join an event of cooking and eating Giant Isopod!

When I heard that, I realized how privileged we the Muroto residents were. Here, if we want to see them, all we have to do is visiting this facility called AQUAFARM.
AQUAFARM (closed on Sat.)

It is a Deep Seawater harvesting/distribution facility. Inside of this building, there is a tank where they keep the deep-sea creatures that were sucked into the Deep Seawater intake pipe with the water. Yes, they are alive and swimming in the tank filled with Deep Seawater. And almost always, you can see these visitors from the deep sea that look like big roly-poly bugs. :)
To be precise, these are Bathynomus doederleinii which is a little smaller variety than Giant Isopod Bathynomus giganteus. These smaller ones are about 10 to 15 cm, and not terribly intimidating, I would say.

Anyway, at AQUAFARM, you can come in for free of charge and take a look at several deep-sea creatures in the tank and learn about Deep Seawater through the exhibits.

And, this fad seems to have inspired some creative bento fans to make this gross-but-cute creature out of this kind of sausage!
These red sausages were the only kind available when I was a child. And we were crazy about octopus or crabs made out of them. I remember begging mom to make and put some in my bento box, but she wasn't very interested. (Maybe that's why I love doing something like this so much now... to fulfill the unmet need in my childhood, huh?) This type of sausage lost its popularity once when people started criticizing artificial coloring. But now they use tomato-derived lycopene or other vegetable-derived coloring, so now they're back and loved by those who make elaborate kyaraben.

And the other day, by accident, I found this site showing us how to make Giant Isopod out of the red sausage! Do you think I could resist the temptation?
OF COURSE NOT!

And hence, the two lovely bugs in the first photo. How do you like them? Not bad, huh?

One problem though... It may take some courage to eat my gross-but-cute creations... :(
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6 comments:

blaine said...

This is an advanced version of the hot dog octopus so prevalent in bento lunches I assume.

This is pretty awesome. I would like to make some bentos for my nieces one day but their preferences are quite limited still...

obachan said...

Yeah, this was much more difficult to make than the octopus.

I bet your nieces want to have cute things only in their bento boxes,
like these:
https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%E3%82%A6%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%83%8A%E3%83%BC%E3%80%80%E9%A3%BE%E3%82%8A%E5%88%87%E3%82%8A&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=gBeoU-rSGci58gWFxYGYAw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1098&bih=498

Right? ;)

Anonymous said...

But the sausages ones look so cute! Much cuter than the real thing! The real thing is truly creepy and gross... have you eaten it before? I wonder if it's tasty. >_>

-N

obachan said...

I guess the taste should be something similar to lobsters or prawns.

I'm OK with the real ones if they are small... but the big ones... AHHHHHHHH

A Hairy Viking said...

I have read and enjoyed your blog many times, but this is the first time I have posted a comment. These are awesome! We have similar things here in Australia but call them Morton Bay Bugs! They are seriously tasty.

I am inspired and what to try to make these but as my Octopus creations are barely passable I shudder to think of the mess I will make of these, I'm going to give it a try though.

Thank you so much for the inspiration Obachan!

obachan said...

Hi A Hairy Viking,
Thank you so much for leaving a comment here. I'm really happy to know that this post inspired someone to give it a try. Go for it and have fun! You say you might make a mess, but these are edible after all. If you don't like what you made, you can always chop them up and mix them into fried rice or something and never waste anything. ;)
Good luck!

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