Yes, you read that headline right. If you’ve decided that you’re bored of the usual ramen toppings like chashu and ajitsuke tamago, why not tuck into some isopod ramen instead?
A restaurant in Taipei, The Ramen Boy 拉麵公子 just unveiled their newest dish: a bowl of ramen made with a 14-legged giant isopod. For the initiated, the alien-like giant isopod is a crustacean that can be found around 500 metres beneath the surface of the ocean. In terms of length, they can reach over 30cm.
The eatery revealed their new dish in a Facebook post on 22 May 2023, where the owner referred to the giant isopod as a “dream ingredient”. The ramen, which costs NT$1,480 (S$64.74), is first prepared by removing the innards of the isopod and steaming the meat and shell. Afterwards, the meat is added to Yusuke chicken bouillon soup. The gigantic isopod shell on top of the bowl is only used for decoration (whether or not the sight of it builds or ruins appetites is up to the diner).
The post also explained that the giant isopods used in the dish were caught near the Dongsha Islands.
The Ramen Boy states that the white meat of the isopod tastes similar to lobster and crab, while its yellow glands have the flavour of crab roe. It also describes the isopod as being “unexpectedly fresh and sweet”.
This limited dish is only available to The Ramen Boy’s regular customers, due to the fact that supplies of the isopods are limited.
This isn’t the first time that a ramen restaurant has unveiled an unorthodox take on this popular Japanese dish. We’ve seen dishes like piranha ramen and matcha ramen and, more recently, a restaurant in Malaysia even created a durian ramen dish served in a real durian husk.
With ramen repeatedly being taken to new levels of weirdness, I do wonder what other strange twists other eateries will make to this dish in the future.