Pop a roach: Indonesian Youtuber mixes cockroaches with Indomie in viral video

An Indonesian Youtuber named Bobon Santoso recently made a video that became a viral hit, in which he added cockroaches into his plate of Indomie Goreng. Screenshot from Youtube/The Santoso
An Indonesian Youtuber named Bobon Santoso recently made a video that became a viral hit, in which he added cockroaches into his plate of Indomie Goreng. Screenshot from Youtube/The Santoso

Indonesians really love their Indomie (and instant noodles in general, but Indomie is the most popular), and we’ve seen all kinds of weird Indomie fusion dishes over the years. Yet this one is the one that we will avoid at all costs, without question.

An Indonesian Youtuber named Bobon Santoso, 31, who runs a channel called The Santoso, recently made a video that became a viral hit. In it, he challenged established norms about what proteins are considered acceptable to be added to the Indomie Goreng fried noodle variant of the beloved instant noodle brand. 

His protein of choice? Cockroaches.

Bobon cooked several packets of Indomie Goreng with what what he said were Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, which are larger than the cockroaches usually found in Indonesia.

“The [Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches] are known to be one of the most ferocious cockroach species in the world. Oh my God, they stink,” Bobon said in the video while holding a box of the cockroaches, which he claimed contained 20 of the insects inside.

He said he ordered the cockroaches online after learning that they were edible from the American game show Fear Factor. Bobon went on to rinse the insects with water and dish soap before boiling them to “eliminate the stinky odor”. Lastly, he deep fried the cockroaches, then later added all of them to a plate of Indomie Goreng.

“Delicious, it tastes like shrimp that’s deep fried with its skin intact,” Bobon said, while eating the meal in front of his wife and young daughter.

As of the time of writing, the video has been watched 1.1 million times since it was posted last month. The cockroach video isn’t his only Indomie-related content, as he also filmed himself cooking and eating eating Betta fish with noodles. In a recent Instagram story, Bobon also teased another Indomie video, this time with worms, scheduled to be uploaded this evening.

In an interview with Kumparan, Bobon said he is keen to push boundaries in his videos.

“We as content creators are pushed to be more creative. In the end, I made Indomie with cockroaches. My intention was to experiment but I personally was also curious,” Bobon told Kumparan yesterday.

“Prior to recording the video, I looked up for any kinds of insects that can be eaten. Then the Madagascar Cockroaches came up, so I decided to eat them, too.

“When I fried them, it smelled like fried shrimp. Their skin texture was the same, but the inside was moist. Like fish eggs, but soggier.”

Bobon said that there didn’t appear to be any immediate effects on his body from eating the roaches, but he felt nauseous after devouring the dish.

While there’s been an increasing number of people around the world who have been eating and advocating insects as an alternative source of protein because they are more environmentally friendly than raising livestock, cockroaches rarely make the list.

In the same Kumparan interview, Prof. Dr. Nuri Andarwulan from the Faculty of Agricultural Technology at Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) and director of Southeast Asian Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (SEAFEST) said that cockroaches are definitely not safe to be eaten as they live in very dirty places and have a high risk of carrying diseases.

Read also: Taste Test: Does Chitato-flavored Indomie manage to meld the magic of instant noodles with potato chips?

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