Ento’s cricket-based meatless meat, Entomeat
Meatless meat has been making its way into menus at restaurants and cafes as we’re trying to be more conscious about our environment. Not too long ago, KFC launched their highly-raved Zero Chicken Burger that has a plant-based patty to its menu of meat-centric burgers, while IKEA introduced a plant-based version of their well-loved Swedish meatballs.
Offering more meatless options – but with a twist – is Ento Malaysia. This local health food start-up aims to introduce alternatives to common food sources too. But it’s not your usual plant-based meat they’re bringing up to the plate. Their meatless meat is made with crickets and called Entomeat, a moniker that combines entomophagy, or insect consumption, with meat.
Entomeat, meatless meat made with crickets
Most of us would relegate crickets as pests, and not an ingredient to add to our dishes in the kitchen unless you’re an adventurous foodie who has a preference for deep-fried crickets. But Ento attempts to debunk this common way of thinking.
Along with insect-based edible snacks of roasted crickets and mealworms up for grabs at their online store, Ento introduced a series of ready-to-eat meals made with crickets on food delivery services such as FoodPanda, GrabFood and AirAsia Food. All crickets used in their meals are farmed indoors, humanely frozen, cleaned and roasted in KL.
Image credit: FoodPanda
They have 4 dishes to start you off on your meatless, cricket-based meat journey. The Ento Meatball Bolognese (RM19.90) is a classic serving of spaghetti noodles with tomato-based sauce, but with meatballs that get made with crickets for protein.
Other options are their Entomeat Burger (RM23.90) that comes with a cricket-based patty topped with honey mustard and ketchup, and Swedish Style Ento Meatball (RM25.90) – unique cricket-based meatballs served similarly to IKEA’s, with mushroom gravy or tomato sauce, and sides of mashed potatoes, peas, and cranberry sauce.
The Entomeat Hot Dog (RM19.90) is another option to try, with Entomeat “sausage” stuffed between bread and topped with onions, pickles, mustard and ketchup.
Image adapted from: FoodPanda
Health and environment benefits of entomophagy
It’s safe to say that consuming insects is something most of us only come across on TV shows such as Fear Factor Malaysia. But Ento attempts to introduce entomophagy to Malaysians’ everyday lives by listing out the health and environmental benefits of adding crickets to our diets on its website.
When it comes to protein, they reported that crickets boast a higher protein content than cows, chickens, and pigs. Similarly, crickets contain more iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and dietary fibre compared to common animal and plant food sources. Their research also found that crickets require less feed and water compared to raising common livestock animals such as cows, while noting that crickets would need less space to cultivate while emitting less greenhouse gas emissions too – all of which adds to the eco-friendly argument of ingesting crickets instead of your normal meat or vegetables.
According to Medical News Today, a UK-based media outlet for medical information, crickets can be a beneficial addition to our diets, while also being a sustainable, eco-friendly food source that’s rich in protein.
Cricket-based snacks and powders also at Ento
Image credit: Ento.my
Ento also carries a range of edible roasted larvae and cricket snacks to add as toppings to your daily meals of smoothie bowls and healthy wrap. They come in a variety of flavours too, such as Ento Salted Egg Yolk Roasted Crickets (RM14.90) and Ento Kimchi Roasted Crickets (RM14.90). You can find them available online here.
The Ento 100% Cricket Protein Powder (RM39.90/100g) is another unique option from their store of slow-roasted crickets with a taste profile of “charred almonds with a hint of cocoa”. It’s recommended to be added to protein shakes, or cookie batters and salads.
Image credit: Ento.my
Entomeat made with crickets for more meatless alternatives
It never hurts to think of how we can help out our environment. With food being a major part of our lives, thinking of how our food gets sourced can be a part of it. So while eating insects may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we commend companies such as Ento for taking an extra step to think out of the box for meat alternatives to combat usual options in our meat-centric diets.
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Cover image adapted from: FoodPanda