Butod (sago worm)
We’re heading into the bizarre territory with this but it is undeniably one of the more popular traditional food in Sabah. This is definitely not a dish for the squeamish but it is said to be very nutritious for your body. It can be eaten live (yes, while it is still squirming!) or cooked, depending on how brave you are. Do you dare to try this?
Butod refers to sago worms that are found feeding on the insides of the sago palm tree, a few months before they turn into beetles.
Fat and squishy,and about the length of your little finger, they look like giant maggots but don’t let its novelty fool you. It is said that these wriggly creatures that feed on the decaying pith of the sago tree is a solid protein source and is very nutritious.
To eat it, you can pluck it straight from the tree, grab its hard head (to avoid eating it) and bite it off. Its insides will come bursting out, and has been described as“creamy” but not pungent or particularly foul. Some find the skin a bit chewy.