They are eaten in Papua New Guinea and parts of Indonesia.
The beetles only lay eggs in damaged Sago palms. Sago Grubs can be “farmed” by cutting down Sago palms, laying the trunks flat on the ground, and making holes in the trunks to make it easy for the beetles to enter and lay their eggs in the starchy pith inside. In about 6 weeks, the larvae will be large and plump enough to harvest — if left much longer, they may go into cocoons woven from the fibres in the pith and start to transform into beetles.
The tree trunks are cut up to expose the grubs for collection. Each palm trunk will yield about 100 grubs. You can use the leaves of the palm to wrap your harvest in and take them home.
You can also buy Sago Grubs in markets.
Sago Grubs can be eaten raw, steamed wrapped in sago palm leaves or roasted. They taste a bit like snail and oysters combined with a bland vegetable taste. Much of the taste actually comes from the cooking method — they can taste more meaty if fried in an oil or bacon fat. They can also be smoked or fried. To roast them, just make a kabob of them on a skewer and hold over the fire.
You don’t eat the head. You pick a Sago Grub up by its head, and then holding the head, put it into your mouth and bite down to bite the head off. You discard the head.
Sago Grubs are served at many festive occasions.