Is this worm a 'secret ingredient' that the hawker deliberately left inside this bowl of laksa to enhance the flavour?
For one woman who found a worm in her takeaway laksa from a coffee shop along Woodlands Street 3, she was more disgusted than impressed.
Taking to Facebook on Monday (July 4), Veron Lok said: "Almost finished eating this bowl of laksa [and I] saw this at the bean sprout.
"My son checked and told me that it's a mealworm… Oh my God. So disgusting."
AsiaOne has contacted Lok and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) for comment.
But was this worm added as part of the hawker's laksa recipe?
Several netizens in the comments apparently think so.
"Older generations know that's quite normal. Expected to find them in the gravy actually," a netizen shared, while another pointed out that adding worms is a "secret" that hawkers kept from their diners.
In fact, this practice of adding worms in the making of laksa is actually not that far-fetched, according to the National Archives of Singapore.
Since coconut milk was used in the dish and refrigerators were not widely available, hawkers back then would bundle earthworms and place them at the bottom of the pot to act as a form of preservative.
While maggots were also added to "eat away bacteria", laksa these days contain "more palatable" ingredients of prawns, cockles, fish cake, beansprouts and hard-boiled egg, according to Her World.
Other diners have had similar experiences of finding unwanted creepy crawlies and objects in their meal.
In November last year, a man cut his tongue after biting into a glass fragment while eating tiramisu from Awfully Chocolate, while a diner in Dec 2020 screamed and vomited after scooping up a cockroach in his bowl of noodles.