Edible Insect Recipes

Scaramel Apples

Bug out your bell-ringers or party-guests with these tricked-out treats inspired by Hotlix.com. They were a hit at a company office party – not a single bite was left over. The mealworms and crickets provide a nutty crunch and boost of protein. Except for the “thin layer” of caramel, this is a pretty healthy trick- er, treat.

Recipe:

  • Apples
  • Caramel
  • Skewer sticks
  • Waxed paper
  • Bugs

Bake rinsed, frozen bugs (mealworms and crickets work well for a mixed-bug look; mealworms alone will look quite snazzy) on lightly-oiled baking sheets at 350 degree for 10-15 minutes, or until golden and crunchy (will smell like roasted nuts). Be careful not to burn them. Periodically turn or shake pans to ensure uniform roasting.

Shove sticks into apples’ cores, from stem to stern, so apples can sit upright. Melt a handful of caramels in a small pot on medium heat until gooey.  Dip apples into caramel. Once coated, remove, allowing excess to drip off bottom. Roll apple in roasted bugs, and set to cool on waxed paper. Refrigerate until cool.

Once the caramel has hardened, you can slice the apples off the sticks just before serving. Cut in stright lines around the core, and then cut smaller pieces. Bug appetit!

P.S. In the background are Rice Creepy Treats. Mix any leftover roasted buglets into regular Rice Crispies Treats recipe for added nuttiness and protein!

P.P.S. Don’t try to cut apples up beforehand, like this:

Although an interesting experiment, the caramel reacted with the moisture in the apples and became watery. They were very tasty, though!

Cabbage, Peas ‘n’ Crickets

I just came up with a new recipe “on the fly,” as it were, as I was cooking lunch: an easy, 6-ingredient stir fry starring crickets as the main protein, calcium and iron source.

This recipe is crazy simple. All you need is crickets, snap peas, and cabbage. Toss them in hot oil with a pinch of garlic and salt, and voila. Bug’s on!

Ingredients

  • Handful of crickets
  • 1 cup chopped snap peas
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • Pinch of salt

Chop snap peas and cabbage. Heat olive oil in pan or wok. Begin stir-frying veggies and crickets. After 1 minute or so, add crushed garlic. Once cooked to desired level (I prefer mine firm and crunchy) add salt. Bug appetit!

Bee-LT Sandwich

Bee larvae, when sauteed with a little butter and a few drops of honey, taste very much like bacon.

Sometimes, when I talk about eating bees, I hear concern about the problems plaguing bee populations. Naturally, I would never recommend a bug-gredient that is threatened.

I primarily eat drone larvae, which I get from from beekeepers whom I’ve bee-friended. Unlike worker bees, the drones’ main purpose is to mate with the queen: they do not particiapte in pollination, nurse larvae, or help with hive construction. They buzz from hive to hive to see if anyone needs any mating done, and there are generally an excess of them. It is for this reason that beekeepers often consider them a drain on colony resources. Many beekeepers have a special comb just for drones, which they sometimes use as bait for potential parastites.

Periodically, they remove this comb altogether, toss it into the freezer to kill any “extras” like mites, and then either throw it away or feed it to chickens, if they have any. If more people knew how delicious they are, I think the chickens might have to peck elsewhere! :)

Ingredients:

  • Bee larvae
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 leaf lettuce
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch salt

Sautee the bee larvae in the butter, with a tiny bit of salt and a few drops of honey. Once larvae become golden brown and crispy-looking, remove, and mix into enough egg white to cover and bind them into a mass. Then return them to the sautee butter, pressing them together into a patty.

Toast bread, and slice tomato. Spread mayonnaise on toasted bread when ready. When bee patty becomes firm, place it atop the lettuce and tomato on the sandwich. Enjoy!

Waxworm Tacos

Freeze live  Waxworms overnight.

Saute onions in olive oil until golden, then turn heat to medium-high. Add waxworms, stirring quickly to keep them moving, while adding a pinch of salt (to taste). Waxworms will start to straighten out as they hit the heat; this means they are partially done and are becoming firm, just like shrimp or fish. When you start to see a little bit of transparency around their edges, they are ready.

Simply use sauteed waxworms as you would any other taco meat, adding whichever complementary ingredients you fancy.

Deep Fried Scorpion

This recipe was adapted from The Eat-A Bug Cookbook’s “Scorpion Scallopine.” For this particular recipe, I used an Emperor Scorpion, because of their low venom (this species is often kept as pets). However, if you can get your hands on a Desert Hairy scorpion, their exoskeleton is less thick and tough, so it might be ultimately tastier.

Freeze live scorpions overnight, or even for several days (although it is highly unlikely, some species of scorpion have been known to re-animate once thawed, so be aware).

Heat up hot oil, deep enough to immerse the scorpion. Pour buttermilk and corn meal into separate bowls, again, deep enough to immerse scorpion.

Holding the scorpion with chopsticks or tongs, immerse it in the buttermilk. Let it soak for a bit, then transfer it to the cornmeal, and dredge thoroughly. Still holding it with tongs, dip it into the hot oil. Watch for cornmeal coating to become toasty-looking, and remove scorpion. If you plan to eat the stinger, at this point I would turn the scorpion tail-side down and dip just the stinger into the hot oil for 30-60 seconds. Heat is supposed to de-nature the proteins that compose the venom, but still, ingest it at your own risk. I don’t, unless the scorpion is very tiny and I know the stinger has had the heck cooked out of it.

Serve scorpion with garnish, and/or a fritter or eggroll dipping sauce; a Vietnamese dipping sauce would go nicely.

Scorp-tastic!

39 responses to “Edible Insect Recipes

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  2. Kevin Strider

    Love it. Have no problems eating insects and will try out a few of your recipes.
    Posted your site on my Facebook page.
    Oatcake Strider

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  4. ew. gross

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  8. I love the idea of eating other stuff specialy if it has lots of protein

  9. Giiiiiirrrl, I am SO tryin’ these out.

    I also plan to try out some of the b. lateralis (Turkish) roaches that I breed and raise for our pet tarantulas. :)

    the waxworm tacos sound fab~ I’ll comment again when I make ‘em.

  10. Disgusting!

    • That is really disgusting

    • Hi Anna, I’m interested to know why you think edible insects are disgusting. This is for some research that I am doing. I haven’t actually tried any, so can’t and wouldn’t say your opinion was right or wrong. Just interested to hear a variety of people’s thoughts on the subject :) Thanks.

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  12. Hi, I notices that all of your recipes include American insects, do you have any for Australian tastebuds – we have larger black crickets, a variety (in sizes) of ants, and it is nearly impossible to purchase scorpions (you need a licence to own them)

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  14. I would definitely eat it just to say I did.

  15. This is so awesome.

  16. Hi! I’m from Indonesia. I have no idea how to get bugs around here. I’m actually just a kid who is ten, but I want to do it anyway. I especially need to know where to get those scorpions because I think there are none of them in this country!

    • You could try pet stores, but there are lots of cool bugs in Indonesia! A lot of them are venomous, so I think you’ll want some adult assistance– and some thick gloves!

      Tarantulas are also edible, but I keep them as pets and am trying to help conservation efforts, so… I don’t really want you to eat them, but you *can*. You’ll need to burn the hairs off, and then you can just roast them or fry them with chilies. You can fry up pretty much any bug/arachnid/insect. :)

      I’d probably boil them for 3 minutes, first, to clean them.
      I’d also like to point out that people like me, who keep insect-eating pets, never feed wild insects to our pets, because they’re likely to get parasites or pesticides; cooking them *should* kill the parasites, but pesticides don’t “cook out”. Pet stores are a good source. ;)

  17. Sounds horrible!!

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  19. SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!! I am planning a “Family Bug Feast” night at home. . . Not sure I can get my peeps to partake, but I’m definitely going to try some of these recipes out!

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  26. Do you defrost the waxworms before adding them to the sauteed onions for the tacos or just throw em in right out of the freezer?

    • It’s best to cook them from frozen because freezing them is not always a guaranteed way to kill them. You don’t want any re-animating and causing difficulties during the preparation and cooking process
      Don’t get me wrong, if you freeze an insect then at the very least it will be in stasis and so won’t feel any pain.
      I’m sure you’ve already attempted this recipe by now but hopefully this will help anyone else who is unsure.

  27. I will like to try these recipes as far it’s healthy.

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  30. Hello!! My father-in-law has a ton of japanese bettle larvae aka grubs. I have been searching the internet for days now for recipes on how to cook them and I have not had any luck. Im a very open minded eater and would love to be able to eat these bugs instead of just throwing them out. Do you happen to know of any decent recipes?

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  32. Robert Campbell

    I can’t be sure exactly what brought me to inquire about preparing and eating insects, however, after only a few hours of research and a few choice online videos, I’ve found myself further intrigued and even ready to embark on this nutritional, albeit, strange culinary journey (perhaps with the less off-putting wax worm). I thank you for contributing your time and knowledge, and will be sure to be on the look-out for your future projects.

  33. Where can I purchase crickets? I’m interested in trying them.

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