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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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"Bug" Recipes


Are there bugs in your food???  Try to pick out some of your favorites and tell your friends what you had for dinner last night.  Just remember that these recipes are ONLY for fun!


 

Appetizers  |  Snacks  |  Main Courses  |  Desserts

Agriculture

Insects
  Crickets, Science4Kids

"Bug" Recipes

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Appetizers


Garlic Butter Fried Grasshoppers

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
6 cloves garlic
1 cup cleaned insects
Directions: Melt butter in fry pan. Reduce heat. Saute garlic in butter for 5 minutes. Add insects. Continue sauteing for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

   

Crackers and Cheese Dip with Candied Crickets

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
2 tsp. chopped onions
1 tsp. chopped green pepper
2 tsp. Miracle Whip
candied crickets
Directions: Soften cream cheese. Introduce remaining ingredients. Spread mixture on cracker and top with a candied cricket.

   

Dry Roasted Grasshoppers

Directions: Spread fresh, frozen and cleaned insects on paper towels on a cookie sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for 1-2 hours until desired state of dryness is reached. Check state of dryness by attempting to crush insect with spoon.

 

Rootworm Beetle Dip

Ingredients:
2 c. low fat cottage cheese
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. skim milk
1/2 c. reduced calorie mayonnaise
1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 1/2 tsp. beau monde
1 c. dry-roasted root worm beetles
Directions: Blend first 3 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and chill.

   

Slug Fritters

Ingredients:
10 freshly slaughtered slugs
(cleaned of all outer mucous)
1/2 c. of cornmeal
1/2 c. of high protein flour
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 tbsp. of butter
4 tsp. of sour cream
Directions: First chop slugs into fine mince, then beat the eggs and egg yolks with the heavy cream together. Sift the dry ingredients and then cut 2 tsp. of butter into that mixture. Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients and whip with a whisk vigorously for one to two minutes. Melt one tbsp. of butter in a saute pan and pour the batter into 2 1/2 inch cake in two batches. Serve wam with a dollop of sour cream.

   
   

Snacks


Insect Crunch

Ingredients:
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. honey
big bowl of popcorn
1 c. roasted insects
(crickets, grasshoppers, bees, ants)
Directions: Slowly heat butter and honey and mix well. Mix the insects with the popcorn and pour in the butter/honey mixture and stir well. Spread this out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cut into small pieces and serve.

   

Bug Blox

Ingredients:
2 large packages gelatin
2 1/2 c. boiling water
(do not add cold water)
Directions: Stir boiling water into gelatin. Dissolve completely. Stir in dry-roasted leafhoppers. Pour mixture slowly into 9x13 inch pan. Chill at least 3 hours. BLOX will be firm after 1 hour, but may be difficult to remove from pan.
Cutting blox: dip bottom pan in warm water 15 seconds to loosen gelatin. Cut shapes with cookie cutters all the way through gelatin. Lift with index finger or metal spatula. If blox stick, dip pan again for a few seconds.

   

Pop-Moth

Heat a little macadamia oil in a saucepan. Throw in a handful of popcorn and two handfuls of whole Bogong moths. Cover the sauce and continue heating while mixing the contents by shaking the pan until the corn has all popped and the moths are hot. The oil can also be sweetened by adding a spoonful of golden syrup or honey after popping the corn.

   
 

Main Courses


Locust Bisque

Ingredients:
1 gallon of locust shells
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 celery stalk
2 carrots
1/2 tsp. powdered mace slat
(and pepper to taste)
1 c. whipping cream
Directions: Put all ingredients except whipping cream into a large stew pot, and fill with water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 3 hours. Process in blender or food processor in batches, and strain before returning to clean pot. Add whipping cream, being sure not to allow to boil. Serve with animal crackers.

   

Fried Green Tomato Hornworms

Ingredients:
3 tbsp. olive oil
16 tomato hornworms
4 medium green tomatoes
(sliced into 1/4 inch rounds)
salt and pepper to taste
white cornmeal
Directions: In a large skillet or wok, heat oil. Then lightly fry the hornworms, about 4 minutes, taking care not to rupture the cuticles of each insect under high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Season tomato rounds with salt and pepper, then coat with cornmeal on both sides. In large skillet, fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides. Top each round with 2 fried tomato hornworms.

   

Mealworm Fried Rice

Ingredients:
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. oil
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. chopped onions
4 tsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. Minute rice
1 c. cooked mealworms
Directions: Scramble egg in a saucepan, stirring to break egg into pieces. Add water, soy sauce, garlic, and onions. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover; remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes.

   

Natural Treat (Earthworms)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs Earthworms
1/2 lg onion chopped
1/4 c. Chicken bouillon
1 c. Sour cream
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. mushrooms
whole wheat flour
Directions: Thoroughly wash and purge the earth worms before using them. To purge, boil the worms three times then bake them in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes. Coast the worms with the flour and roll them in butter. Add salt to taste. Add bouillon and simmer for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Saute onions and mushrooms separately in butter. Add both to the earthworms. Stir in sour cream. Serve over rice or chow mien noodles.

   

Grasshopper Goulash

Ingredients:
20 Grasshoppers chopped
2 handfuls of mass
6 owlets eyes
3 c. of chicken blood
2 grass snakes innards
3 c. of maggots
Directions: Fry chopped grasshoppers with the owlets eyes and innards from the snakes. Once well cooked add the chicken blood. Simmer for 15 min. Serve on a bed of pan fried maggots and garnish with finely chopped moss.

   

Oaxaca Enchiladas

Ingredients:
About 1000 grasshoppers
1/2 c. chili sauce
pinch of salt
garlic
onion
1 lemon
1 c. guacamole
6 tortillas
Directions: Soak the grasshoppers in clean water for 24 hours. Boil them, let dry. Fry in a pan with garlic, onion, salt, and lemon. Roll up in tortillas with chili sauce and guacamole.

   

Kumba

Bake an eggplant until it is very soft. Let it cool and spoon out eggplant from its skin. Add fresh pressed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro/coriander, onions, and roasted red peppers. Chop and add celery (or fresh grasshoppers).

   

Grasshopper Gumbo

Ingredients:
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp. minced fresh herbs
(parsley, mint, thyme,
and/or tarragon)
12 frozen grasshoppers, katydids,
locusts, or suitably sized Orthoptera (thawed)
1 red pepper
(cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks)
1 small yellow onion
(cut into 8 wedges)
Directions: Mix all ingredients for the marinate in a non-reactive baking dish. Add the Orthoptera, cover, and marinate overnight. When ready to cook, remove the insects from the marinade. Pat them dry, for ease of handling. Assemble each kabob, alternately skewing the insects, tomatoes, and onion wedges to create a visually interesting lineup. Cook the kabobs two or three inches above the fire, turning them every 2 or 3 minutes and basting them with additional olive oil as required. The exact cooking time will vary, depending on the kind of grill and types of insects used. Cook no longer than 8-9 minutes.

   

Spider Salad

Steam your spiders live, as this is a safe method of both asphyxiating them and keeping them crisp and fresh. You'll want to chop the legs off the larger spiders and quarter them. Prepare a bed of romaine lettuce, parsley, Portobello mushrooms, radishes, and scallions. Toss in approximately 1 cup chipped spiders, much as you would like in a sea food salad, then a generous amount of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and fresh ground pepper.

 

Ant Brood Tacos

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter or peanut oil
1/2 pound ant larva and pupae
3 Serrano chilies, raw, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
pepper, to taste
cumin, to taste
oregano, to taste
1 handful cilantro, chopped
taco shells, to serve
Directions: Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the larvae or pupae. Add the chopped onions, chilies, and tomato, and season in a little salt. Sprinkle with ground pepper, cumin, and oregano, to taste. Serve in tacos and garnish with cilantro.

   

Mango Balmain Bugs

Ingredients:
8 green blamain bugs
salt
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp. sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. sweet chili sauce
Directions: Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add some salt  Place bugs in the water, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, until shells have an orange color.  Carefully separate the heads from the bodies with scissors.  Cut along the underside of the bug and gently remove the meat.  To prepare the mango sauce, place all remaining ingredients into a food processor, process for 20 seconds or until smooth.  Place bugs on individual plates.  Heat sauce and pour over the bugs.

   

Moth Damper

Ingredients:
A generous handful of moths
1 c. plain flour
1 c. self-raising flour
1 c. powered milk
1/4 tsp. raising agent
water
Directions: Using a mortar and pestle pound up the moths with the powered milk.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients.  Ad sufficient water to make a stiff dough and shape into a ball.  Flatten the ball to a height of 2.5 centimeters.  Lightly flour the surface and cook in ash, camp oven, bedourie or domestic oven until cooked trough.  Serve hot when cooked or as toast.

   

Bugs in a Blanket

Ingredients:
Blankets
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. plain flour
1-2 tbsp. burrawang flour
1 tbsp. finely chopped, boiled
warraigal greens
butter for frying
Directions: Blend all the ingredients to a smooth mix and leave covered for 1 hour.  Heat and butter a frying pan.  Ladle in sufficient pancake mix to thinly cover the pan.  Cook until bubbles appear and surface is dull, then turn and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes.  Place pancakes on lightly greased dariole moulds (shallow dishes).  Bake in a moderate oven for 5-8 minutes.

   

Battered Bugs

Ingredients:
1 2/3 c. plain flour
3/4 c. kurrajongs flour, milled from
roasted seeds
pinch of salt
warm water
Balmain bugs, 2 or 3 per serving
extra flour
oil for frying
warraigal greens, blanched
honey
lemon juice
Directions: Blend flour, salt and enough water to make a batter and leave stand for 20 minutes.  Coat bugs with flour, dip in batter and fry in hot oil until golden brown.  Place in pancake lined with warraigal greens.  Heat honey until frothy, add lemon juice and drizzle over bugs.  Garnish with shallot and red capsicum strips.

   

Witjuti Grub and Bunya-Bunya Nut Soup

Ingredients:
15 large grubs
15 boiled and peeled bunya-
bunya nuts
4 sticks celery
1 leek
2 onions
2 liters chicken stock
seasoning
bay leaves
whole black peppercorns
Directions: Bring chicken stock to the boil and add finely chopped celery, leek, and onions.  Bring back to the boil.  Puree grubs in a blender.  Roughly chop bunya-bunya nuts and add nuts and grub puree to the simmering stock.  Add bay leaves and peppercorns and simmer for 1-1 1/4 hours.  Season to taste.  Garnish with cream and freshly chopped parsley.

   
 

Desserts


Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers

Ingredients:
2 squares of semisweet chocolate
25 dry-roasted grasshoppers
with legs and wings removed
Directions: Melt chocolate as directed on the box.  Dip insects in chocolate and place on wax paper.  Refrigerate.

   

Mealworm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. mealworm flour
Directions: Cream butter well, then mix in sugar, egg, vanilla flour, salt, baking soda, chocolate chips, oats, and mealworm flour.  Drop batter by the teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 F.  This recipe doesn't have much in the way of palpable insect content, but is an excellent way to introduce others to entomophagy.  Even many rather squeamish people will try mealworm cookies, since the cookie format doesn't look "gross" to most people, and since it is rather difficult to actually taste the mealworms, though they enrich the cookie with a somewhat nutty flavor and extra protein. 
 

To Make Insect Flour: Spread cleaned insects out on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Set your oven at 200 degrees and dry insects for approximately 1-3 hours.  When the insects are done, they should be fairly brittle and crush easily.  Take your dried insects and put them into a blender or coffee grinder, and grind them until they are about consistency of wheat germ.  Use in practically any recipe!  Try sprinkling insect flour on salads, add it to soups, your favorite bread recipe, on a boat, with a goat, etc.

   

Fruitcake

 

Ingredients:
1 c. cricket or grasshopper flour
1/4 c. cherries, dried, chopped
1/4 c. cranberries, dried, chopped
1/4 c. water
Directions: Mix all ingredients together to make a coarse dough.  Pull off enough dough to make finger sized strips and lay these on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until the outside is deep tan (adjusting for the color of the flour) and a toothpick stuck into one comes out clean.  Cool and serve as nutrition bars for snacks, hiking, camping, or store for later use.
 

Extra Information: This recipe is very traditional Amerindian and does not take into account advances in cooking technology-such as yeast.  It is, however, a wonderful nutrition bar packed with protein, carbohydrates, sugars, and about 2% fat (better than granolas).


 

 


Last Modified: 5/20/2010