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A Buggy Recipe Book: The Best Bug-Based Recipes from the Web

If you’re seeking some nice old fashion home cooking, you best go to your grandma for some of her hand-me-downs, however, if it’s some radical cuisine that you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, we’ve scoured the Internet to bring you some of the most bizarre recipes around that use insects as the featured ingredient! Yep, the best bug-based recipes from the web, to your kitchen. Bug appetit!

1. Mealworm Fried Rice:
Most everyone has feasted on traditional fried rice at some point, chicken fried rice if you’re lucky; however, this particular recipe offers a bit of curveball to the common. While it offers all the same tastes that you’d expect from your ever-day fried rice, the creepy-crawly addition of mealworms is a taste, well off the beaten path.

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

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 stand five minutes.


2. Peas ‘n’ Crickets Stir-Fry:
If you’re debating what to cook for dinner, just give a little whistle and always let your conscience be your guide – cue the cricket! However, in this case, rather than listening to their sound guidance, you’ll be stir-frying them with some traditional ingredients to create a not-so-traditional meal that’s rich in calcium, protein and iron.

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, add salt.


3. Oaxaca Enchiladas:
Whether you prepare your own enchiladas at home or order them from a restaurant, the most common protein options are chicken, beef or carnitas (pork) … but what about grasshopper? Sure, you’ve probably never even considered that to be an option but the recipe below is proof that you’ve lived a sheltered life.

About 1000 grasshoppers (the younger the better)
1/2 cup chili sauce
pinch of salt
1 lemon
1 cup guacamole
6 tortillas

Soak the grasshoppers in clean water for 24 hours. Boil them, then let dry. Fry in a pan with garlic, onion, salt and lemon. Roll up in tortillas with chili sauce and guacamole. According to the author, “Serves six if you can fund six.”


4. Rootworm Beetle Dip:
For every entrée you’re going to need an appetizer to set the stage and that’s exactly what you’ll get out of this rootworm beetle dip. Whether its chips, veggies or pita bread, this is a creamy pre-dinner treat that will get you use to the idea of eating insects, before the main course arrives.

2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/2 cup reduced calorie mayonnaise
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 1/2 tsp. Beau Monde
1 cup dry-roasted rootworm beetles

Blend first 3 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and chill.


5. Bee L-T Sandwich:
Historically speaking, your average BLT sandwich consisted of bacon, lettuce and tomato but here to replace the pig’s involvement once and for all is the bee. Apparently, when sautéed with some butter and honey, bee larvae taste very much like bacon – but we’ll let you follow the recipe below and draw your own conclusion!

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 sauté 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.


6. Grasshopper Tacos:
Considering Taco Bell uses Grade D meat within their tacos and burritos, the notion that you can use grasshoppers as filler in your tacos at home is not such a crazy thing – maybe even a step up. Of course, depending where you stand on the scale of bravery, you might find these grasshopper tacos to be the better option.

2 scallions, cut in pieces
1/2 lb. tomatillos, cut in pieces
5 radish leaves
2 leaves epazote
5 serrano chiles
1 handful parsley
5 garlic cloves, mashed
3 Tbsp. corn oil
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted and ground
3 cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 lb. grasshoppers
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup bouillon
tortillas, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the grasshoppers on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Place the scallions, tomatillos, radish leaves, epazote, serrano chiles, parsley, and garlic in a blender or food processor and liquefy. Heat the combined oils in a frying pan. Add the ground pumkin seeds and fry over medium heat, stirring to prevent burning. Add the ground sesame seeds and the toasted cumin seeds. Season with salt, mixing thoroughly. Add the bouillon a little at a time, stirring, and cook until thickened. Add the roasted grasshoppers.  Spoon the filling into the warmed tortillas and serve.

Tip: marinating the roasted grasshoppers overnight will help to soften the exoskeletons for easier chewing.


7. Herb-Grub Garden Salad
Now that we’ve sautéed, fried and carbo-loaded our way into a few extra pounds, it’s time to consider a lighter fare. That said, if you find that you’ve run out of chicken breast, you can always top your salad with a few plump and juicy … grubs? Though this is not for the squeamish, grubs apparently have a passive nutty flavor, but with the bursting squirt of a tomato. Mmmmmmm.

1 bag of mixed spring lettuce
4-5 Palm Weevil Larva (fresh)
½ lemon
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup hearts of palm
1 quartered beef tomato
½ sliced red onion
2 tsp. capers
Pine Nuts

In large bowl place washed lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and hearts of palm. Pre-heat sauté pan. When hot add 1 tbs. oil, capers, and live larva. Add lemon and salt. Sauté until golden brown. Remove from heat chill larva in sauce. Add to salad the remaining olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour cooked larva with sauce over the lettuce and garnish with pine nuts.


8. Banana Worm Bread:
Chances are good that if you walk into any Great Harvest Bread Co., they’ll have a million-and-one flavors of bread to choose from but banana worm bread will not be one of them. That’s where you can take advantage! Yep, just follow this homemade bread recipe below and set up a stand next door … what could go wrong?

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
1/4 cup dry-roasted army worms

Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 for about 1 hour.


9. Insect Sushi:
While preparing sushi in your own home is typically frowned upon, for sanitation sake, using insects instead of raw fish is a great way to bypass some of the potential risks. Oh, and because it’s just a bug and some rice, it’s not too difficult to make either. Creativity encouraged!

a bug of choice
rice (white or brown)
additives of choice: avocado, cucumber, seaweed, cream cheese, fruit, etc.

You can be as creative as you want with the preparation. As long as the rice is combined with the bugs in some way, you technically have sushi. For nigiri sushi, ball the rice into golf-ball-sized portions and place a bug on top. For sashimi sushi, simply eat a bug by itself!


10. Chocolate Chirpie Chip Cookies:
Of course, after every big meal that’s full of the salty and savory, you need the quintessential dessert to cleanse the palette and quench the sweet tooth. That said, it’s only appropriate that we end this list with a recipe for cookies that’s far from your grandmas recipe … instead of chocolate chips, this one has cricket chips.

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 12-ounce chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup dry-roasted crickets

Preheat oven to 375. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture and insects, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded measuring teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.


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