How to cook insects?

user2954
  • How to cook insects? user2954

    I love touring and I am trying to cut my dependency on my protein sources such as soy powder, beans and other supermarket stuff. Touring is a bit like camping but with longer distances and a bike. So how do you cook insects? How can I know whether insects are edible? Is it possible to eat all types of insects if I cook them in some way? Can I mix insects such as worms, butterflies and bees? I carry a storm heater, which runs on ethanol-stuff, and a small bottle of oil. How would you cook insects with such equipments? If someone has practical experience on this topic, I am also interested how you manage insects' cooking like preservation, harvesting and such things but try to keep focus on cooking.

    Related but not the same

    1. Cheap sources of protein?
    2. Food during touring?

  • How to Cook Insects for Food
    I doubt many people here have practical knowledge in this case.

  • I don't know if insects are really a great viable alternative for touring. You'd need to collect a lot of them to make a decent meal and it would take a decent amount of time and energy, but with that in mind on to the actual question:

    There are plenty of ways to cook insects. You can toast them, fry them, grind them and mix with other stuff, etc. With the equipment you have I would probably go for toasting.

    You might want a field guide of some sorts to determine which are edible. There are more species of insects in the world than anything else so this isn't really something that is too practical to answer here. I also don't know where you are. Grasshoppers and ants are probably generally safe bets, though.

    Not all types are safe to eat. Many insects are poisonous or toxic to some degree. No amount of cooking will change that in some varieties. Again, a field guide for your local area would be your best bet.

    Mixing edible insect types shouldn't be a problem. It's kind of like asking if it's OK to mix different types of edible vegetables or meats. It may not make for the most appealing meal, but you're eating insects so that might not be your primary concern anyways. On a side note, trying to catch bees for food just seems like a really bad idea.

  • What country are you in?

    Every country has some edible insects. Most are terrible. some are toxic, or have toxic parts that must be removed first. This knowledge is hard won, and not readily available. Traditional local people are your best source of information (though the Coke and McD's culture has killed that in most parts of the world)

    In New Zealand they have the Huhu grub, and in Australia the Witchetty grub. Both of which are edible raw or cooked (roasted on hot coals for a few minutes). They have slightly nutty flavours

    These are both soft wood eating larvae around 5 to 10 cm in length, quite plump and juicy. Such insects can be found around the world. But not all are edible

  • I loved what Heston Blumenthal did with insects in his Mad Hatters Tea Party in his television series, also some excerpts on youtube. I have seen grasshoppers and mealy worms/moth larvae (the ones that invade your kitchen pantry for flours etc) eaten globally. But I am no expert as others here may be. I am from the land of the wichetty grub which i have been told tastes like walnut.

  • Crikey sounds scary. Although there was an interesting documentary on BBC where insect eating was giving some prominence by some biologist I forget his name. He did outline some reasonable reasons such as one being carbon frootprint, when compared with cattle insect breading for food emits 1/4 of greenhouse gases!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/food/2011/03/why-not-eat-insects.shtml

Tags
food-safety budget-cooking
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