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There are 1,462 recorded species of edible insects. Crickets are the most popular. Here’s why: 100 grams of cricket contains: 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 g. of fat, 5.1 g. of carbohydrates, 75.8 mg. calcium, 185.3 mg. of phosphorous, 9.5 mg. of iron, 0.36 mg. of thiamin, 1.09 mg. of riboflavin, and 3.10 mg. of niacin. Compare that with ground beef, which, although it contains more protein, about 23.5 g. to be exact, it has 288.2 calories and an enormous amount of fat, 21.2 grams worth.
Preparation of crickets for any recipe:
It is important to note that crickets should only be purchased from reliable sources. Crickets should be treated much in the same manner as any other raw food, in particular seafood. In other words it is best to keep crickets fresh as possible.
Prior to preparing your crickets for a meal place them inside a plastic container or storage bag and keep them in the refrigerator at least for an hour or until you are ready to use them. This will not kill the crickets, but rather slow down their metabolism, inducing a state of hypothermia, in other words, prohibiting their movement when removed from container. If you prefer however, as many people do, feel free to place them inside the freezer for an hour or two as this will definitely kill them, guaranteeing their immobility.
After removing from refrigerator or freezer, place them in a pot of boiling water sized to hold the specific amount of crickets you’re using. Add a few pinches of salt. Boil for about two minutes. This ensures cleanliness. Once boiled, remove from water and let cool. Crickets at this time can be placed in storage bags and kept in the freezer or used right away for any number of recipes. All crickets should be prepared in this manner prior to eating.
Dry Roasted Crickets
Served as a snack for any number of persons
25 – 50 live crickets – or however many you wish to cook/serve
Salt, or any preferred seasoning that can be shaken or sprinkled onto crickets after roasting.
Next, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Arrange the crickets on a cookie sheet, making sure none of them overlap. Proceed to bake at low temperature for about 60 minutes or until the crickets are completely dry or dry enough for personal taste.
Open up oven at the 45-minute mark and test a cricket to see if it’s dry enough by crushing with a spoon against a hard surface or if you prefer, between your fingers. The crickets should crush somewhat easily. If not place them back inside oven until crisp.
Once roasted and cooled down, place a few crickets between your palms and carefully roll them breaking off legs and antennae in the process. This ensures clean and crisp crickets without legs or antennae getting in the way of.
Season them with salt, Kosher salt, sea salt, smoked salt or whatever sort of seasoning you wish. They are very good and healthy to eat as a roasted snack. Eat them on the spot or place them back into the freezer for future use.
4 cups of flour
1 cup of roasted crickets (¼ - ½ cup of crickets to every cup of flour works well.)
Break off the antennae and legs by gently rolling the cricket between your hands.
Once you collect enough crickets in a bowl proceed to crush either using a mortar and pestle or rolling pin on a hard surface.
Gather the crushed crickets – they should look like small specks (usually of dark brown color) and blend them well into the flour of your choosing.
Once you’ve blended the crickets with the flour you’re set to use it in any way you wish.
Hoppin’ Good™ Cricket Fried Rice
Serves 4 – 6
4 cups cold cooked brown rice
1 ½ cups of roasted crickets (about 3 – 4 dozen)
1 cup chopped scallions
½ cup cooked corn kernels
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Powdered ginger to taste
Powdered coriander to taste
Garlic powder to taste
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
1 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce or oyster sauce, as desired
Wash and finely chop scallions. Lightly beat the eggs with salt, ginger, garlic powder, coriander and pepper.
Heat a wok or frying pan and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs. Cook, stirring, until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and wipe clean the wok or frying pan.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using wooden spoon to break it apart. Add crickets. Add scallions. Stir in soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired. Continue stirring for a few more minutes.
When the rice is heated through, add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Mix thoroughly. Stir in corn kernels. Serve hot.
This dish goes great with any other dish or appetizer, i.e., cooked greens, egg rolls, dumplings, etc.
Cricket Pad Thai
Serves 6 – 8
8-10 oz dried rice stick noodles
6 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons lime juice
4 tsp. organic sugar (Turbinado, etc)
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup crickets (prepared properly)
3-4 cloves garlic
3 eggs – lightly beaten
½ cup scallions, finely chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
¼ cup crushed peanuts
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 lime (cut into wedges to serve to each person)
Directions:Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and organic sugar in a bowl and blend well.
Pour oil into a wok or skillet, and cook the crickets over medium-high heat.
Push crickets to one side and scramble the eggs on the other side of the wok or skillet. Remove crickets and eggs and set aside in bowl or on plate.
Add garlic and scallions and fry until soft.
Add sauce mixture, crickets and eggs back into the wok or skillet, and warm thoroughly.
Cook rice noodles for about 10 minutes in boiling water.
Remove and drain noodles, and add to wok or skillet.
Add in bean sprouts and toss thoroughly, being careful not to break the noodles. Top with peanuts, cilantro, and garnish with a lime wedge.
This dish goes great with Vietnamese spring rolls.
Lapsang Suchong Chilled Cricket Pokies™
Served as appetizers for 4 – 6 people
2 dozen crickets
2 Lapsang Suchong Tea bags or similar black/green tea
Mango chutney (have a small jar on hand because you’ll need to use about ½ a teaspoon per cucumber slice)
Pickled ginger – sliced thin
Coconut shavings (pre-packaged)
Directions:Prepare, boil and roast crickets. Salt to taste.
Wash, peel and slice cucumber into ½ inch thicknesses.
Lay out cucumber slices atop paper towels to absorb moisture on cookie tray.
Place slice of pickled ginger neatly atop each cucumber slice.
Place a small dollop of mango chutney atop the pickled ginger.
Place one or two crickets atop the mango chutney and add a bit more mango chutney to cover cricket(s).
Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Remove each slice from cookie tray to serving tray.
Lightly sprinkle several coconut shavings on top of each slice, let some coconut fall on serving tray to add subtle visual tension and texture.
Makes about 20 Cricket Fritters, enough for 4 persons
200 grams flour
1 cup water
1 cup crickets, chopped (pre-boiled but not roasted)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon chili paste
½ of a large red onion, finely chopped
1 red chili, thinly sliced
3 small chives, cut to 1 inch strips
½ cup cooked corn kernels
¼ cup fresh ginger, finely chopped and pre sautéed for a minute in separate pan
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon salt
Directions:Mix flour, chili paste, salt & water and combine until the texture is smooth. The texture should be thick but not watery.
Throw in the chopped onions, chives, ginger, sliced chili, corns, crickets and combine.
Heat a large pot with cooking oil. When the oil is heated properly, it’s time to cook.
Scoop a spoonful of the mixture and drop it into the oil for frying. Don’t put too many pieces in at one time, as they need room to fry around until they turn a golden brown color, which should take about 3-5 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and repeat with remaining mixture.
Serve with rice and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
Sautéed Crickets ‘n Greens
Serves 4 – 6
1 large bunch of spinach, about 12 cups leaves
1 medium bunch of beet greens, chopped
½ cup crickets (about 2 dozen – properly prepared)
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1 lemon (to be sliced for wedges)
Directions:Wash spinach and beet greens in cold water.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Toss in crickets, pushing around in the oil and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and lemon juice and sauté together with crickets for 2 minutes.
Turn the heat to high and add beet greens and about ¼ teaspoon salt cooking for a few minutes before adding the spinach.
Add spinach, wilting it by tossing with tongs to coat the leaves with the hot oil, garlic, crickets and other greens, blend all ingredients thoroughly.
Add pine nuts.
Add salt and pepper to taste .
Serve immediately with lemon wedge.
Tip: If you're using a combination of greens, add spinach at the last minute, just before serving. If you’re using frozen greens however you can place them into the sauté pan at the same time when called for.
Sautéed Crickets (or any insect)
Serves 4 – 6
1-2 cups crickets
¼ cup butter
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup chopped scallions
Directions:Melt butter, add garlic and scallions and sauté for several minutes.
Add insects and sauté for an additional 10 – 15 minutes.
Season to taste.
Chocolate Covered Crickets
1 cup roasted crickets (see recipe for Dry Roasted Crickets)
1 cup chocolate chips
Directions:Melt the chocolate chips according to packaging.
Drop in a handful of crickets, stirring them around.
Scoop them out with a spoon, and place them on wax paper, keeping them apart from one another.
Continue until all the crickets are covered.
The chocolate will harden overnight but if you prefer you can freeze them for about an hour and they will be ready to eat shortly thereafter.
Once hardened, the crickets can be stored in a container for future use.
Tips: For an extra treat and visual experience, place chocolate covered crickets atop broken bits of white chocolate chunks or dip chocolate covered crickets in powdered chocolate and serve chilled.
Caramel Cricket Crunch
½ cup butter
½ cup honey
Popcorn (one full bag, popped in microwave or store bought already popped)
1 cup roasted chopped crickets
Directions:Heat (melt) butter in small pot with handle on low heat.
Add honey and caramel and blend well for about a minute.
Mix crickets with popcorn in separate large bowl and pour in the butter/hone/caramel mixture, stirring well.
Spread out mixture on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut into small pieces and serve warm or cold.
Hoppin’ Good™ Banana Oat Cricket Muffins
¼ cup warm virgin coconut oil
2 very ripe bananas
½ cup agave nectar
¼ cup organic brown sugar or cane sugar
1 cup cricket flour (flour containing crushed crickets)
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup finely chopped crickets (legs and antennae removed)
½ cup chopped unsalted sunflower seeds (shelled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
Mix in eggs, agave nectar, coconut oil, and brown sugar or cane sugar
In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, oats, and a pinch of salt
Incorporate all ingredients together, then add in sunflower seeds (do not over-mix)
Spoon batter into a paper lined muffin tray, filling a little more than halfway
Top with oats and chopped seeds
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick runs clean when poked inside the middle of one muffin
Makes 16 large muffins or about 24 small muffins, depending on how deep you fill your muffin trays with batter.
Cranberry Oatmeal Cricket Cookies
Makes 30 to 40 cookies
1 cup cranberries, rinsed
1 ¾ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup raw Turbinado sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dry roasted chopped crickets
Directions:Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C.)
Lightly grease baking sheets.
In a bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and airy.
Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
Add oat mixture, crickets and cranberries and mix until well combined.
Place dough in spoonfuls, 2 inches apart onto baking sheets.
Bake cookies in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway.
Bake until golden, about 12 minutes total.
Transfer to racks to cool.
Chocolate Chirp Cookies
Makes a dozen or so cookies
2 ¼ cups cricket flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 12-ounce pkg. chocolate chips
½ cup dry-roasted chopped crickets
Directions:Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
In saucepan heat 1 12-ounce pkg. chocolate chips until melted. Or melt in small bowl in microwave.
Dip dry-roasted crickets into mixture and lay flat on drying pan or plate.
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 cricket flour mixture and mix well.
Stir in chocolate covered crickets.
Drop by rounded measuring teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Chocolate Dipped Candied Ginger Crickets
Makes 20 pieces
20 pieces crystallized ginger (available in the baking aisle)
4 ounces high-quality dark chocolate
20 dry roasted crickets
Directions:Prepare a plate by lining it with waxed or parchment paper.
Break chocolate into small pieces in a microwave-safe bowl.
Heat for 30 seconds at 50 percent power, remove and stir, and place back in the microwave.
Continue cooking at 50 percent power in 10-second increments, stirring after each 10-second burst, until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted.
Dip the bottom half of each piece of crystallized ginger along with cricket placed alongside it in the dark chocolate and let the excess drip away.
Place dipped ginger with cricket attached on lined plate and allow the chocolate to set up.
Store in an airtight jar in a cool dry place.
Dip ginger/cricket combo into chocolate and allow the chocolate to set up.
Refrigerate till ready to serve.
Caramel Glazed Cricket Crunch Coated Flan
¾ cup white sugar (Turbinado raw cane organic sugar)
2 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1 ¾ cups water
1 (14 ounce) can low-fat sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
½ cup crushed dry roasted crickets
Prep Time 15 Min
Cooking Time 1 Hr
Ready in 1 Hr 15 Min
Original recipe yield 1 - 9-inch round
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, cook and stir sugar until melted and light brown.
Carefully pour into a 9-inch round baking dish, tilting the dish to coat the bottom completely.
In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and egg whites.
Stir in water, condensed milk, vanilla and salt until smooth.
Pour into prepared dish.
Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel.
Place baking dish on towel, inside roasting pan, and place roasting pan on oven rack.
Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, until center is just set (still a bit jiggly).
Remove dish and sprinkle crickets atop flan, allowing to gently tumble down sides.
Lace on wire rack to cool for one hour.
Then refrigerate several hours or overnight.
To unmold, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a rimmed serving platter.
Mealworm RecipesMealworms can be purchased live, canned or freeze dried from any number of suppliers. Mealworms are relatively easy to keep till you use them in a recipe. Nutritional Information: One mealworm contains: 10.63% protein, 3.1% fiber, 420 ppm calcium, and 10.01% fat. Mealworms if live, should be placed in freezer for about an hour to put them to sleep and then boiled for one minute and then they are ready for inclusion in a recipe.
Banana Worm Bread½ cup shortening
¾ cup sugar
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup dry-roasted mealworms
Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 deg F for about one hour.
Mealworm French Fries
4 U.S. grade No. 1 fresh potatoes (Idaho potatoes)
2 dozen mealworms – boiled but not roasted
1 cup chopped scallions
½ teaspoon smoked salt
Directions:Cut and slice potatoes into preferred style, i.e. shoestring, etc. Keep the skin on to enhance the homemade appearance and flavor. If you prefer to peel your potatoes, please keep in mind that fries made from peeled potatoes should be chilled after cutting in cold water for 10 minutes to 30 minutes before frying, to ensure maximum crispiness and to prevent them from sticking together while frying.
Deep fry potatoes, mealworms and scallions together for 3 minutes in proper temperature oil. The oil is the proper temperature when the fries don’t sink when dropped in and bubbles remain on top of the oil. Always use clean oil to fry potatoes.
Tips: A little known chef’s secret to prevent the potatoes from darkening is to add citrus acid or vinegar to the water solution. Also in order to avoid water spattering and to reduce fat absorption spin dry potatoes as much as possible before frying. In order to get really crispy and tasty fries, fry them twice.
Cicadas are a delicacy in the city of Shanghai, China, where this creative recipe originated.
Cicada-liciousCourtesy of Created by Jenna Jadin and the University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs © 2004 University of Maryland 2nd edition
Cicadas, anises, salt, rice wine, mashed garlic, celery, turnip greens.
Directions:Boil the cicadas and anises in salted rice wine for five minutes, then remove the cicadas.
Sauté the mashed garlic, adding water and rice wine to make a paste.
Deep-fry the cicadas, then skewer them with bamboo picks.
Arrange them on a plate with the turnip greens, celery, and garlic paste to look like the cicadas are climbing out of a mud pie onto green foliage.