This may gross you out, but I’m hoping that it will open your mind to the possibilities of alternate sources of protein

My interest in eating insects started in 2010 after this Treehouse Talk.  At the end of the lecture there were samples of chocolate covered mealworms. I was one of the brave ones to try some and thought they tasted fine (probably because it tasted like chocolate).

That sample got me excited about insects as they’re nutritious, high in protein, cheap, sustainable and didn’t taste too bad either.  Whenever I talk about my excitement about eating insects, I usually get a disgusted look back.  When my friend asked me to prepare her an insect dish on her birthday, it forced me to actually take the big plunge and cook it.

The process was like the first time I made chicken after years of being a vegetarian.  I went to the reptile section in a couple of different pet stores.  I needed to look at them live to desensitize myself before actually cooking them.

On my third visit to the pet store I finally bought a mix of crickets and mealworms.  I brought them home and put them in the freezer.  (I kind of felt the same as when I first put a live lobster in boiling water).

The next day I put some in the dehydrator, some I pan fried and some I put in the oven.  The dehydrator didn’t give the crunchy texture I was hoping for but the oven and pan fried versions of both the crickets and mealworms turned out rather tasty.  In fact I was hoping there would be a little more meat to them.  For all that anxiety around eating insects, the reality is it’s mostly air with a crunchy outer layer.

Fried Mealworms

Pack of 25 Mealworms (look in the reptile section at the pet store)
cooking oil (enough to cover the frying pan)
1 teaspoon Coconut oil or butter (for flavouring)
1 cup all purpose flour
dash of salt and pepper

Take the mealworms out of the freezer.  They don’t take long to defrost, 30 minutes is fine, even frying from frozen should be fine as there isn’t much ‘insides’ to them.  Wash the worms.

Heat the pan and Canola oil on high.  Put a little coconut oil (which tastes better at burn level than butter).

In a bowl, add flour, salt and pepper (and any other seasoning you desire).  Take each worm individually.  (this can be a tedious process, I used chopsticks) and put in the flour bowl to coat, than place in hot frying pan.  The worms don’t need much time, a couple of minutes made my first batch crispy.

As soon as they cool off a bit, they’re ready to eat.  You may enjoy them like I did and eat them as a snack.   They have a nutty flavour which can work as sweet or savoury.  I think you’d need a lot more to make it a meal and that gets expensive, unless you farm them.  More later, as the experimenting develops.  Hope you enjoy!

Frying the Mealworms

Frying the Mealworms