Tasty Cicada Recipes for When the Swarm Strikes This Summer
Listen, don't read this while you're eating. Come back when you've finished though. It's just that reading about parboiling insects might have a negative effect on your appetite. See, the 17-year cicadas have already started to emerge from the ground, and there are going to be billions of them. BILLIONS. So, you may as well eat some, right?
It turns out people have been eating cicadas for a long time, and many still do around the world. We just aren't big fans of eating bugs here in America. (At least, not knowingly -- chances are there are a couple of bug parts in any sort of processed or packaged food that you buy.) When you think of it that way -- maybe a cicada pizza is not so daunting. Like, it totally is, but you could probably dare us into eating a slice if we were camping and full of wine coolers.
This is where the Cicadamaniacs come in -- nine years ago one of them, Jenna Jadin, published an entire cookbook of recipes as part of her graduate studies at the University of Maryland. So, here are some things you can eat this summer if you're low on groceries, but happen to have a big yard full of cicadas. These recipes are from the Cicada-licious cookbook, and they have lots more of them you can get free here.
30 newly-emerged cicadas
2 tbps anise seeds
1 tsp salt
2 cups sherry
1tbsp soy sauce
additional water and sherry or rice wine
10 cloves mashed garlic
celery to garnish
turnip greens to garnish
1. Boil the cicadas and anise in salted sherry for five minutes, then remove the cicadas.
2. Saute the mashed garlic and soy sauce, adding enough of equal parts water and sherry to make a thick paste.
3. 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 cicadas climbing out of a mud pie into green foliage.
1 onion, minced
2 tbsps fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
1 tbsp fresh gingerroot, minced
3/4 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup chopped cauliflower and/or broccoli
1 can water chestnuts
3/4cup bean sprouts
3/4cup snow peas
40 blanched teneral cicadas
1. Capture cicadas at night as they emerge from the ground. Blanche for 1 minute in boiling water. They can now be stored in freezer or used immediately in recipes.
2. In a wok or other suitable pan, heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add ingredients in the order listed above when those in the most recent addition are partially cooked.
3. Serve over whole-grain rice and add soy sauce to taste.
El Chirper Tacos
2 tablespoons butter or peanut oil
1/2 pound newly-emerged cicadas
3 serrano chilies, raw, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground pepper or to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
3 tsp taco seasoning mix
1 handful cilantro, chopped
Taco shells, to serve
Shredded cheddar cheese
1. Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the cicadas for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
2. Remove from pan and roughly chop into 1/4 inch cubes. Place back in pan.
3. Add the chopped onions, chilies, and tomato, and season with salt, and fry for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
4. Sprinkle with ground pepper, cumin, and oregano, to taste.
5. Serve in taco shells and garnish with cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, and cheddar cheese.