Lifestyle

Experiment at home with these eye-opening insect recipes from "Mushi-kui Note"

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

Giant Water Bug Ethnic Soup

(Serves two)

Ingredients

  • 1 pickled water bug (pack of three sold in ethnic stores for about ¥450)
  • 4 okura
  • 1/4 onion
  • 6 straw mushrooms
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of chicken stock
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of Thai fish sauce & pepper
  • Coriander (for topping)

Cooking instructions

  1. Desalinate the water bug in water for about an hour, then make a cut on its abdomen.
  2. Cut the okura into pieces, slice the onion extra thin and cut the straw mushrooms in half.
  3. Boil water in a pan. Add the chicken stock and vegetables.
  4. Scrape out insides of the water bug into the pan when vegetables are cooked.
  5. Turn off the heat, squeeze the lemon and add pepper and Thai fish sauce. Serve with coriander topping.

Mealworm and Orange Brownie

(20cm x 20cm)

Ingredients

  • 40 mealworms (25g sold as fish bait or pet food for about ¥300)
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 60g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 100g salt-free butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 100g orange peel
  • 2 bitter chocolate bars
  • 2 eggs

Cooking instructions

  1. Stir-fry the mealworms with an appropriate amount of regular butter
  2. Soften the salt-free butter in room temperature. Crush the chocolate bars and sift out lumps from the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder
  3. Use heated water (about 60 degrees Celsius) to melt the chocolate and butter together inside a bowl. Stir with a spatula.
  4. Combine the eggs and sugar in a separate bowl. Mix well with an eggbeater.
  5. Mix the two bowls slowly, then add the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder. Use spatula to knead the dough.
  6. Add the mealworms and orange peel into the bowl and mix.
  7. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and cook in a brownie mold for 20 minutes.

Summer Cicada Hors D’Oeuvre

(Serves two)

Ingredients

  • 6 cicadas (3 adults, 3 larvae) (can be caught in parks during the summer)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and soy sauce and salsa sauce
  • 1 dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 pickled olives
  • 6 crackers
  • 1 tablespoon of salsa sauce
  • Pinch of salt

Cooking instructions

  1. Wash the cicadas before pouring boiling water on them. Dry with paper towels.
  2. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, dill and sugar and marinate the larvae inside the sauce for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Bake the larvae in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Serve it on a cracker with an olive. Use mayonnaise or butter to stabilize the larvae if necessary.
  4. Deep fry the adult cicadas in oil at 170 degrees Celsius. Use a cooking syringe to pump salsa sauce into its abdomen.
  5. Place remainder of the salsa sauce on a cracker and serve with the adults placed on top.

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