How to Cook Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers are a crunchy, delicious treat enjoyed around the world in countries like Mexico and Uganda. Just one grasshopper contains 6 grams (0.21 oz) of protein and many people think the world should harvest more insects to help people in need of healthy, nourishing meals.As long as you cook your grasshoppers, whether boiling or frying them, they will be safe to eat and ready in minutes. If you want to know how to cook grasshoppers in a variety of ways, see Step 1 to get started.
Dry roasted grasshoppers:
1 cup grasshoppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic butter fried grasshoppers:
1/4 cup butter
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup grasshoppers
3/4 cup sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup grasshoppers
1 pt. heavy cream beaten stiff
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. minced parsley
1 tbsp. minced parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
12 frozen grasshoppers
1 diced red bell pepper
1 yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 cup grasshoppers
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 serrano chile
1/2 diced onion
Preparing Your Grasshoppers
Catch your grasshoppers.The easiest way to obtain grasshoppers is simply to catch them yourself. They are easiest to catch in the morning, when it's colder and they are lazier. You can simply grab them off the ground with your hands, if you're fast enough, or use a net to catch them. You can also create some of these more elaborate traps:
- Dig a hole in the ground and place a Mason jar with some bait, such as oats, apples, or carrots, in it. Either place some soil around the jar or tip it on its side -- the next morning, you should find grasshoppers in the jar. Just place the lid over it and you've caught your grasshoppers! If you want 'em alive, poke some holes in the lid.
- Take a shoot of green willow that's about three feet long and flick it down lightly on the grasshopper. This should pin it in place.
Alternatively, buy your grasshoppers.Depending on where you live, it may be tricky to buy grasshoppers, but not impossible. Try Mexican markets first. Grasshoppers, known aschapulinesin Mexico, are a popular dish in Oaxaca.
Be sure to cook them.Grasshoppers are delicious and safe to eat, but you have to cook them first. This will keep you safe and will kill any parasites that they might be carrying. Don't attempt to eat them raw or you may suffer health issues.
Remove the legs and wings.The legs of grasshoppers aren't edible; although you won't be hurt from eating them, it's best to remove them before you begin to cook them. The same goes for the wings. Some say that freezing the grasshoppers for 10-15 minutes or boiling them for a few minutes makes the legs easier to pop off. This also has the benefit of killing them.
- Some people also pull the head straight off, which removes the guts (including the stomach). This tends to remove certain kinds of parasites (and could reduce the risk of eating the grasshopper raw, but it's still better to cook it). You can then insert a stick into the cavity and cook it over a fire.
Clean your grasshoppers before you eat them.Make sure to run them under cold water until they are clean and free of dirt. You can pat them down with a paper towel and then freeze or boil them, depending on the recipe.
Make dry roasted grasshoppers.This is probably the easiest way to cook grasshoppers. Here's what you have to do to cook them:
- Freeze your cleaned grasshoppers for an hour or two.
- Spread them out on a paper towel on a cookie sheet.
- Preheat your oven to 200°F (93°C) and cook the grasshoppers for 1-2 hours until they're nice and dry and crunchy.
- Try to crush them in with a spoon a bit to test their level of crunchiness. It's up to you -- just make sure they don't get burned in the process.
- If you like, you can cover them in just a bit of olive oil and season them with salt and pepper to taste.
Make garlic butter fried grasshoppers.For this simple dish, here's all you have to do:
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a frying pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium low.
- Sauté 6 cloves of garlic for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown.
- Add 1 cup cleaned grasshoppers to the pan.
- Sauté for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Make grasshopper fritters.This is a tasty and decadent dish that makes the perfect snack or side dish. Here's how you make it:
- Sift 3/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp. of baking powder, and 1 tsp. of salt together in a bowl.
- Add 3/4 cups of milk and beat the mixture until it's smooth.
- Slightly beat one egg and add it to the mixture.
- Take 1 cup of grasshoppers and dip each of them in the egg batter. Make sure that the wings, legs (and the heads, if you like) have been removed.
- Fry oil in a frying pan.
- Deep fry the grasshoppers in the pan until they're crunchy and golden brown.
- Add salt and serve them.
Make grasshopper skewers.This is a creative dish that is not only delicious but has a beautiful presentation. Here's what you've got to do to make it:
- Make the marinade. To do this, mix together all of the ingredients except for the grasshoppers, the bell pepper, and the onion. Do this in a non-reactive baking dish.
- Marinate the grasshoppers. Submerge them in the marinade and let them sit there for at least an hour. For best results, you can marinate them overnight.
- Remove the grasshoppers from the marinade and pat them dry.
- Make the skewers by placing the grasshoppers, bell pepper, and onion on them in an alternating pattern.
- Brush your grill lightly with olive oil.
- Cook each skewer 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) above the fire.
- Turn them every 2-3 minutes and continue to baste them in olive oil if needed.
- Cook for about 8-9 minutes, until crunchy and ready to eat.
Make sautéed grasshoppers.This is another easy and delicious dish. Just take of the wings and legs, clean the grasshoppers, and get ready to sautee them. Here's what you do:
- Marinate the grasshopper in a mixture of lemon and lime juice for at least an hour.
- Sauté the garlic, serrano chile, and diced onion in a pan filled with oil over medium heat.
- Remove the garlic, onion, and chile, and sauté the grasshoppers in the remaining juice for around 8-9 minutes, or until they are crunchy and brown.
- Serve. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the grasshoppers and enjoy them on their own or in tortillas or tacos.
QuestionAre Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers edible?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but you have to wait for the toxin to degrade first. Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers are toxic, but after 12 days the decomposing bacteria break down the poison and it's safe enough to ingest.Thanks!
QuestionDo I eat the head?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you eat the head as well.Thanks!
Are all types of crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts edible, or only certain ones? If the latter, which ones?
||A child learns how to cook a grasshopper and eats one for the first time.|
To cook grasshoppers, start by removing the legs and wings, which aren’t edible. Next, run the grasshoppers under cold running water to clean off any dirt before cooking them. Then, spread the grasshoppers out on a paper towel to dry before freezing them for 1-2 hours. Finally, cook them on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours in an oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Visit a restaurant specializing in cooked insects. The chances of finding a grasshopper to eat there will be more likely.
- Grasshoppers can also be deep fried.
- If you want to humanely euthanize the hoppers before removing the hind legs, put them in the freezer for 40 minutes before preparing them for cooking.
- If you're especially finicky, you can let them sit overnight to "empty" themselves before cooking. Alternatively, shake the jar to scare them.
- The exoskeleton in grasshoppers has chitin that can cause an allergic reaction.
- Don't gather insects from areas where pesticides may have been used.
- Always cook these insects before eating.
- Chitin bonds to fat cells and prevents these from being absorbed by your body. This is great for weight loss.
Things You'll Need
Skillet or griddle
Grasshoppers, crickets or locusts
Optional- cocktail sauce, BBQ sauce or ranch dressing
Sources and Citations
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