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Cooking with insects

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Have you bought some Tenebrio (mealworms), Locusta (grasshoppers) or Acheta (crickets) and now you ask yourself how you can cook them?

In general, you can prepare insects the same way as meat or prawns. But the cooking time is usually shorter since they are smaller. Also, you should be cooking them over a low heat, as insects can be overcooked fast and get a bitter taste if they are (due to the chitin shell).

Before you start to cook, we recommend you to read our recommendations for preparing insects.

Pan Frying

The most common form for cooking insects is pan frying or browning. You can roast the defrosted or rehydrated insects with a bit of oil in a frying pan. This will make the insects crispy thanks to their chitin shell. Take care to not fry them too hot and don’t fry too many insects at once. Afterwards season to taste.

Instead of using a frying pan, you can also roast insects in the oven. Mix your Tenebrio, Locusta or Acheta with a bit of oil in a bowl and spread them onto backing paper in a tray. At 160 degrees Celsius, it will take about 10 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the insect species until they are crispy and turn a golden-brown colour.

Fried crickets make a great addition to a curry, pasta fillings or any another meal. Alternatively, you can cover some Locusta with chocolate and enjoy them as a dessert.

Blanching

You can blanch Acheta, Tenebrio and Locusta in a vegetable broth, wine or any other marinade. This process creates a very interesting consistency. Afterwards you can add them to a risotto or stir-fried vegetables.

Grilling

Due to their size, Locusta (grasshoppers) can also be cooked on a barbeque. After you have removed the wings from the Locusta and they have defrosted, you can put them on a skewer. Add an oil-based marinade, like a teriyaki marinade, before putting them on the barbeque. You can also use Tenebrio and Acheta, but make sure to put them into a grill tray. We recommend cooking the insects at a distance over the embers and not over an open flame in order to keep the temperature low enough.

Deep Fat Frying

Deep fat frying is another option to cook insects, but a few points need to be considered: You need a skimmer with a fine grate to take out the small animals from the frying oil. Further, the oil shouldn’t be too hot – the ideal temperature is between 160 and 180 degrees Celsius. If you are used to deep fat frying food, we recommend trying beer battered Locusta (Recipe in our cookbook, available in German)! So delicious! So delicious!

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