The 17-year cicadas have started to emerge from their underground homes and, soon, Northeast Ohio will be crawling with literally billions of these bugs.
While snacking on a cicada may not be your idea of a delicious treat, they’re high in protein, low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free and, over the course of the next several weeks, will be plentiful and fairly easy to forage. The clock is ticking, though.
Jenna Jadin, an entomologist who wrote “Cicada-Licious,” the definitive cicada cookbook in 2004, says the bugs are best to eat shortly after they’ve hatched, before their exoskeletons have hardened. Early morning is the ideal time to catch them. Cicadas with hardened shells should be boiled before eating. Never forage cicadas that are already dead.
So, how do they taste? Bon Appetit says cicadas are similar to soft-shell crab, “but with subtle overtones of boiled peanuts, the kind only a backroads gas station can really do right.”
Holy yum, right!!?
Crispy wok tossed cicadasIngredients:
2 cups cicadas 2 tablespoons peanut oil 2 tablespoons minced ginger 1 hot dried Asian chile 4 tablespoons minced lemongrass 1 cup chopped scallions 1 clove minced garlic 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons Toban Djan (fermented bean paste with chiles) 1 cup minced celery 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon corn starch 3 tablespoons rice wine (or sake)