Grasshoppers are a very special treat for those willing to make the jump. With over 11,000 different species of grasshopper in the world, you are likely to find some where you live! Grasshoppers have a very specific set of characteristics that makes it easy to identify the edible ones, keep the simple rule in your mind and it will feed your family well.
IF THEY ARE DULL COLORED THEY ARE CONSIDERED SAFE TO EAT.
The reason for this is, is because the edible ones blend in so that they don’t get eaten.
IF THEY HAVE BRIGHT NOTICEABLE COLORS, THEY COULD POTENTIALLY BE TOXIC.
The reason for this is because instead of relying on a camouflage to avoid being eaten, they have developed a warning sign to let predators know they are toxic. If the toxic ones are the same color as the non toxic ones, then they will be eaten anyway. So they use bright colors to let the predators know ahead of time.
MAKE SURE YOU COOK THEM THOROUGHLY
HOW TO CLEAN GRASSHOPPERS:
Begin by catching some grasshoppers. You can do this by hand or with a net.
When you catch them, you can do one of 2 things. The grasshoppers will easily jump out of whatever kind of bucket you put them in, so you can either put a lid on your bucket, or you can pull the lower portion of their jumpers off so that they can’t jump at all. If it was compared to your leg, it would be like removing their calf below the knee.
For some reason, if a grasshopper doesn’t jump, they don’t seem to use their wings at all. So this way you can keep them alive until you are ready to prepare them without having to worry about them jumping away from you.
After you have harvested enough hoppers to prepare a good meal, place them in a ziploc bag to go right into the freezer. You could use any container that will hold them that can also fit in your freezer. Paper or plastic might work best for this application.
Place them in the freezer for 10 minutes!!!
This will kill them quickly and humanely so you can clean them.
Begin by removing the legs.
Remove the grasshoppers jumpers. These are their long a powerful legs in the rear of their body that enable them to jump very high and at great distances.
These rear legs are very tough and hard and will not make a great addition to your meal.
Next remove the wings and the wing flaps of the grasshopper.
Again, these are very tough and will not make a great addition to your final product.
Here is what the grasshopper will look like after it has had its jumpers and wings removed. There is only one more step until these guys are ready to cook up!
Do all of your grasshoppers this way!
Just one more step to clean your grasshoppers!
Grab the head and pop it off. It will come removed from the rest of the body fairly easily.
The viscera of the insect will be attached to the head. When you remove the head, take care that you make sure that the entrails come all the way out of the insect. You could leave some and it won’t harm you if they are full cooked.
For most desireable consistancy and flavor, remove the whole entrails.
Or, Here is a video if that makes it easier for you to see!
As you can see above, I removed all of the entrails.
After this, you don’t have anymore steps to make them edible. This is the last and most important step. With the entrails out of the insect, you just have leftover the meat of the insect.
Wash your grasshoppers under clean water!
Then dry them on a clean paper towel or let them air dry for a little bit.
HOW TO COOK GRASSHOPPERS
Well, now that we have learned how to clean grasshoppers, we better learn how to cook them!
Cooking grasshoppers is easier than you would think. They are best eaten fried!
How to fry them you might ask? Well, anyway you might be able to. We did these ones in the air fryer and they turned out crispy delicious! But you can fry them in oil on a pan, in a deep fryer, or with an air fryer like we did.
Toss them in oil. Any will do.
For this extremely easy grasshopper recipe, all I did was toss them in a spoonful of olive oil, and put them in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes. Until they were a noticeable golden brown color.
Immediately after they come out of the fryer, they need to be coated with seasoning before they cool down.
I used some very simple yet delicious, Creole seasoning!!!
TIP FOR FRIED FOOD
When frying any kind of food in oil it is always a good idea to season the food as soon as it is out of the fryer. The seasoning will quickly dissolve or become stuck in the hot oil, and as the food cools down, it will pull the seasoning onto the food and it will adhere to the food much better.
If you season fried food once it has cooled down, it will sort of bounce off of the outside of the food and won’t become part of the fried coating itself.
- Splash of Olive Oil
- Sprinkling of Creole seasoning
- Collect, clean, and wash your grasshoppers
- Coat them lightly with olive oil
- While they are hot, sprinkle with Creole seasoning
First I want to add, Grasshoppers are eaten commonly all throughout the world. They are highly nutritious and are available in abundance. Often times these grasshoppers fly through with devastating effects on food crops. Well, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. You could just eat the grasshoppers and enjoy the flavors of the season instead of let the trouble get you down.
Secondly, make sure you cook them thoroughly, some grasshoppers have parasites in them that either are part of their normal physiology or for some reason are a parasite to the grasshopper. This is normal and you can easily mitigate the potentially negative side effects of eating these organisms by making sure you cook the grasshoppers thoroughly.
Thirdly, insects in general are highly nutritious. They provide a complete protein, as well as fats, carbohydrates, and many vitamins and minerals. They could really support you now, or if you ever need them in the future.
Amount Per Serving: Total Fat: 6.1gCarbohydrates: 3.9gProtein: 20.6g