Yum! The little bugs are surprisingly meaty, wonderfully crunchy, a bit nutty and all-around delicious. Some say they taste like shrimp, others like asparagus. Thank goodness, no one says they taste like chicken.
I left happy, full, and wondering if I should make time this weekend to drive down to Princeton to pick my own cicadas. Some of us will do just about anything for a delicious, nutritious — and, come to think of it, free — lunch.
Here are three recipes, courtesy of assistance professor Cortni Borgerson of Montclair State University.
Those with seafood allergies should not eat Cicadas.
Oil for frying (coconut oil preferred; it pairs well with cicada and cassava flavors)
1½ cups flour or gluten-free flour substitute (cassava is recommended)
2 teaspoons salt
Cold seltzer water
15 teneral cicada (cicadas that have just shed their skin; beige-peach in color)
Preheat oil in a dutch oven or deep pan.
Combine the flour, salt and egg.
Slowly pour in the seltzer and mix until it’s the consistency of lumpy pancake batter.
Dip the cicada into the batter and fry until golden brown. Can be eaten as a snack, if desired.
Note: Reserve leftover tempura batter in the fridge and save the frying oil in the pan to use for the recipes below.
Leftover frying oil
1 sheet of nori (sushi seaweed)
Cooked and cooled seasoned sushi rice
6 tempura cicada
2-3 slices of avocado
2-3 thin slices of cream cheese
Leftover tempura batter
Sriracha cream sauce (⅓ cup plain unsweetened yogurt or mayo + 2 teaspoons sriracha or to taste)
Heat frying oil.
Thinly spread sushi rice evenly across sheet of nori.
Line up tempura cicada, avocado and cream cheese at the bottom of the sheet. Roll the sushi tightly.
Dip the roll into the tempura batter and fry until golden brown.
Set roll onto a paper towel or cloth until it’s cool enough to slice.
Plate and drizzle with sriracha cream sauce.
Flaming Cicada Fondue
Bag of chocolate chips
Water or milk
Tempura cicada (how many you have)
Fresh fruit of your choice
1 shot of rum
Heat the chocolate in a double boiler while stirring and slowly add small amounts of water or milk until it reaches a nice melty consistency ideal for dipping.
Pour into a fondue pot and surround with bowls of fruit and cicadas.
Pour the rum over the top and light it on fire with a long match/lighter.
Once the fire burns out, dip in the cicadas and fruit.