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Caterpillars and cockroaches crawl into the frying pan

Published:Thursday | April 15, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Hope you're still hungry for insects as we have some more creepy-crawlies to munch on. Just forget your personal biases and notions of what is palatable. In many parts of the world, people eat many things that would make us puke. That is life. Here in the Caribbean, we eat some things that are frowned on too, like the cod of the bull (cow cod soup) and black pudding made from the blood of animals.

This week, caterpillars and cockroaches step into the frying pan.

Caterpillars are a popular food source because they are common over most of the world. They can be eaten raw, fried, baked or even dried and stored for use at a later date. Bemba women (in Botswana) collect honey and insects like caterpillars which they use as ingredients in many dishes. Here is a simple recipe for caterpillars.


In salted water boil until tender a pound of fresh, dried, or smoked caterpillars. In a separate pot, boil greens (spinach or similar) until fully cooked. Add hot peppers, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste. Serve the caterpillars over a bed of greens.

Phane Stew

Phane Stew is a stew of dried mopane worms (caterpillars of the emperor moth that lives in most of southern Africa), cooked with onions and bell peppers. Add a tomato sauce that contains hot chillies and home-made curry powder.


200 gm dried mopane worms

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 green bell peppers, sliced

6 medium tomatoes, diced

1 tbs. curry powder

1 chilli pepper, seeded and finely chopped

500 ml water


Wash the dried caterpillars and pat dry.

Place in pot with spring water to cover and boil with a pinch of salt for 30 minutes to plump.

Drain the pot of water and add all remaining ingredients.

Bring mixture to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to a simmer; cook for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with ugali (a starchy, porridge-like dish). Yum!

Cockroaches are probably the last things you wish to see in your kitchen. They often serve as an indictment on the cleanliness of the place. But in some abodes, they belong in the kitchen because they are part of the meal. Here's a simple recipe for the critters.


Simmer cockroaches in vinegar then boil with butter, farina flour, pepper and salt to make a paste. Spread on buttered bread.

Stir Fried Cockroach


4 or 5 cockroaches (recently frozen)

1 onion

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 tbs salt

1 tbs corn starch

4 tbs cooking oil

2 cups rice


1. Remove and discard the solid wing covering flaps and all legs of the cockroach.

2. Put the whole cockroaches into a pot of boiling oil and quickly fry for 15 seconds.

3. Heat a wok until hot. Add four spoons of oil and put all vegetables into it to stir fry for three minutes.

4. Put the half cooked cockroaches in to the wok and add salt and corn starch.

5. Serve on or with a bed of white rice.

Information sourced from: http://hubpages.com, /www.mnsu.edu, http://recipes.wikia.com, www.onlyinternet.net and www.bbc.co.uk