Here’s the second instalment of our series on the humble mealworm, this time focussing on how they can be used in food, using various mealworm recipes as examples.
I won’t go into the nutritional benefits these wonderful little beetle larvae have to offer (that’s for the next episode), but will dip into our collection of mealworm recipes from across the web to give you a flavour of their versatility as an ingredient.
Thanks to their naturally nutty flavour, mealworms can be used in a variety of dishes, be they savoury or sweet.
Many insects are said to have this kind of nuttiness, but they often come with other flavours, too. For example, crickets are also said to be slightly nutty, but I find that they have more of a Shiitake mushroom vibe so lend themselves to savoury foods better than to sweet.
Remember that over 2,000 edible insect species have been identified so far, so trying to generalise “insect flavour” is pretty much impossible — it’s a bit like saying beef, pork, lamb and venison all taste the same just because they’re all mammals. Their flavours are affected by many, many factors, including what they eat, where they live, their nutritional composition, whether they contain any special chemical compounds, etc.
Before we get to mealworms, and while we’re still on the variety of flavours insects have to offer, here are a few more examples of what people say insects taste like (not all verified… yet):
Savoury Mealworm Recipes
So now on to mealworms. The examples below are of savoury dishes using these tasty Tenebrios in some way. Most are quite simple to make (at least with my limited culinary skills). Use the little green squares to navigate…
Sweet Mealworm Recipes
Now for the sweet! Even though mealworms can be used in either savoury or sweet dishes, you’ll find an many more mealworm recipes from the savoury category floating around on the web, but here are a few examples of the sweeter variety.