Edible Insects Recipe: Kosher-ish Cricket Kugel
Are crickets kosher? Depends on which rabbi you ask!
Aug. 19, 2018
May 5, 2019
May contain affiliate links.
One of the lesser-known dietary parameters specified in the Torah is that observant Jews are forbidden from eating insects— but there are exceptions. Leviticus 11:21-22 specifies that it is permissible to eat, "every winged swarming thing that goes upon four, which have legs above their feet to leap with upon the earth", and then specifically mentions the locust, salam, ḥargol, ḥagav, as permissible, edible, kosher insects. Where people get into disagreement is, no one is quite sure anymore exactly what the salam, ḥargol, ḥagav actually are. That passage is usually translated as referring to locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers, but there is not a unanimous agreement on this translation. Some people say crickets are correctly included, because they certainly have legs above their feet with which they leap upon the earth, but others may retort that Leviticus can't possible refer to crickets, because in the wild crickets tend not to swarm. That is why I describe this Kugel as "kosher-ish"; it is made with Bugsolutely cricket pasta, and has an optional addition of sautéed crickets—which may or may not be kosher, depending on which rabbi you ask. This dish was inspired by Rabbi Ari Zivotofsky and Dr. Ari Greenspan, and their famous Mesora Dinners of unusual kosher food.
Time 1 hour; Serves 6
- 4 oz cricket pasta, such as Bugsolutely
- 1/2 cup crickets (optional)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for casserole dish
- 1/2 large yellow onion; chopped
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cups (6 oz/200 g) sour cream
- 3/4 cups (6 oz/200 g) cottage cheese
- Kosher salt; to taste
- Pepper; to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- 2 stalks green onions; chopped (optional)
1.Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C. In a medium pot of salted water, boil your cricket pasta as you would any other pasta, but stop when it is slightly al dente, then drain and set aside. In another pot, boil your crickets (if you will be adding them) in a covered container for 5 minutes, then drain.
2.Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and use it to sauté crickets (if using), onions, and garlic. In a large mixing bowl, beat two eggs together. Then add sour cream, cottage cheese, 3 tablespoons of butter, and set it aside.
3. Pour the drained noodles, and the sautéd ingredients, into the cream and egg mixture. Thoroughly combine, add salt and pepper to taste, and then pour it into the casserole dish. Bake until just barely browned, about 35-40 minutes. You want the noodles to be a little crispy on top, but not too hard.
4. To give your kugel some extra zing, when it is almost done baking, remove it just enough to sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese and chives all over the top, and then return it to the oven for a few more minutes. Serve hot.
TIP: To make your kugel super delicious, put about a half a stick of butter in the pan and let it melt as the oven preheats. just be careful you don't burn yourself when you pour the mixture into a hot pan!
NOTE: It is advisable to only consume insects that are meant to be consumed by people, such as those sold by reputable edible insect suppliers (ie not pet food). Edible crickets such as those featured here can be purchased online from many suppliers, which can be found in the Resources section of this site.
This entomophagy recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare and safely eat insects. Text may include affiliate links
I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!