Edible Insects Recipe: Cricket Powder Risotto
Slow Simmer Umami Goodness
June 3, 2018
Jan. 5, 2019
May contain affiliate links.
When pressed for comparisons, most entomophagists—myself included—describe crickets as similar in taste to mushrooms, for the earthiness, and umami flavor profile that they both share. This is ridiculous, of course. Mushrooms don't taste like crickets, mushrooms taste like mushrooms, and crickets taste like themselves—something people realize, after they've eaten them a few times, and recognize the flavor. This distinction is made more palpable by putting crickets and mushrooms together in this slow-simmered risotto. When a delicious and juicy mushroom finds its way into your mouthful, you'll know it! In the risotto pictured, I used cricket powder from Entomo Farms.
Total 1hr; Serves 4
- 4 cups water
- 5 tablespoons cricket powder
- 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion or shallot, finely chopped
- 4 cups (about 3/4 pounds) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or sage, chopped
- 3/4 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino-romano
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or chives
1. In a medium pan, make a mild cricket broth by bringing 4 cups water, 5 tablespoons cricket powder, and salt, to boil, then reduce heat immediately and simmer on medium, stirring occasionally. If foam rises to top, skim off and discard.
2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add onions or shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned. Add rice, stirring immediately so rice is completely coated in oil. When rice has taken on a golden color, add garlic, thyme or sage, and mushrooms. Sauté briefly, stirring occasionally, until liquid has nearly evaporated. Pour wine into pan with rice, and stir until liquid is bubbled away and wine is fully absorbed.
3. Cricket broth tends to separate, much like miso soup, so you may need to stir cricket broth in its pot before adding to risotto. Stir cricket broth with a ladle, and add to rice approximately one ladle at a time, adding only after rice has absorbed previous addition. Stir the risotto continuously, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle bubble, until the liquid is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. The rice should be a little tender and the mixture should be thick and creamy, not liquid. The most important part here is the texture of the rice—you can always make more broth if you need it, or discard some, but you can't un-cook burned or soupy rice.
4. Add peas, if using. Add butter, and most of the cheese, setting some cheese aside for garnish. Mix thoroughly, until cheese is melted and evenly distributed. Remove from heat and garnish with some remaining grated cheese or with fresh parsley or, if desired. Serve immediately.
This 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!