Edible Insects Recipe: New Mexican Green Chile Stew with Waxworms
New Take on a Southwestern Classic
May 27, 2018
Jan. 5, 2019
May contain affiliate links.
New Mexicans, such as myself, put green chile in everything. Sometimes it's a bit of a stretch that may be an acquired taste, like sweet hot green chile jelly or green chile wine, and sometimes it's a perfect combo everyone can love; this is the latter. Almost my whole life the soft warmth of green chile stew has been my go-to comfort food, especially on the rare cold desert days. But even your favorite things can always be improved upon, as this classic New Mexican stew is with the addition of juicy waxworms. Usually, green chile stew is made with pork, but I decided to go lower impact. Use vegetable stock if you want this to be entotarian.
Total 2.5 hrs; Active 45 mins; Serves 4
- 1 pound (5) potatoes, cut in 1/2-3/4 inch cubes
- 3 Tablespoons oil; vegetable or extra-virgin olive
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 6 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
- 1 can (16 oz) chopped tomatoes
- 3 cups roasted, peeled, chopped, New Mexican green chile
- 3/4 cup waxworms; quick boiled
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 Teaspoon salt; to taste
- 1 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper; to taste
- 1 Teaspoon oregano; to taste
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (to garnish; optional)
1. Chop Potatoes Roughly chop all of the potatoes into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes. Chop some, approximately the equivalent of one potato, into cubes about half that size or less, so they will dissipate into the stew and thicken it.
2. Boil and Simmer In a very large 6-quart pot, sauté onions over high heat until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant. Add broth, potatoes, tomatoes, chile, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours, until potatoes are tender.
3. Boil Waxworms Euthanize, boil, and roast waxworms, if you haven't already. If you have raised your own waxworms, you will need to euthanize them in the freezer a day ahead of time, then boil for 3-5 minutes to kill any parasites, and drain. The easiest way to boil something small like waxworms is to bring water in a small pot to a rolling boil, then place waxworms in a fine mesh stainless steel strainer, and lower into boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Then, all you need to do it lift the strainer out of the boiling water, and rinse the waxworms, still in the strainer, with cool water.
NOTE: The image below illustrates boiling mealworms, not waxworms, in a fine mesh stainless steel strainer, but the process is the same.
4. Finishing Flavors Add cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, and boiled waxworms, and simmer an additional 10 minutes until flavors are blended, but not so long that herbs lose their aromas. Waxworms are added last because if they are simmered too long they get chewy and small, but added at the end keeps them big, plump, and juicy. Garnish with cilantro if desired, and serve.
NOTE This stew gets its flavor from the soft blend of tastes melded together. It will be just as good a few days later as it is fresh, especially if frozen.
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!