Cricket Powder Recipe: Hummus Pinwheel
Oct. 21, 2018
Jan. 5, 2019
May contain affiliate links.
As wholesomely satisfying as it is, hummus isn’t much more than chickpea puree. For this reason, hummus makes a solid foundation to support the addition of a wide range of ingredients for some real culinary risk-taking, even if you’re not an experienced cook; all you need is a few ingredients, and a blender. The following recipes include four different flavors of hummus you can make: plain, cricket, spicy jalapeno, and balsamic beetroot hummus. In particular, this recipe for cricket hummus is such that the taste is instantly recognizable to anyone who knows the distinct acheta flavor, but if you want to ease into entomophagy incrementally, you can always reduce the amount of cricket powder. If thematicism is your thing, feel free to sprinkle cricket salt, or Merci Mercado sal de gusano on top, and pair with Crickelle, the cricket crackers by Crické. If your style is brash and confrontational, you can always garnish with freeze-dried crickets just before serving, for maximum effect. I like to nestle cricket hummus in a pinwheel of several hummus flavors, to show the versatility of the yummy bean paste. In the hummus pictured, I used cricket powder from Entomo Farms, and garnished it with Original Flavor Hiso Snack Crickets.
Total 1 hour; Serves 12
PLAIN HUMMUS BASE
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 4 teaspoons baking soda (if cooking dry chickpeas)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Juice of 2 large lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling before serving
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 -1/2 cup chickpea water, or ice water
- Dash paprika, or sal de gusano, homemade, or Merci Mercado, or cricket salt; to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cricket powder
- 2 beets; peeled and cubed
- 1 1/5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 large (or 2 small) jalapeño
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1. First we will make a large batch of plain humus, then divide it into several flavors and arrange how you like; different cups if you're in a hurry or will be traveling, a beautiful and attention-grabbing pinwheel if you're ambitious.
2. If you are using canned chickpeas, skip to the next step. If you will be cooking dried chickpeas, rinse them first and remove any debris from the chickpeas. Soak them overnight with enough water to cover them fully, and add 1 teaspoon baking soda to the soak. Baking soda will weaken the beans and make them softer, and easier to cook later. The next day, rinse the chickpeas before cooking, so the baking soda will not affect the flavor. While baking soda makes the beans easier to cook makes for an all-around creamier hummus, some people think baking soda leaves a soapy flavor behind, which can be avoided by rinsing the garbanzos before cooking. After rinsing, boil the chickpeas for approximately ten minutes, then reduce heat to simmer for about one hour, while you prepare the other ingredients.
3. Garlic’s sharp flavor comes from an enzymatic reaction by the enzyme alliinase, which is produced after the cell walls are damaged from cutting, and it can be softened with either heat or acid. If you want to tame your garlic, heat it up in the microwave for 3 minutes before cutting, or put it in the food processor together with the lemon juice and tahini, and puree for at least a minute, until thoroughly mixed. You can also soak the garlic in lemon juice for 10 minutes before combining the three ingredients. If you want to preserve garlic’s bite, puree the tahini and lemon juice alone first for one minute, then add the garlic with the rest of the ingredients.
4. Add garlic to the tahini mixture if you haven’t already, along with olive oil, and cumin. Puree until completely blended; 1-3 minutes.
5. If you cooked your chickpeas, check on them. They will be ready when they are quite tender, maybe losing their shells in the water. Drain them, but reserve some of the liquid in case you need to thin your hummus later. You may remove the shells, if you want extra-creamy hummus. If you are using canned chickpeas, just drain and rinse them. Add chickpeas slowly, stopping to puree mixture from time to time before adding more.
6. When you have added all of the chickpeas, test your hummus for texture and taste. If it is too thick, add some of the chickpea liquid, or ice water if you’re using canned chickpeas, approximately one tablespoon at a time. If your hummus needs a sharp kick, add lemon or garlic. This is now your hummus base. Divide it into four parts, if you will be making each of the four flavors.
7. Add cricket powder to the hummus, mixing thoroughly and adjusting for taste. I recommend about 2 1/2 tablespoons of cricket powder for every cup of hummus, but you're welcome to use more, or less, depending on how distinct you want the cricket flavor to be. Blend thoroughly and transfer to a sealable container, such as a Tupperware container, and refrigerate for at least half an hour to let the flavors blend.
8. Peel 2 beets and cut into cubes, taking care to not make a mess with the beautiful, but hard to wash, purple beet juice. Steam the beets until soft, then put in a blender with 1 1/5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 cup plain hummus. Puree until completely smooth and blended. Transfer to a sealable container, such as a tupperware container, and refrigerate for at least half an hour to let the flavors blend.
9. Chop and remove seeds from 1 large jalapeño, or 2 small ones (depending on how hot you want it to be). Wash 1/2 bunch of cilantro, and roughly chop, leaves and stems. Put in blender with 1 cup of plain hummus, and puree until thoroughly blended, and smooth. Transfer to a sealable container, such as a Tupperware container, and refrigerate for at least half an hour to let the flavors blend.
10. After you have finished all the hummus flavors, it is up to you how you want to serve them. I like to make an eye-catching pinwheel. To do this, I first spoon hummus in fairly rough globs, with distance between the flavors, knowing that they will settle and dissipate a little bit. Then I will add small amounts of each flavor until the desired pinwheel form starts to take shape. Finally, I garnish with some chickpeas, olive oil, and small pieces of steamed beets, jalapeño, cilantro, and cricket, to designate which flavor each hummus has. Serve with pita bread or crackers.
NOTE Cooking your own dried chickpeas (not canned) will be more time-consuming, but will give you more control over the texture of the hummus, allowing it to be much creamier—not to mention lower sodium.
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!