Edible Insects Recipe: Red Posole with Waxworms

Jan. 20, 2019
May 5, 2019

May contain affiliate links.

Red posole is usually served at special events like birthdays or other celebrations, but to me, posole is enough for a celebration; you don't need another reason. I split up the Ingredients list into 3 parts: the soup base, the red sauce, and the garnish. You will see some repeat appearances, such as the onion, so make sure to take that into account when gathering all ingredients.

Red Posole with Edible Insects Waxworms

Total: 1.5 hrs; Active: 45 mins; Serves 6


  • 1/2 pound of dried posole or 1 25 oz can (approx 4 cups) white hominy
  • 2 tablespoons oil; vegetable or extra-virgin olive
  • 1/2 onion; chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic; chopped
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt; to taste
  • Pepper; to taste
  • 3/4 cup waxworms; quick boiled


  • 5-10 dried chile peppers: guajillo, ancho, chiles de árbol, or new mexican), or some combination of several
  • 1/4 onion; chopped
  • 1 clove garlic; chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano


  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro; chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 onion; chopped
  • 2 radishes; sliced
  • 2 limes; quartered


Edible Insect Waxworms

Edible waxworms in a measuring cup. Image © Michela Dai Zovi


1. If you have purchased dried posole, you will need to soak it overnight (or at least 8 hours), until it has become somewhat soft and doubled in size. If you will be using canned hominy, all you need to do is drain and rinse it.

2. In a very large 6-quart pot, heat the oil and sauté the 1/2 of a chopped onion over high heat until translucent. Add 6 cloves chopped garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant. Add the pork, and brown it for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add most of the water or broth, reserving one cup for the next step, and the posole or hominy. The soup should be flavorful enough using just water to make pork broth, but you can optionally strengthen the flavor with a little bit of chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, in addition to the pork broth you are making. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Add the bay leaves, then cover.

3. Take your dried chillies and discard the stems. Use whatever combination you want of various kinds of dried red chilies (Guajillo, Ancho, Chiles de árbol, New Mexican, etc.), but keep in mind that Chiles de árbol are very hot and should be used sparingly. Keep the seeds if you want your soup extra spicy, or discard them if not. Put your chillies in a medium pot, with just enough water to cover them, about 1-2 cups. You may use broth from the simmering pork, if you wish. Boil them for about 15-30 minutes, until soft. When the chilies have softened, turn off the heat and allow them to cool just enough to not damage your blender, and pour the chilli water mixture in the blender. Add onions, garlic, and oregano, and puree until smooth.

4. For a smooth posole, add your red sauce to the pork broth by pouring it through a fine mesh stainless steel strainer, to remove leftover chile skins and onions bits, but still preserve the flavor. If you are okay with a bit of a chunkier posole, and if your red sauce is nice and smooth, without large chunks of chile skin, you can just add it straight. Stir and taste the broth from time to time, to make sure you aren't making it too spicy. You can also strain the red sauce into a separate container, add most of it to the simmering broth, and then serve the rest of the red sauce on the side, in case people want to make their posole hotter.

NOTE: The image below illustrates boiling mealworms, not waxworms, in a fine mesh stainless steel strainer, but the process is the same.

Boiling Mealworms

5. While the soup is simmering, euthanize, and 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. Set your waxworms aside.

6. Simmer until the pork is very soft; this should take around 1 hour in total. When you think it is almost done, adjust the salt and pepper to taste, and add the waxworms. Stir, and continue to simmer just long enough for the waxworms to warm up (if they had time to cool). 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 fresh cilantro, chopped onions, radish slices, lime wedges, and serve.

Red Posole with Edible Insects Waxworms

Red Posole with Waxworms. Image © Michela Dai Zovi

This entomophagy recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare edible insects and safely eat a bug. Text may include affiliate links

Meet Mic

I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!

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