“What I do with a tarantula when I’m going to prepare it, the very first thing I do of course is freeze it and defrost it. I don’t want to cook with a live tarantula – that would be a difficult one.
But I also take a sharp knife and I cut off the abdomen, that big round part of the body that’s really full of fluid; that’s pretty much all it is, is fluid. So I take that and I discard it.
And then using either a cigarette lighter or something like that – a crème brule torch – I actually will singe off all the hairs on the tarantula. Usually on the bottom, on the abdomen, there are hairs in particular that the tarantula can shoot – almost like people think about porcupines doing (although that’s a myth). But they can actually release these hairs and they actually create a very itchy sensation if they get lodged in your skin. So singeing off all the hairs is a really good way to prevent that from being an issue.
And then I can take the body, spread the legs out nicely – so you get a nice even spread – drop them into tempura batter, make sure that it’s coated all the way through and then put it into the hot oil and fry it up.
And that’s the basic recipe for tempura-battered tarantula.”
–David George Gordon, a.k.a. The Bug Chef. He is the author of the “Eat-a-Bug” Cookbook.
*Orthoptera is the umbrella name for grasshoppers, crickets, locusts and other bugs
Yield: six servings
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup orzo
1 cup two- or three-week-old cricket nymphs
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup grated carrot
¼ cup finely diced red pepper
¼ cup finely diced green pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Bring broth to a boil, then stir in the orzo.
Continue boiling the pasta until it is tender (about 10 minutes); drain any extra liquid, then quickly add carrot and red and green peppers. Mix evenly and set aside.
In a separate skillet, melt the butter, adding the minced garlic, onions and crickets. Sauté briefly, until the onions are clear and the garlic and crickets have browned.
Combine cricket mixture, including any liquid, with the orzo and vegetables, top with parsley and serve.
From “The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook” by David George Gordon (Ten Speed Press)