SHREVEPORT, LA - Louisiana could be seeing swarms of Cicadas this summer. These bugs are expected to move into the region later this spring. Experts say as many as one trillion Cicadas will descend on the U.S. this year. So what does a good Louisiana resident do about this? We find ways to eat them.

Can You Eat Cicadas?

The answer is yes. These bugs are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. They don't need too much prep work, either. All you have to do is pan fry them, parboil them or toast them in the oven. But you can get even more creative and make some special dishes. You could try putting them in gumbo, tacos, pizza or even etouffee. But some just eat them stir fried over rice. The Food Network says cicadas are crunchy and you might not like how they look in one of your favorite dishes.

You also have to clean them properly. They can carry pathogenic microorganisms on them. You should treat them like chicken when handling them in the kitchen says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, a nutrition consultant for Food Network. “First, purchase them from a reputable vendor.” She does not advise you to try to catch them yourself. She adds: “As with any raw food, they're more hazardous to eat raw versus cooked. Cooking can destroy pathogenic microorganisms.”

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What Do Cicadas Taste Like?

Amidor says “they have a nutty flavor and shrimp-like quality. They can be cooked like you would cook seafood. You can sauté them or deep fry them. Use olive oil and your favorite seasonings. You can use them in soups, cupcakes and cocktails.”

Cicadas do have mercury in them, so pregnant women should steer clear of them. And folks with shellfish allergies should also avoid cicadas.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about cicadas.

You Can Find Many Recipes Online

How to Catch Cicadas To Cook?

If you can't find a vendor who sells them, you can try to catch them yourself. Your best chance is a wooded area. Stay away from lawns that are well maintained, because they might have chemicals absorbed into the lawn.

You want cicadas just out of their shells. So you will need to watch for them to climb on trees and begin to molt out of their hard shells. That's when you can grab them with your hands or some sort of net.
It's best to blanch them in boiling water for one minute and put them into zip lock bags in the freezer for use later.

What Are Some of the Favorite Cicada Recipes?

There is actually a cookbook featuring cicadas. Some of the more popular recipes in Cooking with Cicadas by R. Scott Frothingham includes Frittata, Pasta a la Cicada, Cicada Curry, Cicada Tacos, Cicada Pad Thai and Caramel Cicada Crunch.
I have also seen recipes for soft shell cicadas, stir fried cicadas and cicada gumbo.

Cicadas are a popular dish in many countries from Thailand to Mexico. They are also quite popular in northern Africa. ESPN is even reporting the Seattle Mariners are selling toasted gluten-free grasshoppers tossed in chili-lime salt. Will cicadas be next?

Here's Where We Will See Most of the Cicadas This Year:

Basic Stir Fried Cicada Recipe


1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3/4 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup chopped cauliflower and/or broccoli
1 can water chestnuts
3/4 cup bean sprouts
3/4 cup snow peas
40 blanched newly hatched cicadas


Capture cicadas at night as they emerge from the ground.
Blanche for 1 minute in boiling water. They can now be stored in freezer or used immediately in recipes.
In a wok or other suitable pan, heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add ingredients in the order listed above when those in the most recent addition are partially cooked. Serve over whole-grain rice and add soy sauce to taste

Bon Appetite!!

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