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International insect treats

Tasty insect recipes from Myanmar and Colombia

2021 Available in English

A photo of a cricket and insect salad.

 Cricket and pennywort salad is a popular dish in Myanmar. Photo: Spectrum

Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo clean caterpillars harvested from the trees surrounding their village.

From: Insects – Footsteps 115

Why insects are important and how we can look after and benefit from them

Myanmar: Cricket and pennywort salad


  • 1 bunch Myin khwa ywet (pennywort), or any green leafy vegetable that can be eaten raw
  • 40g sesame seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 25 crickets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 piece ginger, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • ¼ lime


1. Wash and prepare the vegetables:

  • cut or slice the pennywort into small pieces and set aside
  • slice the onion into small pieces
  • cut the tomato into small pieces.

2. Wash the crickets and remove the wings and legs.

3. Heat the oil in the frying pan and fry the onion, ginger and garlic until the onion changes colour.

4. Add the crickets to the frying pan and cook until they are brown and crispy.

5. Place the cut pennywort into a bowl with the tomato pieces, the sesame seeds and a sprinkling of salt. Add the fried crickets and onion and mix well together.

6. Serve sprinkled with lime juice.

This recipe is from the book Everyday insects by Ei Phyu. Published by Spectrum in Myanmar.

Colombia: Hormigas culonas


  • Hormigas culonas (large, leaf-cutter ants)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Butter or lard


1. Gently remove the wings, head and legs from each ant.

2. Soak the ants in salty water for a few minutes.

3. Heat a clay pot or iron pan, lightly greased with butter or lard.

4. Drain the ants and toast them in the pan until they are crispy, stirring constantly so they do not burn.

5. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve.

This is a common way of cooking hormigas culonas in Colombia.

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