Eating Cicadas

Every seventeen years, cicadas emerge in certain parts of North America. While most people do their best to avoid these odd-looking insects, others seek them out. We met up with James Beard nominated chef Bun Lai of Miya's Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut, who cooks and eats cicadas, to learn more about them and try them for ourselves.

Is it crazy to eat cicadas?

Not at all. In fact, people all over the world have been eating cicadas for years. North America is the only continent where the cicadas only appear every seventeen years. In some places they are on shorter live cycles, or even come out annually. It is quite common, especially in parts of Africa and Asia, to eat cicadas.

But why?

Why not? According to chef Bun Lai, not only are cicadas delicious, but they are also more nutritious than any livestock or seafood we could eat. In general, eating insects is also a more sustainable way of eating that people like Bun hope will catch on.

How do you prepare them?

There are countless ways to eat cicadas, however chef Bun Lai recommends always eating them cooked, not raw. He prepared them by first tossing them in a marinade made of lime juice, chili pepper, and a seaweed stock. Then he smoked the cicadas with apple wood and dehydrated them.

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