Chapulines: Cooked Grasshoppers

Chapulines Mexican grasshoppers recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
95 Calories
1g Fat
19g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 41mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 6g
Calcium 48mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chapulines, or grasshoppers, are delicious when wrapped in a corn tortilla and drenched in chile sauce or on their own as a quick snack. They are very popular in Oaxaca, Mexico, where they are consumed on a daily basis.

Chapulines are very high in protein while being low in fat and have a wonderful crunchy texture when cooked properly. Pan-frying them in a skillet with infused oil is a quick and easy method. Grasshoppers in great abundance are hard to find, and even in Mexico they are only found in certain states. But if you do come across a good chapulines source, you can use this recipe for fantastic results.

Grasshoppers can sometimes contain parasites, so cooking them thoroughly is very important. Removing the wings and legs before cooking is important since they provide an unpleasant texture. Eat them as a crunchy snack with a Mexican beer or serve as a filling for tacos with tortillas and toppings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chapulines (grasshoppers)
  • 1/2 cup oil (for frying)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 serrano chile (seeded and diced)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • Dash salt (or to taste)
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chapulines Mexican grasshoppers
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Pull the wings and legs off of each chapuline (grasshopper). Discard.

    Pull wings and legs off
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Heat the oil in a shallow pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic, chile, and the onion until the onion is translucent.

    Vegetables cooking in oil in a pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. With a slotted spoon, remove and discard the onions, chile, and garlic from the oil, leaving the oil in the pan.

    Vegetables removed from pan with oil remaining
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Sauté the chapulines in the oil until they are brown and crispy.

    Chapulines sauteing in oil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Remove the chapulines and drain them well on paper towels.

    Chapulines draining on paper towels
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Sprinkle salt over the top and then squeeze some lime over them.

    Grasshoppers in a bowl sprinkles with salt
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Enjoy them as a snack or use as a filling for tacos.

    Chapulines in a bowl on a plate with limes and salt
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tip

Chapulines can be tricky to find if you don't live in Mexico. You're likely to have the best luck if you live in the Southwest or have a good Mexican market available. They can also be ordered online.

What Do Chapulines Taste Like?

Chapulines, or grasshoppers, have a mild flavor on their own. Some compare eating fried chapulines to eating fried shrimp. They are crunchy and tend to take on other flavors like garlic, chile, and lime.

Is It Safe To Eat a Grasshopper?

Grasshoppers, known as chapulines in Mexico, are safe to eaten once cooked—cooking helps kill any harmful parasites and bacteria. Grasshoppers can be consumed whole once the legs and wings are removed.

Are Chapulines Good for You?

Chapulines are a healthy choice for meat-eaters since they are low in fat and high in protein. They provide some other essential minerals like zinc and iron, and may help improve gut bacteria.

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  1. Stull VJ, Finer E, Bergmans RS, et al. Impact of edible cricket consumption on gut microbiota in healthy adults, a double-blind, randomized crossover trialSci Rep. 2018;8(1):10762.doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29032-2