Saturday, January 26, 2013

What's for dinner: Zimbabwe's mopane worms!

I read an interesting stomach-turning diet coverage by Associated Press' Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi. The writer wrote about people consuming worms, or to be exact, caterpillars. But like what people say - one's cure is other's poison. so, let's not pass the verdict indiscriminately.

That's for today's dinner. Wikipedia photo

Pretty big guy!
Mopane worms are large edible caterpillar found in much of Africa.

A mopane worm hatches and as it grows, it sheds skin 4 times in its five larval stages, after which the mopane worm is considered most suitable for harvesting.

Otherwise it goes into pupal stage and transforms into giant moth, commonly called emperor moth due to it size.

The worms can be eaten dry, as crunchy as potato chips, or cooked and drenched in sauce to enhance the taste.

You may want to try your hands on these:

During harvest season, the compounds are covered with thousands of worms, laid out to dry in the hot sun. AP photo through

Nutritional value

Mopane worms are high in healthy nutrients and contain 3 times the amount of protein as beef. Eating worms is less taxing on the environment than consuming beef because it takes far fewer leaves to produce worms than it does feed to produce the same amount of beef.

Dried mopane worms have even been exported to other countries and can be found in African restaurants in Paris.

A useful recipe

This is a recipe that AP says "is one of the tastiest":

Ingredients (Mopane Worms for 4 persons):
500 grams dried mopane worms; three tomatoes, diced or 1 can of tomatoes; two onions, diced; 1/2 teaspoon turmeric; three fresh green chilies, finely chopped; three cloves of garlic, finely chopped; tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped.

Cooking it:
Soak dried worms in water for 3-4 hours to reconstitute. Fry onions in groundnut oil on medium heat until translucent. Add turmeric, chilies, garlic and ginger. Fry for about five minutes. Add tomatoes and cook on low for about 20 minutes until spices are well blended. Add drained worms and cook until they have softened a bit but still are a little crunchy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with pap, called sadza in Zimbabwe.

This article was derived from AP


Adam said...

I'd pass

gunsirit said...

I would prefer the local "butod" than this hehe..

tehr said...

wah, emang betul2 besar tu
tapi aku tak sedia untuk makan ni

de engineur said...

it's a 'different stroke for different folk'

i read somewhere that in the Philippines, there is this large worm (like Hokkien noodle) that is a hit to some local pupulation

Belle Edwin said...


David Manyaka said...

Mopani worms are very nice food