It is Spring time and the stink bugs have been coming out of their hiding spots. Just in the past few days I must have killed a dozen already. As they meet their demise under my shoes or down the toilet, I noticed that they smell very similar to cilantro. This made me wonder if anyone ever made salsa with stinkbugs (a common question I am sure).
A quick internet search revealed that stink bugs can indeed be eaten safely* and they are indeed a good salsa ingredient. Apparently cooking them significantly improves their fragrance and taste. So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and the stinkbug, I thought I would post this salsa recipe made with stinkbugs, just in case any of you are adventurous enough to try it out. If this becomes trendy, it may help reduce the overpopulation of stinkbugs.
20 stinkbugs (give or take a few)
4 small tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
You can collect stinkbugs in your home or neighborhood, but these may be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals so I recommend going out in the woods, away from farms or neighborhoods to collect them. If you aren’t up for stinkbug foraging, they can be purchased online. Of course, you can find them on Amazon , but they are also available elsewhere, such as bizzarefood.com which sells the Korean variety of stinkbugs.
Roast the tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeño in a hot oven or a skillet until they’re charred and softened. While they cool, toast the stinkbugs briefly in the skillet.
Add the stink bugs in a food processor and grind to a fine consistency, then add the peeled garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and tomatoes. Mix to a chunky consistency. If you do not have a food processor, a mortar and pesle will work perfectly fine. Add salt to taste and enjoy with your favorite corn chips or add to your taco.
* Apparently eating “too many” of them may cause upset stomach and abdominal pain but I could not find any evidence that they are poisonous. In fact they are considered a delicacy in some Asian countries, where the stinkbug originate. I am not responsible for any illness you may derive from eating stinkbugs – this is all done at your own risk and enjoyment.