Traditional Oaxacan Chapulines Tacos
There aren’t too many people that walk around thinking, I’m in the mood for some good old-fashioned grasshopper tacos, unless you live in Oaxaca, Mexico. These tacos have been a staple in the touristy town of Oaxaca for decades. So, when they appeared on a food show I happened to be watching, then again about a decade later, I thought, I have to try those. They actually looked appealing, decadent, dare I say, appetizing. It never dawned on me to look around my local Mexican markets for these so, I ordered 2 packages online. To my surprise, they were actually great! They remind me of crunchy chicharron and since I ended up with quite a bit more than I would use for the tacos, I saved the second bag for a healthy snack. So, are YOU ready to eat some bugs?
1 tbs vegetable oil
2/3 small yellow onion,diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 oz Chapulines, unseasoned
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 ripe avocados, seeded and skin removed
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
Salt to taste
12 yellow corn tortillas, 2 per taco
1 c queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 c Crema Mexicana
Start by softening up your corn tortillas. You can do this a number of different ways; dropping in a deep fryer in batches of 2 or 3 for a few seconds, in a pan of heated oil on the stove, on a flat top with nonstick cooking spray or on a comal. Wrap them up in clean kitchen towels and set aside.
Next, make your avocado puree by adding the avocado, lime juice and salt to your food processor. Puls until the avocados become smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. During this time, you can transfer the crema to a squirt bottle for easy distribution.
Now it’s time for the pièce de résistance….the grasshoppers. Start off by sautéing the onions and garlic in oil over medium high heat. Cook until translucent and tender. Reduce heat to medium and add the grasshoppers. Toss them around with the onions and garlic a bit. Add remaining seasonings and stir. Allow them to cook for roughly 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Prepare your tacos by taking 2 tortillas per taco, add about 2 tbs avocado to the tortillas, followed by 1 good tbs of the grasshoppers, a sprinkle of queso fresco and a drizzle of the crema. Delish!