Great cinema or head cinema?

Insect burger

We have already experimented a lot with replacing meat with vegetables or alternative protein sources like mushrooms. Insects have only made it into our granola bar so far, though. As described there, despite promising statistics, saving the world through insects is questionable, but venturing into foreign worlds of taste is always a win. Steffi from our Munich Food Lab used the still unusual ingredient for an unusually delicious burger.

Patty party

After my recipe experiments, I wonder why we still don’t eat insects. This question is not new at all, already in 1885 it was said: Why Not Eat Insects?

And indeed, cockchafer soup was served in the 19. and early 20th century also eaten in this country, which, by the way, is said to taste like crayfish soup. May beetles were available in large quantities and rather a nuisance, eating them then even the solution to a problem!

If you are now in the mood for new taste experiences, you should start right away with the…

Three B – Buffalo Bug Burger

Our juicy insect burger is made with buffalo worms (the larva of the buffalo beetle, which is a storage pest and likes to feed on flour and other grain products) and mealworms, crickets or grasshoppers, ground up as part of the breading.
By the way, you can get them easily on the Internet, e.g. here.

The roasting process already smells promisingly of oats, even slightly of hemp seeds. So actually not bad and pleasantly different. I first tasted some insects pure after roasting (at 120 °C, 17 minutes):

  • Flour worm: tastes nutty, like wheat and is airy-crunchy. Can actually snack well.
  • Grasshopper: I already had a queasy feeling and respect for the large body in advance. Legs and wings must be removed, tastes like grasses and a bit strangely bitter in the finish.
  • Cricket: remove the wings and legs, crispy, not as intense and tastier than the grasshopper.
The insects in size comparison

The decision fell on the pleasant, nutty smelling buffalo worm flour, as the main ingredient for the patty. As well as roasted and ground mealworms as part of the breading.

In order not to completely mask the flavor of the insects, I refrained from strong seasoning, onion rings, cheese, too many herbs, etc. Besides the buffalo worm flour, the main ingredients are black chickpeas and tofu nature. Alternatively, light chickpeas can be used. The black pea is somewhat firmer in consistency and therefore must be soaked long enough. The mass is relatively heavy, requires a powerful food processor, but is very easy to shape and process. It is best to portion and pound the portion two to three times on the kitchen table and then shape it into the patty.

Recipe burger patty

6 piece


  • 100 g buffalo worm flour
  • 200 g chickpeas black (soak overnight and cook for at least 2 ½ h).
  • 200 g tofu nature
  • 90 g beet (juiciness and color)
  • 4 Medjool dates
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40 g herbs (dill and tarragon)
  • 5 g cumin
  • 5 g salt
  • 3 g smoked paprika powder
  • 3 g chili flakes
  • 20 g goose fat (to make the whole thing a bit juicier, alternatively browned butter, or coconut flour)


Add dates and garlic to blender. Chop up all the other ingredients a bit, add them and blend until evenly combined. Divide into 170 g portions and beat and shape vigorously two-three times on the kitchen table.

Tip: To enrich the consistency with a little more texture, I recommend the following in the preparation: 70 g cashews soaked for 30 minutes, stir in coarsely chopped. Plus a hefty squeeze of lemon juice with zest.

This will be an insect burger patty
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 10 g mealworms (mortared)
  • 50 g panko
  • 5 g ground and roasted sesame seeds

Brush patty with the egg and cream mixture and roll in the panko mealworm flour. Heat some clarified butter in a coated pan and fry on both sides until golden brown.

Head cinema already turned on?
  • 125 ml mayonnaise
  • 3 cucumbers (cut into small cubes “Brunoise”)
  • 1 tsp capers (chopped)
  • 1 tsp coarse farmer mustard
  • ¼ shallots (Brunoise)

Cut the cucumber and shallot into brunoise, chop the capers. Mix with mayonnaise and mustard, provide and season to taste.

Fennel Red Cabbage Slaw
  • 100 g red cabbage
  • 100g fennel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp pear vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper

Slice red cabbage and fennel as thinly as possible on an Asia slicer. Add all other ingredients and fold in. Season with lemon, salt & pepper.

The bun for our insect burger: buy or make it yourself:

Burger Bun

Stand mixer with dough hook

  • 100 g warm milk
  • 10 g water
  • 7 g fresh yeast
  • 35 g honey
  • 230 g wheat flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 eggs
  • 80 g butter
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 3 g salt


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cream

Tip: The rest of the coating can be used to coat the burger patties.


Add the yeast and honey to the warm milk, mix well and dissolve. Place flour in a mixing bowl, gradually stir in the milk-yeast mixture and water (stand mixer recommended). Add the egg, egg yolk, turmeric and salt and mix. Gradually add the butter in flakes and knead for 10 minutes. If the dough is too liquid, mix with a little more flour. On a floured work surface, fold the dough on all sides toward the center, then shape into a large ball. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should double in size.

Portion the dough into 120 g portions and again fold each portion to the center from all sides and shape into balls. Let rise for another 2 h. Preheat the oven to 200 °C convection oven. Brush the burger buns with the egg and cream mixture and bake at 200 °C for 5 minutes, then reduce to 170 °C and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it?

My conclusion:

The composition is simply delicious, but has a ‘very slight’ indefinable aftertaste. A blind tasting with friends would be exciting! For me, the previous insect tasting, definitely influenced the burger enjoyment. Great cinema but with head cinema. The insect burger fills you up well and a side dish is not necessary. Have fun with the re-cooking!