Eating mealworms on Jing Zhe

March 6th is a special day in China. It is 惊蛰 (Jing Zhe) "Awakening of insects". It means that insects are awakened from their winter sleep by the sound of thunder: It's the beginning of spring.

An old tradition of eating insects and pears

The weather gets warmer after winter. Getting a cold or coughing is common during this period. Pears are sweet, juicy and "cold", they moisten the lungs. Therefore, they are recommended during the Jingzhe.

In several parts of China, there is also a tradition of eating insects during Jingzhe. This practice is a custom meant to help avoid pestilence. People sometimes fry rice, wheat or beans instead of eating real insects.

After winter, people are advised to eat food high in proteins, vitamins and anti-oxidants to strengthen their immune system and enhance their health. Therefore eating mealworms and pears is a perfect match for good health, a delicious meal and happiness. Here is a simple but delicious and nutritious recipe with insects for this day.


Roasted mealworms with poached ginger pear

Mealworms are high in proteins, magnesium and iron. These nutrients play an essential role in maintaining and improving our immune system.

The pear is high in vitamin C; a powerful anti-oxidant. Instead of adding sugar, we use orange juice packed with even more vitamin C.

For taste and energy, we add some ginger and cinnamon. Ginger contains gingerol, a substance with powerful medicinal properties used for millennia in Chinese tradition. Cinnamon can help fight against bacterial infections.

Poached pears are tender and sweet, mealworms are crunchy and nutty, ginger and cinnamon are full of spice. 

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe pears
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups of fresh orange juice
  • 1  piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Zest from one orange
  • 25 grams of MicroFoods™ (Roasted mealworms)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients, except pears, in a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Wash, peel and core the pears. 
  3. Place the 4 pears in the saucepan; the pears must be totally covered by the liquid.
  4. Bring to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the liquid when the pears are soft.
  5. Serve on a plate and cover with a spoon of the liquid and roasted mealworms.

As tradition says, invite your family to sit together, munch loudly, while singing out “eat Insects!”