How To Cook Mopane Worms

How To Cook Mopane Worms

If you are an adventure-seeker or a foodie who loves to try out new and exotic dishes, then you should definitely try cooking mopane worms at least once in your life. Mopane worms are a traditional African delicacy that have been consumed for centuries. These worms are the caterpillar of the Emperor Moth and can be found mainly in Southern Africa. They are usually sold dried or smoked and can be cooked in a variety of ways. In this article, we will take you through the steps on how to cook mopane worms.

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  1. Ingredients
  2. Preparation
    1. Step 1: Re-hydrating the worms
    2. Step 2: Preparing the frying pan
    3. Step 3: Cooking the mopane worms
    4. Step 4: Serving the dish
  3. Tips and tricks


Before we dive into the instructions, let’s first take a look at the ingredients you will need for this dish:

  • Dried mopane worms
  • Oil or Marge
  • Onion (finely chopped)
  • Tomato (finely chopped)
  • Garlic (finely chopped)
  • Salt
  • Chilli flakes or Powder
  • Water


Once you have all the ingredients ready, follow these steps to prepare the mopane worms:

Step 1: Re-hydrating the worms

Place the dried mopane worms in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave them to soak for at least 15 minutes, or until they are soft and pliable. Once they are re-hydrated, drain them in a colander and pat them dry with paper towels.

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Step 2: Preparing the frying pan

Place a frying pan over medium heat and add oil or marge to it. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan and stir for a minute, or until they start to turn golden.

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Step 3: Cooking the mopane worms

Add the re-hydrated mopane worms to the frying pan and stir until they are coated with the oil and onion mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to release their juices. Add salt and chilli flakes or powder to taste. Pour in a small amount of water to the pan, just enough to create some gravy, cover the frying pan with a lid and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Serving the dish

Your mopane worms are now ready to be served! They are typically eaten as a side dish and can be enjoyed with pap or bread.

Tips and tricks

  • Store dried mopane worms in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place.
  • When re-hydrating mopane worms, be sure not to over-soak them, or they will become soggy and lose their texture.
  • It is recommended to cook mopane worms with onions, garlic, and tomatoes to give them more flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of chilli flakes or powder based on your heat preference.
  • Mopane worms can also be grilled or roasted over a fire.
  • Take care when handling the worms as they can be brittle and prone to breakage.

Cooking mopane worms may not be for everyone, but they are definitely worth a try for anyone who enjoys trying new and exotic cuisines. Follow these simple steps, and you may find yourself adding this traditional African delicacy to your list of favorite foods.

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