Last week, our house helper was clearing some brush in front of our house when she found a beehive! Since eating larvae of ants, wasps, and bees is common in Laos, she brought this in for us to eat. I asked her how to cook it, but didn’t really understand her answer. I thought that you fried larvae, but she said no, these are too small and soft for that. She said that Lao people often steam them, but I don’t have a steamer. She also said you can bake them, so that’s what I ended up doing. She mentioned something about washing something, but I didn’t quite catch it. Maybe she was describing how to get the larvae out of the comb.
Here are a couple articles I found when I was trying to figure out what to do:
Value-added Products from Beekeeping (see 8.3.3 – as food) – This one is written for beekeepers, so it includes a lot of technical information.
First we ate the part above. It is the honeycomb part. We just broke off pieces, chewed out the honey, and spit out the wax. This part was easy.
Then I baked the larvae part of the comb in the oven. I should have wrapped it in something to keep it from drying out, but I didn’t. When it was done, the larvae were solid white and we ate them with a fork, dipping them in soy sauce. The wax got in the way though and I wish I had known how to get the larvae out of the comb before baking so that wouldn’t have been so waxy.