Fried White Ants Recipe from Malawi with Water, Margarine, and Salt

Fried White Ants

Fried White Ants Recipe from Malawi with Water, Margarine, and Salt
Region / culture: Malawi | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 2


Fried White Ants
Fried White Ants

Fried white ants may not be a common dish in many parts of the world, but they are a delicacy in some cultures. These insects are known for their unique flavor and crunchy texture, making them a popular choice for adventurous eaters.


Fried white ants have been consumed for centuries in various parts of the world, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia. In some cultures, they are considered a delicacy and are often served during special occasions or as a treat for guests.


  • 1 cup of day-old white ants (these are large termites, in the winged stage)
  • 0.5 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp of margarine
  • salt to taste

How to prepare

  1. Clean the ants by removing their wings and any foreign matter.
  2. Place the insects in salted water and boil them over high heat until the water has evaporated.
  3. Reduce the heat and add margarine.
  4. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.


  • For a different flavor profile, try adding spices such as chili powder, garlic, or ginger to the ants while cooking. You can also experiment with different cooking methods, such as grilling or roasting.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

When preparing fried white ants, it is important to clean them thoroughly by removing their wings and any foreign matter. Boiling them in salted water helps to enhance their flavor and remove any impurities. Be sure to simmer them gently with margarine to ensure they are cooked through but not overcooked.

Serving Suggestions

Fried white ants can be served as a snack or appetizer, either on their own or with a dipping sauce. They can also be added to salads or stir-fries for a unique twist.

Cooking Techniques

Frying is the most common cooking technique for white ants, but they can also be grilled, roasted, or sautéed for a different texture and flavor.

Ingredient Substitutions

If white ants are not available, you can try using other edible insects such as crickets or grasshoppers as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

Fried white ants are best served fresh, but you can prepare them in advance and reheat them in a skillet or oven just before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve fried white ants in a small bowl or plate, garnished with fresh herbs or a sprinkle of salt. You can also serve them on skewers for a fun and unique presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Fried white ants pair well with cold beer or a crisp white wine. They also go well with tangy sauces or dips.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover fried white ants in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of fried white ants typically contains around 100-150 calories, depending on the portion size.


Fried white ants are low in carbohydrates, making them a suitable option for those following a low-carb diet.


Fried white ants contain a moderate amount of fats, primarily from the margarine used in cooking them.


White ants are a good source of protein, making them a nutritious option for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

White ants are rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and vitamin B12.


White ants are not known to be a common allergen, but individuals with shellfish allergies may want to avoid consuming them.


Overall, fried white ants are a nutritious and protein-rich food option that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


Fried white ants may not be a dish for everyone, but they are a unique and flavorful option for those looking to try something new. With their crunchy texture and nutty flavor, they are sure to be a conversation starter at your next gathering.

How did I get this recipe?

I vividly recall the moment I first laid eyes on this recipe. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village surrounded by lush forests. My grandmother, who was a renowned cook in the village, had invited a group of elders over for a special feast. As I watched her bustling about the kitchen, preparing dish after dish with such skill and precision, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe and admiration.

One of the elders, a wise old man with a twinkle in his eye, approached me as I sat quietly in a corner. "Would you like to learn a secret recipe, young one?" he asked, his voice low and conspiratorial. I nodded eagerly, my curiosity piqued. He leaned in closer and whispered, "Fried white ants."

I must admit, I was taken aback at first. White ants? I had never heard of such a dish before. But the old man assured me that it was a delicacy in his village, and that I must learn how to make it if I wanted to become a great cook like my grandmother. Intrigued and excited, I eagerly accepted his offer to teach me the recipe.

The next day, the old man took me deep into the forest, where he showed me how to find the white ants. We searched high and low, climbing trees and digging through the earth until we finally stumbled upon a massive anthill teeming with the little creatures. With a deft hand, the old man scooped up a handful of white ants and placed them in a small woven basket.

Back in the village, I watched as the old man carefully cleaned and prepared the white ants for cooking. He showed me how to remove their wings and legs, leaving only the succulent bodies behind. Then, he seasoned them with a secret blend of spices and herbs, and fried them in a sizzling pan until they were golden brown and crispy.

As the tantalizing aroma of the fried white ants filled the air, the other villagers gathered around, their mouths watering in anticipation. I held my breath as they took their first bite, unsure of what to expect. But to my surprise and delight, they all exclaimed in delight at the delicious taste of the dish.

From that day on, I became known as the village's expert in cooking fried white ants. I would spend hours in the forest, searching for the perfect anthill and carefully collecting the white ants. Back in the kitchen, I would lovingly prepare the dish, following the old man's instructions to the letter.

Over the years, I honed my skills and perfected the recipe, adding my own twist here and there to make it truly my own. I experimented with different spices and seasonings, always striving to create the most mouth-watering dish possible. And with each passing day, my reputation as a master chef grew, as people from far and wide came to taste my famous fried white ants.

But no matter how much recognition I received for my cooking, the true joy came from knowing that I had learned this recipe from a wise old man in the forest, and that I was carrying on a tradition that had been passed down through generations. The simple dish of fried white ants had become a symbol of my connection to the land, to nature, and to the wisdom of those who had come before me.

And so, as I sit here now, in my cozy kitchen surrounded by the laughter and chatter of my family, I can't help but smile as I remember that fateful day when I first learned how to make fried white ants. It was a moment that changed my life forever, and one that I will always cherish and hold dear in my heart.


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