How to Cook “Bug Burgers” You'll Actually Want to Eat
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How to Cook “Bug Burgers” You'll Actually Want to Eat

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By Mike Chino and Space10
Bugs. They're what's for dinner, according to IKEA's SPACE10 innovation lab.

Are you ready for the future of food? IKEA's research and design lab SPACE10 just launched Future Food Today—a new cookbook that explores alternative ways to eat for a more sustainable tomorrow. The recipes range from fresh takes on classic fare (like mushroom ramen and non-avocado toast) to more adventurous entrées (think: dogless hotdogs, algae chips, and "surprise sides")—and they look delicious. Read on to learn how to make bug burgers in an excerpt from Future Food Today, which is now available for pre-order.

Future Fast Food: The Bug Burger

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We appreciate that in many parts of the world eating insects isn’t for the faint of heart. But don’t be bugged out—one bite, and we think you’ll be crawling back for more. Our version of the classic burger will leave you more fulfilled, not only because of its ingredients—beet and berry ketchup, hello!—but also because you just saved 2,000 liters of water by going meat-free.

Mealworm Patty: 

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200 g Potatoes 

800 g Beetroot 

200 g Parsnips 

50 g Mealworms 

15 g Dried, blended shiitake mushrooms (1)

1/2 tsp Salt 

4 tbsp Clear rapeseed oil 

20 g Psyllium husk (2)

20 g Wheat flour 

(1) If you can’t find these, you can substitute them with any other type of dried mushrooms—or use 30 g of finely chopped, fresh shiitake instead. 

(2) You can find this at your local health-food store. Alternatively, substitute it with 20g of day-old breadcrumbs. 

Step 1: 

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Preheat the oven to 160°C. Put the potatoes, beetroots and parsnips on a baking tray, cover with foil and roast for about 1.5 hours or until the vegetables are completely tender. Let cool, then cut into bite-sized chunks.

Step 2: 

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Fry the mealworms and shiitake mushrooms in a pan with the salt and oil at medium heat until they’re well browned. Let them cool.

Step 3: 

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Mix the mealworms, roasted vegetables and rapeseed oil together. Pass through a meat grinder. Once it’s all minced, add the psyllium husk and mix well.

Step 4: 

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Shape patties of about 100 g and lightly coat them in the wheat flour. Heat a bit of oil in a pan until it’s very hot, then add the patties. Fry for 5–7 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper.

Buns:

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400 ml Lukewarm water 

 14 g Fresh yeast 

 2 tbsp Malt syrup (3)

140 ml Beer

140 g Wheat flour 

400 g Manitoba flour 

14 g Salt

3 tbsp Clear rapeseed oil

(3) If you can’t find malt syrup, use molasses or honey instead.

Step 1:

Mix the lukewarm water, yeast, syrup and beer in a large bowl.

Step 2:

Add the flour and mix well. Add the salt and oil and knead at high intensity until the dough has an elastic consistency and is completely firm and smooth.

Step 3:

Divide the dough into 80g portions and place them in oven-proof round forms. Let rise for 1 hour at room temperature. When time’s nearly up, preheat the oven to 220°C.

Step 4:

Bake at 220°C for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 150°C and bake for another 10 minutes.

Beet and Berry Ketchup:

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500 g Beetroots, peeled and chopped into small chunks 

200 g Blackcurrant

250 ml Water

2 Sticks liquorice root 

2 tbsp Malt syrup 

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the beetroots in an even layer on a baking tray. Add the blackcurrant, water, liquorice root and malt syrup and toss well.

Step 2:

Bake for 1.5–1.75 hours, or until the beetroots are completely tender and the liquid is caramelized. (It should be syrup-thick.)

Step 3:

Remove the liquorice root and blend the beetroots until smooth, preferably using a hand blender. Adjust the consistency with any liquid that’s left on your tray or some fresh water. Your ketchup will last about a week in the fridge.

How to Serve:

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Step 1:

Split the buns in half. Warm them up alongside the patties in the oven. Spread a nice layer of beet and berry ketchup on both halves of the bun.

Step 2:

Lay a good handful of salad on the bottom bun, then put the patty on top.

Step 3:

Spread a spoonful of relish on top of the patty. Close your burger with the other bun half. It’s ready!

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Future Food Today
Future Food Today
A collection of delicious and sustainable recipes from our Test Kitchen that help us eat better—for ourselves and the planet. From the text: "In the following pages, you’ll find recipes meant to feed a crowd.