OUTDOOR BASICS

Eating Scorpions: Is It Really Safe?

girl eating scorpions on a stick
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Have you ever wondered what it is like to eat scorpions? Is it delicious? And can you eat scorpions? It is widely known that a scorpion is one of the deadliest animals in the world; its venom can easily kill a human. So is it really possible that eating scorpions can be safe?

In this article we are going to take a look at some of the safest ways to eat a scorpion, especially if you are camping out in the wilderness.

Is It Safe to Eat a Scorpion?

There are around 25 species that are able to kill a human being. However, scorpions are known to be a delicacy in Beijing, China. There are many ways that people cook them over there and during that process the poison becomes harmless.

Chinese delicacy scorpions

Therefore, eating a scorpion should be done only in the established places where it is guaranteed that the chef knows how to cook them properly.

But what happens when you need to survive in the wilderness where eating scorpions is an option and where you can eat them? You should never try to catch a scorpion by yourself if you are unexperienced and unable to cut or cook them properly.

How to Catch a Scorpion?

Scorpions can be found almost everywhere around the world, and if you find yourself in need of food, then you might consider going on the hunt. Here are a few ideas:

  • Try to find a black light if you can. That is because they glow fluorescent under UV light and you probably can find the black light flashlights for $10 in a nearby store. Why scorpions glow like that under UV light? That is probably because they contain protein under their exoskeletons. This can come in handy and you can bring the flashlights as part of your traveling gear.
  • Also do not forget to wear sneakers or closed shoes because you do not want to hurt yourself during the process of hunting.
  • If you spot a scorpion under black light, you can catch it with a stick and glass jar. You can wrap one end of the stick with masking tape and then catch a scorpion with it before pushing the scorpion into the jar. There are also many designed traps that you can purchase and which you can place in the places that scorpions frequent.
  • You can also try using a damp fabric because scorpions love hiding under wet things and absorbing the water.
  • It might be better to secure a scorpion with a stick and kill it as fast as possible so he does not run away or sting you in the process.
  • However, if you find yourself in the wilderness without any jars or traps, you can try to catch a scorpion with two sticks and kill it before cutting off the venomous tail. As long as you are careful, there should not be any problems.

using black light so catch a scorpion

How to Eat a Scorpion in the Wilderness

If you need to survive in the wilderness, it is of upmost importance to find a protein food source to keep you alive. Scorpions can be such a source, and all you need to do is flip over rocks because scorpions like to spend time there.

Scorpions are venomous because they have the stinger on their tails, so you should be careful when it comes to handling them after you catch them. The venom is basically a protein which can cause severe allergic reactions, sometimes even death.

scorpion near some rocks

In China they are popular street food, sold on sticks with their stingers on. However, it is better to be safe than sorry so make sure to remove the tip of the tail. Here’s a simple guide on how to cook a scorpion:

  1. Catch the scorpion with a stick or any other tool that would prevent you from touching the tail with your hands.
  2. Cooking the scorpion denatures the venom; however, it is better to remove the tip of the tail just to be sure.
  3. Cut the scorpion’s venom sack off with a knife, it should pop right off.
  4. Since bugs and insects carry parasites that means that you can get internal worms from eating them alive; therefore, cooking them is a must!
  5. Smash the scorpion on his head and put him out of misery.
  6. Put the scorpion on a stick by pulling the stick through its head until the whole body is secured on it.
  7. Put the stick above the coals but not too close.
  8. It is the same process as roasting marshmallows on fire.
  9. Cook evenly so the whole scorpion can get roasted properly, but do not burn off the legs.
  10. When juices start to come out and legs turn white, it means that it is almost done.
  11. After the scorpion is cooked, you can feel free to eat the legs and the tail because they are meaty. Do not worry about the exoskeleton, it is easy to eat.

scorpions on sticks

Scorpions can also be put in a soup, and the ingredients depend on your preference. The process is the same as when you roast them – cut off the venomous sack first.

  1. Heat the oil in a bowl or pan.
  2. Put the scorpions in and stir-fry them for one minute.
  3. Add the additional ingredients such as garlic, salt, pepper (if you have them).
  4. Simmer on a low heat for at least 40 minutes.
  5. When finished, you can enjoy a soup with scorpions.

Final Thoughts

Scorpions are a great choice if you find yourself in a desert or any place where you need to find a food source as fast as possible.

They usually hide under rocks and if you handle them carefully, you can enjoy a meaty meal.

carefully holding a scorpion

Scorpions taste like crabs and shrimps, and as long as you cook them properly thus destroy any risk of getting parasites, you are good to go.

The stinger on a scorpion’s tail is venomous, but it becomes harmless when cooked. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry and remove that tip beforehand. After that you can roast the scorpion over the coals or put them in a soup.

Do you have any experiences with eating scorpions? Please share your comments with us below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Haz Deakin

    Wow! This really got me curious. I cannot see myself trying one, but I find it really interesting. Your article is so informative, thank you. I never knew that there are 25 species of scorpions. I have always viewed them as harmful creatures to be completely honest. So, this is refreshing to know, in a way.

    • Daniel Carraway

      Definitely interesting!

  • Daniel Carraway

    It’s definitely something to think about!

  • Daniel Carraway

    It is okay to eat scorpions, but you have to cook them first for the dish to be delicious. You should pair the scorpion meal with a beer.

  • Daniel Carraway

    You should certainly try out a scorpion dish. Scorpions are very crunchy and tasty, especially when you deep fry them.

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