When you’re out in the wild with little to no food left, you will need to start looking for viable options. And scorpions are a viable option to eat, but you might want to know how safe they are to eat, and do it properly, before digging in.
Everyone knows that the scorpion is one of the deadliest animals in the world; its venom can easily kill a human. So is it safe to eat them?
It is safe, if you do it right. I’ll tell you how safe it is, how to catch them, how to properly cook them so not only they offer you the good nutrients you’ll need, but also taste good.
How Safe is it 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.
Fresh scorpions are more dangerous to eat than cooked ones. So take no risks, and make sure you follow the instructions precisely, otherwise even cooked scorpions can be dangerous.
When you need to make it in the wilderness, eating scorpions is an option that can assure your survival. You should never try to catch a scorpion by yourself if you are inexperienced 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. Scorpions are a good source of protein, all you need to do is flip over rocks, scorpions like damp and shadowy places.
Here are a few ideas of how to catch them:
- Black light can help. They glow fluorescent under UV light, would be useful if you had a flashlight like that around. They glow because they contain protein under their exoskeletons.
- Wear sneakers or closed shoes so you don’t get hurt during the process of hunting, getting stung.
- After you locate a scorpion, with or without the fluorescent light, use a stick and glass jar. Wrap one end of the stick with masking tape and catch the scorpion with it, then push it into the jar. There are designed traps that you can buy, and place where you think they might pass through.
- You can use a damp fabric to attract some. Scorpions love hiding under wet things, absorbing the water.
- You need to secure the scorpion with a stick and kill it as fast as possible so he does not run away or sting you in the process.
- If you don’t have any jars or traps, you can catch a scorpion with two sticks and kill it fast, before cutting off the venomous tail. If you’re careful you’ll be just fine.
If you consider this process to be too dangerous for you, you might want to look on what snails are good to eat, just to be safe.
How to Cook a Scorpion
Scorpions hold their venom in their tail stinger, so make sure that’s the first thing you cut after you catch one. The venom is basically a protein which can cause severe allergic reactions, sometimes even death.
It is safe to eat scorpions, like it is safe to eat snakes as well. If you’re curious about the latter, might want to check our article on how best to cook snakes.
In China they are a popular street food, sold on sticks with their stingers on as the venom becomes harmless if cooked properly. 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:
- Cooking the scorpion denatures the venom; however, it is better to remove the tip of the tail just to be sure. It’s not like you gain too much from it if you eat it.
- Cut the scorpion’s venom sack off. Use a knife, it should pop right off.
- Since bugs and insects carry parasites that means that you can get internal worms from eating them alive or raw; therefore, cooking them is a must!
- Make sure the scorpion is dead.
- Put the scorpion on a stick by pulling the stick through its head until the whole body is secured on it.
- Put the stick above the coals but not too close, it can burn up too fast.
- Cook evenly so the whole scorpion can get roasted properly, but do not burn off the legs. Just like you would do with marshmallows.
- When juices start to come out and legs turn white, it means that it is almost done.
- 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’ll be nice and crunchy.
Scorpions can also be put in a soup, any kind you like. Still make sure the venom sack is taken off.
- Heat the oil in a bowl or pan.
- Put the scorpions in and stir-fry them for one minute.
- Add the additional ingredients such as water, garlic, salt, pepper (if you have them).
- Simmer on a low heat for at least 40 minutes. And done.
You should equip yourself with proper cooking utensils, learn what are the best cooking utensils for camping in our other article.
What Does a Scorpion Taste like?
The scorpion taste like soft-shell crab or a beef jerky with a fishy flavor. It’s crunchier than fried crickets, but not hard to eat.
Are Scorpions Healthy to Eat?
Scorpions are healthy to eat in good measure. They contain proteins, fats, energy and minerals, but they also contain tannin, phytate and oxalate, and if not properly processed it can be harmful. However, cook it carefully and it is said to be beneficial in certain diseases.
What Kind of Scorpions Can You Eat?
The Black Scorpions, also known as Heterometrus longimanus, and are safe to eat if you are careful with catching them and handle them carefully.
If you find yourself in the position of needing to improvise to keep yourself fed, you might need to check out these tips about how to survive being lost in the woods. Knowing how to catch and eat scorpions and other creatures will help you anytime you go camping.
It doesn’t need to be to survive, just know that it is safe to eat scorpions, in case you crave some. You can find them under rocks or in sandy areas, and they can be quite tasty if it’s your cup of tea.
Fry them, soup them, eat them however you like, you now know how to do it safely.
Daniel 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.