What is a Kamaro?
Kamaro is the Filipino name for mole crickets. This dish is usually served as an appetizer. It is prepared by removing the legs and wings, boiling in a mixture of vinegar and garlic, and then lightly sautéed in oil. The dish has a crunchy outer texture and is moist and meaty inside.
- Kamaro has a mildly nutty flavor with some acidic punch to it.
- It is a seasonal dish in the Philippines and is available for around two months in a year.
Some other unique Filipino dishes include:
Origin of Kamaro
Filipino food is highly influenced by Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, Arab, and Indian cuisines. However, much of the indigenous cuisine developed from what was locally available. This can be seen in a variety of dishes, including kamaro. It is a popular dish that developed in the Pampanga region of the country.
Nutritional profile for roasted crickets (35 grams):
Kamaro is a rich source of healthy proteins, and contains more protein than other red or white meats. Also, it is rich in micronutrients such as iron, calcium, and riboflavin. This dish offers sufficient healthy fats and fiber as well. Additionally, consumption of crickets is beneficial for general gut health and may reduce inflammation.
Insect consumption is directly linked to environmental sustainability. Consider that kamaro is usually only available during the local season. It is served hot as a snack. To prepare this dish, the ingredients required are mole crickets, garlic, onions, tomatoes, vinegar, black pepper, salt, and oil.
The first step is to clean the insects and remove the wings, feet, and head. Then, the body is combined with vinegar, black pepper, salt, and crushed garlic, and allowed to marinate. After that, in a pan, garlic and onions are sautéed until translucent, and then tomatoes are added and cooked. Finally, the marinated crickets are added and simmered until the sauce dries up.
Mole crickets are consumed in many parts of the world. In the Philippines, kamaro is offered as a snack. Here are a few recipes to try:
There are no standards of identity specified for mole cricket.
Doreen G. Fernandez, Culture Ingested: On the Indigenization of Phillipine Food, Gastronomica, University of California Press
Skrivervik, Eili. “Insects’ contribution to the bioeconomy and the reduction of food waste.” Heliyon vol. 6,5 e03934. 11 May. 2020, doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03934, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7218158/
Stone, Andrea K et al. “Protein quality and physicochemical properties of commercial cricket and mealworm powders.” Journal of food science and technology vol. 56,7 (2019): 3355-3363. doi:10.1007/s13197-019-03818-2