When I signed up to celebrate National Gummy Worm Day, I thought that it would be a simple task. I was planning on tweaking my Mom’s old Dirt Dessert recipe and calling it a day. But, the more I thought about the whole situation, the more I wanted to challenge myself and try something new. I started thinking “wormy” thoughts, and kept coming back to the old childhood book, “How to Eat Fried Worms”. Needless to say, I decided to see if you really can fry worms. And, happily, the answer is yes!
While this is a fun experiment, I must tell all of you parents out there that this is NOT a kid-friendly project. There was quite a bit of hot oil involved, and it required constant monitoring. I was even concerned about having my dogs hovering around my feet. The worms are best fresh, but I would recommend that the adults do the work and the kids eat the results…they are actually pretty sweet by adult standards (they remind me of Fruity Pebbles cereal), so maybe they are best left to the younger set anyway! So, in honor of the gummy worm, I give you…
Fried Gummy Worms
1 bag of regular gummy worms (I used 12 from the bag)
1 bag of sour gummy worms (they are smaller, so I used 24 from the bag)
1 cup of Bisquick
½ cup of milk
Splash of ginger ale
Canola oil, for frying
You will also need:
Small sauce pot
2 sturdy forks
Freeze all of the gummy worms that you will use in a Ziploc bag overnight.
Mix the Bisquick, milk, egg, and ginger ale in a medium bowl until no lumps are present. Add the frozen gummy worms to the “pancake” mix, coating them all as well as possible. Cover the bowl with foil and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
When ready to cook, carefully heat the canola oil in the sauce pan (I used about 2/3 of a 24 ounce bottle). On a gas stove, I brought the oil to frying temperature over high heat, and then reduced the heat to medium while cooking the worms. If the oil is too hot, it will melt the worms before the batter is cooked. I lost a few worms playing with the oil temperature, so don’t be surprised if you do as well!
Now- here is the trick…remove a completely coated gummy worm from the batter and place it on a fork. Dip the fork into the oil with the worm on top. Let it cook on the fork briefly (15 seconds). Gently flip the fork over, keeping the worm on the fork (it will stick). Continue flipping until browned on all sides. Some of the batter will come off, so watch closely. If the batter shell breaks too much, the worm will slide out and disintegrate.
Once you have a nice, brown shell (probably only a minute or so), remove the fork and worm from the oil. Using the other fork, gently slide the worm off of the fork used for cooking. Place the fried worm on aluminum foil to cool. Paper towels will stick. Please use foil!
Using the first (frying) fork, skim out any bits of batter that might be around the edges of the pan. Then carefully wipe the fork (and your hands) with the paper towels.
Repeat this process with each individual worm, until you have as many as you like. They are best eaten fresh. They do not reheat at all, and they get soggy quickly. Do allow the worms to cool for 5-10 minutes, so as not to burn any gentle mouths…when they cool, the center will still be gooey and stringy, but not dangerous. If you decide to try it, please be safe and enjoy the outcome!