Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 04:10 pm

Mopani worms, masonja, mashonzha different people have different names for this delicacy, but if you give them a chance you can join the many people who call them delicious

For most South African’s masonja are just another meal option on our very long list of protein-rich foods. Eaten as part of the main meal, a snack or even as the ‘meat’ of a high protein, low-calorie patty, masonja have many health benefits you just can’t ignore. 


Protein is an important muscle building and repairing nutrient found in meat products, eggs fish and insects. 

Masonja are around 60% protein and offer you more protein per gram than beef for a fraction of the cost and with lower calories. 

Dried masonja are a great after gym snack, eaten in the same way you would eat biltong, they are crunchy, delicious and can be seasoned with crushed chillies, garlic powder and your favourite herbs and spices for variety and flavour. 

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They’re low in both fat and calories

A balanced diet is built on balanced food choices. Foods that are high in salt, sugar, fat and carbohydrates but have low nutritional value are considered junk foods because the cons of eating it outweigh the pros. 

Masonja are an ideal health food because they are rich nutrients like protein, iron calcium and phosphorus while low in fat, calories, sodu=ium and carbohydrates. 

This makes masonja great food to fit into just about any diet.


How to cook masonja 

There are many different ways you can incorporate masonja into your meals, and many more you can discover however with a little experimenting. 

Traditionally masonja are eaten dried as a snack or reconstituted and cooked in a tomato relish as part of the main meal. 


Try Millicent Makhado’s Recipe for Masonja

Entrepreneur and former Muvhango actress Millicent Makhdo love masonja and has found memories of her grandmother gathering, drying and cooking masonja for their family. 



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