Lai, owner of Miya's Sushi, tells the New Haven Register that he plans to fill a big freezer full of Brood II cicadas, once the red-eyed bugs' 17-year life cycle brings them above ground for about five weeks.
"I'm going to catch a whole bunch of them and preserve them for future eating," he said. "I plan on eating a whole bunch of them myself."
Lai said cicadas, and insects in general have great nutritional value and are "healthier for our bodies than eating meat."
He plans to feature the cicada in some theme dishes, steaming some of the bugs and boiling others, with the appropriate spices and herbs.
"I don't want to take something that's inherently nutritious and deep fry it," he explained. "If I'm going to interrupt this amazing, 17-year life cycle, I'm going to honor it and respect it."
Lai tells the Register that he sees it as a challenge to take something that's abundant and nourishing and make it appealing, not to mention tasty.
"I'm not trying to gross people out," he said. "I'm not running a frat house. I respect the cicada."
Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices