Last night I cooked and ate frog legs for the first time. I've always wanted to try them but the only frogs I ever had access to were at a pond near my Dad's cottage and killing and eating those
frogs, just to satisfy my own curiosity, always seemed a bit too barbaric, too personal.
So when I found frozen Frog Legs, product of Vietnam
, at the local Sobeys
I figured I could safely give them a try, since there was no way I'd ever met these frogs before.
The package I bought was a 400g
bag that contained 5 pairs of frog legs. They cost about $6 Canadian
. I left the frozen package in the refrigerator
over night to thaw.
The legs come in pairs, still attached at the pelvis, and skinless. They're interesting to look at and it's easy to see how all the muscles are separate yet interconnected
. They had the feet trimmed but not removed. It looked like the feet were cut about halfway up, enough to remove the toes but leave what I suppose is called the ankle
When I opened the package I smelled the contents. They didn't smell bad
, really, but they didn't smell like any food I'd had before. Maybe my mind is just doing some subconscious association
, but I have to say that they smelled like stale water. Not rotten, but just "aged" is maybe the best way to put it.
I decided that anything from a pond is likely to smell like this and since they didn't smell like fish
in any way, they were probably fine. It's been 24 hours now and I haven't keeled over, so I guess I was right.
On the package was a simple recipe for breading and frying the legs, which I followed. The recipe was pretty general when it came to quantities and it didn't even mention cooking temperature or time, so here's how I did it:
vegetable oil (the recipe called for lard
but I didn't have any)
Mix the breadcrumbs with enough garlic, parsley, salt and pepper to meet your tastes
. Like I said, the recipe on the package wasn't specific so I just added what looked like enough
. I also used Italian breadcrumbs
, which are already spiced so I didn't need to add much of anything.
Combine the eggs with lemon juice. I used about 2 tbsp
Heat enough oil in a frying pan to submerge half the depth of the frog legs. I used a little less than 1 cm
Dip each set of legs in the egg mixture, then roll in breadcrumb mixture.
Lay them in the hot oil.
I cooked mine about 5 minutes per side, flipping only once. This made them a nice golden brown
but I'll admit that they might have been overdone. The legs are pretty light and skinless, so I don't think it takes that much time to cook them. But I don't know what kinds of parasites
come in frog legs, especially those from Vietnamese waters
, so I didn't want to take any chances.
Remove from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel for a couple of minutes.
Personally, I didn't like them breaded. I pulled most of it off so I could actually taste the meat. And unfortunately, as cliche
d as it is, they do taste like chicken
. Or pretty close at least.
I'd say frog legs taste lighter
than chicken. They're missing that sticky fat that chicken has, which also makes chicken a bit sweeter than frog.
Frog legs also have much thinner gristle
or knuckle tissue at the joints and it's easily eaten without even noticing at first.
It's a bit disturbing to see that frogs have a similar ball and socket
hip joint that humans have. Especially since those little pairs of legs look so much like tiny human legs wearing brown trousers
when they're frying in the pan.
The leftover bones are light and delicate and you'll definitely know that you're not eating chicken
, so don't bother trying to pass them off as that if you're planning to goof
on someone. However, if you strip
the meat off the bones first and then serve, you'd probably get away with it
All in all
I'd say frog legs are worth a try. They're not gross or strange tasting. They're pretty much just like chicken except in the bones. So if you're in it for the taste and expecting something really different
and the fact that they're frog legs
isn't different enough
for you, then don't bother. But if you're just in it for the "so I can say I did it
" qualification, go for it. This is an easy one.