Posted by tleemay on March 16, 2001 at 10:14:57:
In Reply to: ...do you know what really honestly tastes like chicken...?... posted by kelphead on March 15, 2001 at 17:27:12:
During one of my early visits to Hong Kong, I was
walking past the street vendors south of the Wan
Chai district and happend to see many locals and
ex-pats crowded around one particular stand. I
peeked into the stand from the side and saw three
wood framed wire cages full of frogs. There had to
be a couple hundred of the buggers in each cage.
I found out from my HK Telecom associate that frogs
legs are a regional treat for those that live on
(then) Victoria Island. Across the channel they
were very common, but the locals that lived in the
mid towers district would pay premuim price to
get such amphibians onto their dinner plates on
a regular basis.
This particular "frog stand" had a vat of hot oil
and a batter mixture set up to cook frog on the
spot if anyone wanted. Most of the locals were
purchasing the frogs whole and live, putting them
into grass woven baskets they brought from home.
I first ate frogs legs as a kid growing up in the
San Joaquin Valley. My father would go out to
the Friant-Kern canal and Kaweah River tributaries
in the late summer and "gig" for frogs all night.
He would bring home the frogs and proceed to
'dress' the legs for dinner the next day and also
re-supply his stash in the hatch freezer in the
I stood there on that little side street in HK
trying to remember what frog legs tasted like...
and I couldn't. I do remember eating them more
than once, but I could not accurately describe
what they tasted like. This was troubling me in
that, as some of you know, I am a CCA trained
chef and pride myself on being able to recall
tastes and expeiences involving food I have either
eaten or prepared for others.
As I was discussing with my associate what I was
pondering, he whipped out about HK$21 and paid the
frog vendor, at which time he instructed me to
pick out two frogs. I knew what was up and being
the well educated culinary individual I though I
was, I selected two of the largest amphibs in the
cage nearest me. The vendor shook his head and in
his native toungue told my associate that they were
not good because they were too big. I then selected
two others that were slightly smaller. Before I
could utter and words to support my selection, the
vendor reached into the cage and grabbed frog number
1. He put it on a chopping block and with a surgeons
precision, sliced off the legs from the body and
skinned them in less than 5 seconds. From there he
dipped the legs into the batter and then imediately
into the hot oil with a rumble and a pop. He then did
the same procedure to the second frog. After about 2
minutes in the oil, he put the legs on a piece of
cotton towel to drain and then into a paper 'boat'
and handed over to me.
To me it didn't taste like chicken. It tasted like
rabbit with the same consistancy and general flavor.
To others I suppose that rabbit tastes like chicken
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