The French eat a lot of frog legs. In fact, they eat the most amount of any other country in the world consuming roughly 4000 tons of frog legs a year. But they may not be the first country to devour these amphibians. In 2013 archeologists discovered amphibian bones dating back 10,000 years in Wiltshire, England near Stonehenge. The bones showed they had been cooked in some manner, so possibly frogs were first eaten in England.
They also have been consumed in China for centuries and are very popular throughout Asia today. Even the Aztecs ate frog, long before the French, often paired with maize or served in tamales. We live on the Mexican border in Southern Arizona and Mexicans love frog legs, fried and served with salsa or Verde sauce. They are not so popular in the United States, except in the south where they are eagerly hunted. Often soaked in buttermilk and then fried, they are a southern staple.
So, what do frog legs taste like? Definitely not chicken! I think they taste more like a cross between a mild fresh water fish (like trout) and turtle. My husband and I were married in the Cayman Islands and ate a lot of turtle. They also taste a bit like iguana, another of my favorites!
I believe my frog legs came from Mexico, but forgot to check their origin. I did not soak my legs in buttermilk, but did make a nice egg bath and then dredged in seasoned Panko bread crumbs.
Frog legs are mild in flavor so I did not want to overwhelm with a lot of spice, but did add Cajun BBQ salt, a dash of white pepper, onion powder, garlic granules and some smoked paprika to the Panko. Dip them twice in the egg bath and Panko to get a more substantial crust.
I fried the frog legs in about 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil. Get the oil very hot. Rinse your fingers under water and snap into the pan of hot oil. If it sizzles, it’s time to fry. The legs cook quickly; about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown. Internal temperature at the thickest part of the leg should be 145 degrees. I did not test the temp on my legs, but maybe I should have, as I have since learned that consuming undercooked frog legs may increase your risk of getting a rare tapeworm in your brain. Yikes!
I served the frog legs with potato pancakes and peas and carrots. Frog legs are not as inexpensive as they used to be (what is?!) and these 4 legs cost just under $9.00, but they were large and served with the potato pancake and veg made a very satisfying meal.
Surprisingly mild and delicious. Don't be afraid to try these yourself.
- 4 Frog Legs, rinsed and dried
- 1 Large Egg, slightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. water and dash of salt
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic granules
- 1/2 tsp. Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. Smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. Cajun BBQ salt
- Dash of white pepper
- 1 1/2 inch Vegetable oil for frying the legs
Beat the egg with 1 Tbsp. water and a dash of salt.
Add the garlic and onion powder, Cajun BBQ salt, and smoked paprika to 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs.
Soak the frog legs in the egg bath for about 10 minutes, turning half way so each side gets plenty of egg.
Dredge the legs in the seasoned Panko thoroughly on both sides. You may need to use your fingers to press the seasoned Panko onto the legs.
Dip into the egg bath again and repeat the Panko dredge.
Let the breaded frog legs rest for about 10 minutes before frying.
In a heavy bottomed skillet, get 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil very hot. Test the temperature of the oil by flicking a drop of water into the pan. If it sizzles, you are ready to fry.
Gently place the legs into the hot oil and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the legs over and finish cooking for another 4-5 minutes until they are a rich, golden brown and begin to float in the oil.