By the time an American kid graduated from a high school, the kid would have dissected quite a few American bullfrogs. Perhaps a few may have some vague idea of frogs being edible, but most kids are more likely to associate frogs with science classes or even as pets for the rest of their lives. Yet in certain parts of the world or even in parts of America, frog legs are a culinary delicacy.
Why should we consider taking them as an alternate food source?
Bullfrogs are near everywhere
American bullfrogs are indigenous to North America, covering a wide section of the landscape from Wisconsin to the East coast, from central Florida to Nova Scotia, and across the flat Great Plains to the mountainous Rockies. In the 1900’s, the species have also been introduced to the west coast and Mexico. Whether deliberately or unintentionally imported, American bullfrogs can now be found in South America, Asia, and southern Europe as well.
American bullfrogs thrive in wet habitat with a permanent water source. Ponds, lakes, rivers, or swampy bogs are their favorite places. Watery habitats that have been one way or another altered by human activities are usually suitable for the species as warmer water temperature and abundance of aqua plants are all they need for their survival and reproduction.
Bullfrogs are mighty predators
Contrary to our mental images of the species sitting peacefully on lily pads, ducting out their tongues every now and then to take in insects flying by, American bullfrogs are known to take on other species that are bigger than them. The frogs are able predators. Worms, snakes, insects, aquatic eggs, crustaceans, tadpoles, fish, or even bats are part of their diet. The species are cannibalistic too and will swallow their own kind. The diet prowess of American bullfrog is a concern to the new habitats they have been introduced to. Due to their size, not only they out-compete native frogs and other aquatic animals in the department of food source, they eat up the natives too. One of the easiest ways to keep in check of an invading species is to eat them, especially one taste as good as the bullfrogs.
Bullfrog legs are lean and tasty
You might feel squeamish about consuming the limps of a slimy amphibian, but trust me, a cooked frog leg is anything but slimy. Don’t believe me? You can check out Anthony Bourdin’s opinion. A plate of stir-fried Kung Pao frog legs with dried chilies is a must have if you visit Southeast Asia of Malaysia or Singapore. When served on a plate, frog legs closely resembled thighs of a bird.
In addition, a plate of 100gram frog legs stir-fried with the spicy capsicum only yields 70 calories, compare to a 280- calories similar size serving of grilled chicken thigh or chicken breast.
At 16 gram of protein and 0.3 gram of fat, frog leg is a nutritional powerhouse. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as it is nearly a pure muscle that enables frog jumping and hoping. It is also an excellence source of potassium, vitamin-A, and omega-3 fatty acids. Fitness enthusiasts take note!
The taste of bullfrog legs is mild, milder than chicken in fact, with a firm but silky texture. The meat is just as delicious whether steamed, stewed or prepared in a broth. Frog legs require a shorter time to cook than chicken due to their smaller individual sizes.
Weighing close to 1 pound and 1.5 feet in length, bullfrog legs are a fine alternative to poultry meat. Seek them out from reliable sources, fresh or frozen, free range or farmed, you will not be disappointed.