The most common response to “What Do Frog Legs Taste Like?” is that frog legs taste like chicken. However, from experience, they taste a bit like fish-flavored chicken, not in a bad sense. Well, unless you don’t like fish or chicken.
A delicacy in many countries, frog legs taste slightly different when served as ‘Cuisses de Grenouille a la Provencal,’ the French method of preparation. Or, when served in Louisiana, as the same recipe or fried with a unique Cajun flair.
Frog legs are on the menu in many Southern U.S. locales, as well as in Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Vietnam, and in Chinese cuisine, as well. Since frog legs are raised and caught wild in many countries, their taste is different due to how they are cooked.
Fried frog legs have a slightly different flavor and texture than when sauteed.
Do frog legs taste fishy?
Frog legs can taste really fishy if they have not been prepared correctly or are too old to cook. However, even fresh frog legs have a mild fish aroma and flavor similar to freshwater fish.
However, the meat of frog legs has a texture that is more like chicken or rabbit than fish. Whether it is fried, sauteed, or fricasseed, frog legs, like many foods, are an acquired taste.
Cooking frog legs
When cooking the French classic mentioned above, you saute’ the frog legs after you have soaked them in milk. Once you have sauteed the frog legs, you add butter and lemon juice to make a rich sauce. Next, add tomatoes, potatoes, and spices for a complete meal.
Adding spices to any dish and the acidity of lemon or tomato can change the recipe’s flavor profile. The flavors of the frog legs will be different than the same meat when fried, baked, or cooked on the grill.
Frog legs are about the size of a chicken leg. They have two sections joined, and you must disconnect them before eating or cooking so you can eat them more easily.
Like chicken and other foods, a frog is susceptible to salmonella, a food-borne illness that can make you ill. So, when preparing frog legs, treat them like you are handling chicken, fish, or game.
Be sure to cook to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any bacteria that may remain on the meat.
What kind of frog do frog legs come from?
Bullfrogs and leopard frogs are widely used for frog legs and are safe to eat because neither of these types is poisonous. Therefore, you only save and cook the legs, and the remainder of the frog is discarded.
That’s not to say you can’t consume the entire frog. It depends on whether you are looking for immediate calories or a culinary undertaking. Also, if a frog carries disease or toxins, it’s more likely to show up in other areas of the frog than the legs.
How do you prepare frog legs before you cook them?
Before cooking, the skin is peeled away from the meat of the frog leg. This undertaking will require a sharp knife and a pair of pliers. The frog is skinned in much the same way you would skin a catfish.
There is very little meat on the rest of the frog, and the back legs are traditionally the only part you should eat. The skin, although edible, is tough, chewy, and very fishy in flavor.
What is the difference between a bullfrog and a toad?
As with any food, if you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it until you identify what you have. For example, while you can safely eat the legs of a bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) or leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens), many frogs are poisonous, and toads can be toxic.
Although toads rarely kill a human, they can cause an allergic reaction in some people that can cause them harm. So, before you go foraging for a bullfrog to sauté up for dinner, make sure you are getting a bullfrog, not a toad.
The Bullfrog has a rather slick skin, is usually bright to muddy green, and can be found in swampland, along river and creek shorelines, across the world.
Leopard frogs have a body similar to the bullfrog, which is also smooth. However, instead of one solid color, they are patterned with spots with a light-colored border against skin that can range from green and brown to a yellowish brown.
On the other hand, the toad has a warty appearance and a furrowed ridge across its brown. They are also shorter in length and height and have thicker bodies than bullfrogs or leopard frogs. They can be muddy green also but are generally a blend of green, brown, and black.
Are frog legs farm-raised or caught in the wild?
Farm raising bullfrogs has not been a manageable undertaking, but progress is being made so that there is a steady supply of frog legs. Most of the frog legs sold to restaurants, and the freezer section of your local grocer, are caught wild.
They may come from the waters of China, Indonesia, Vietnam, South America, and several Southern U.S. States, where you can find them on restaurant menus and backyard cookouts.
Unless you are in a market with fresh frogs, any frog legs you purchase will likely be frozen. Frozen frog legs are fine, but like any food, fresh is always better, and if you have a source where frogs live in clean running water, you can catch a few and fry them up for dinner.
Why shouldn’t you eat frog legs?
Due to the high pollution of waterways worldwide, many frogs have been shown to have high contents of harmful chemicals and other toxins in their bodies. While cooking may take care of bacteria in foods, there is no way to rid your food of contaminants in the meat.
However, soaking frog legs in milk before cooking can draw any contaminants from the meat and puff it up, which keeps it from drying out when cooked.
There is no reason not to eat frog legs unless they have not been stored properly or have gone bad. However, some waterways where frogs propagate can become toxic, making eating the frogs less safe than those grown in clear water.
The problems with frogs that have become poisonous due to where they live and not because of their species may take time to show up in you or the frog population.
The effects caused on your body may not be readily seen if you are eating frogs that have become toxic due to their environment.
Heavy metals, chemicals, and other things that pollute a frog’s habitat can eventually cause you to become ill. In addition, if they are exceedingly toxic to their environment, they could cause illness upon consumption.
However, eating bullfrogs and leopard frogs is generally safe if they are correctly prepared and cooked to the proper temperature.
Can you get sick from eating frog legs?
Whether fresh or frozen, bullfrog and leopard frog legs are generally safe to eat. Tons of frog legs are consumed yearly, and those who get sick from eating frog legs are few.
As long as the frog legs are handled safely, before and after cooking, they are as safe to eat as any other meat. So, can you get sick from frog legs? Yes, but not because they are unsafe to eat.
Frogs that can make you sick and worse
Although a toad can cause illness from an allergic reaction, the Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis) has enough poison to kill mice and men. The poison of this frog species is so strong that merely touching its skin is dangerous.
The good thing about the world’s most poisonous frogs is that they are generally but not always brightly colored. In addition, some are smaller than bullfrogs, while others may be larger.
Frogs you definitely shouldn’t eat are the Golden poison dart frog (Phyllobates terribilis), which is the most poisonous frog in the world and has enough poison to kill ten humans, and makes its home in western Columbia.
The Blue poison dart frog makes its home in Brazil and southern Suriname and is the second most deadly frog in the world. Its bright blue color can identify it.
The Dying Dart Frog gets its name from its bright coloring, which may be blue and yellow. Unfortunately, it is also bigger than other frogs, can grow to two inches in length, and is the third most deadly frog in the world.
The Dying Dart frog lives in Brazil and Suriname also, so unless that is where you make your home, these frogs are no danger to you.
Not every location has frogs that can kill people or animals. However, every area has different types of frogs, some of which can make you and your animals sick if touched or eaten.
There are over 180 species of frogs that are considered to be poisonous. If you choose to capture and eat your own, learn about the other species where you live so that you are catching bullfrogs, not a toad or frog that will make you ill.
Other interesting facts about frog legs
Nutritional value of frog legs
Like other food from the water, frog legs are high in protein and a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and potassium. Thus, frog legs are an excellent way to get protein and other nutrients into your diet.
What does one eat with frog legs?
Recipes tend to be regional, so how you cook your frog legs will depend on the part of the world you are in. So what is eaten with frog legs will vary from the restaurant you eat them in or your neighbor’s frog roast.
The classic French method of sautéing frog legs adds tomatoes and potatoes to the sauté and butter and lemon juice, which, when combined, is an excellent meal.