Dish of Frog Legs with Lemon Grass
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Frog Legs with Lemon Grass
Vietnam   -   Dui Ech

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3 w/rice  
***
50 min  
Yes
A tasty dish of Frog Legs is much liked in South Vietnam, where frogs abound. They eat some other parts of the frogs there as well, but here in dry Southern California we're pretty much limited to frozen legs. A Los Angeles Asian market that serves a mixed Vietnamese Chinese community does sometimes do a brisk business in live frogs. See Comments.




1-1/2
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2
5
3
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2
1/2
1/2
1/4
1
1
1/4
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2
#
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lrg
oz
cl
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T
t
t
t
t
T
c
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T
Frog Legs (1)  
-- Aromatics
Lemon Grass (2)
Onion
Garlic
-- Sauce
Oyster Sauce
Chicken Powder (3)  
Sate Sauce (4)
Pepper, black
Sesame Oil, dark
Fish Sauce (5)
Water
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Oil
Prep   (25 min)
  1. Thaw FROG LEGS. Separate into individual legs and cut off bony toes if present. I usually cut off 1/8 inch from frozen frog legs. Rinse in several changes of water.
  2. Peel off tough outer leaves of LEMON GRASS and cut off the hard root end. Smash the bottom 5 inches well with your kitchen mallet, then slice crosswise as thin as you can. Pound in big mortar to soften if you can.
  3. Quarter ONION lengthwise, then slice crosswise about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
  5. Mix all Aromatics items.
  6. Mix all Sauce items.
Run   (25 min)
  1. Heat Oil in a spacious sauté pan. Stir in Aromatics mix. Fry stirring until Garlic starts to color.
  2. Add Frog Legs to the pan and fry, tumbling them now and then for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in Sauce mix and simmer covered, tumbling now and then, for another 15 minutes, or until no longer rubbery (see Note-6).
  4. Serve with rice and Lime Wedges. The photo example is garnished with red oil from the Sate Sauce.
NOTES:
  1. Frog Legs:   If you don't live in one of the regions were frog legs are traditional, look in Asian markets in the frozen food cases. For details see our Frog Page.
  2. Lemon Grass:   These tough grass stems are now widely available in North American markets that serve a Southeast Asian community. I've even seen them in some Korean markets. For details see our Lemon Grass page.
  3. Chicken Powder:   East and Southeast Asian recipes presume availabilty of Chicken Broth, often used in small amounts. This is not always practical these days, so Chicken Powder has come into use to make up broth quickly. It has also found use as a general seasoning. For details see our Chicken Powder page.
  4. Sate Sauce   This is a Chili Garlic Sauce flavored with Lemon Grass. It is used in the recipe and the oil from this sauce was used for garnish. See our recipe Sate Sauce. Other chili garlic sauces could be used.
  5. Fish Sauce:   This clear liquid is as essential to Southeast Asian cuisine as it was to Imperial Rome. If you are unfamiliar with it, see our Fish Sauce - Introduction page.
  6. Cooking Time:   The pattern recipe called for 10 minutes total cooking "or until tender". For the 4/6 pairs / pound frog legs we have around here, that isn't enough. At 8 minutes they start falling apart but are still a bit rubbery. At around 20 minutes they are tender enough and haven't fallen apart much more, so I say go with a longer cooking time unless your frog legs are much smaller and proven tender.
  7. Comments:   This is not a dish you'd serve at a formal dinner. It is, however, fine and entertaining for private dining or informal parties. You will need paper napkins and bone bowls.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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