I’m sorry you had to see that, but it is quite a scene! A pool of frogs’ carcasses.
We usually call this ‘tin gai'(田鸡) in Cantonese, which simply translates into paddy field chicken. Misleading I know, but I guess it’s better than frogs. We ordered this for a friend once telling him it was chicken and he happily gobbled up the whole dish. It was “chicken” stir-fried with ginger and spring onions and according to him, it was ‘really tasty’. Ironically, he told us he doesn’t eat frogs just before the meal. Evil of us, but what one doesn’t know, won’t hurt him.
Paddy field chicken is also known as Chinese edible frog or East Asian bullfrog. The meat is very lean, low in fats, rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and potassium. It is believed to boost immune function and energy levels. Texture wise, it is more like chicken, but slightly chewy and flavour is mild, slightly fishy.
Frog Porridge 田鸡粥
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Yield: serves 3
- 1 rice cup (150 g) rice – rinsed
- 1 tsp oil
- 3 frogs – chopped into pieces
- 2 stalks spring onion – diced, white and green parts separated
- 3 slices ginger – cut into matchsticks
- 2 L boiling hot water
- 1 tsp chicken stock powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- A few dashes white pepper powder
- Combine frog pieces, white part of spring onions, ginger and all ingredients for marinade. Leave to marinate for at least 30 mins.
- Place rice, 1 tsp of oil and enough water to cover rice into a pot. Leave to sit for about 10 mins. Discard water.
- Combine rice and 1.5 L of hot water and chicken stock powder and leave to cook. Stir occasionally. Add more boiling water if too dry and boil until you get the consistency of porridge you desire.
- Lastly, add all the marinated frog pieces and leave to cook until the meat is cooked (a few minutes will do).
- Season to taste.
- Garnish with green part of spring onions and sesame oil.
- Soaking the rice in water and oil somehow destroys the structure of the rice. The texture of the porridge is better and smoother, like blended rice.
- Always add hot water to simmering porridge to keep it moist.
It was black chicken, then this and what’s next? We’ll see.