Crocodile is a delicious, if not unusual, meat. It’s best described as having the composition of chicken, with a delicate white fish flavour. Since the flavour is so delicate, it is difficult to choose how to cook it. The composition allows it to be used as in recipes that would call for chicken as easily as its flavour allows it to substitute for fish recipes.
In the past, I have made it into a stir fry with fresh broadbeans, shallots, chinese broccolli and hrin sauce or as a mince with macadamia nut and lemon myrtle which was used to fill ravioli. This time, however, I decided to utilise as the central ingredient in a Thai Green Curry.
Unless you actually live near an authorised crocodile farm, chances are you’ll get your crocodile meat pre-packed and frozen. So, secret number one — unless you plan on marinading it and using the marinade in the cooking, don’t thaw it. The thawing process will rob the meat of most of the moisture, which in turn decreases the flavour. We, however are going to marinade it.
500g crocodile meat
Mince mix of equal part 3 cloves garlic and fresh ginger
Teaspoon of fresh lemon zest
Tablespoon of fish sauce
Grab the frozen crocodile meat (I tend to buy tail) and cut it into 2.5cm (1in) cubes.
The one mistake I made in cooking this recipe is that I re-introduced the crocodile into the curry while it was still cooking for the last few minutes – this altered what was a beautifully moist medallion into a rubbery one … there’s the first lesson in cooking crocodile that I can impart — it only takes a minute to change it from perfect to rubber ball.
So, taking that lesson back on board, I have corrected my directions so as you don’t make the same mistake.
Version 1: The “additive” method – also perfect for thai style salads
Place the finely chopped garlic, ginger, lemon zest and fish sauce in a bowl and mix.
Toss the marinade mix together with the crocodile medallions and store in the fridge overnight
Heat up a pan and melt butter on a medium-low heat
Fry the crocodile medallions for approx 2 minutes per side
The crocodile should be soft and springy – akin to that of “medium rare” in a red-meat sense.
Set aside and cook your curry mix of vegetables and sauce as per usual.
Toss the crocodile in with the curry (or salad) as part of the plating.
Version 2: The “integration” method
cook your curry mix of vegetables and sauce as per usual.
In the last 5 minutes, toss the crocodile medallions into the mix and fold evenly
keep checking the firmness of the crocodile to ensure it remains soft and springy
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