In many southern US States, frog legs are a household staple. States such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and several others allow citizens to hunt, catch and consume local frogs as a form of pest control. Restaurants and grocers can also have them imported from other countries like Thailand, Greece, or Indonesia.
One of the most popular ways to serve frog legs is fried with butter and garlic, and you can pair this with your vegetable of choice; such as potato, zucchini, eggplant, or squash.
How to Cook Frog Legs
Like anything else, there are a variety of ways to cook frog legs. They can be served alone or as a side dish for another meat or pasta dish. Here are some ideas for how to cook frog legs using your basic household appliances.
If you have the time, using your oven is one of the simplest ways to cook your frog legs. Whichever recipe you choose will most likely require the frog legs to be skinned, and suggest you may soak them in milk for a couple of hours or overnight. Here is a quick easy way to bake your frog legs.
Step one: Preheat your oven to 400° and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray
Step two: Use tongs to remove frog legs from milk and pat them dry with a paper towel
Step three: With your breading or seasoning of choice, thoroughly coat the frog legs by shaking them in a plastic bag until covered on both sides.
Step four: Place the frog legs in the baking dish, spray lightly with cooking spray and cover with aluminum foil.
Step five: Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Cook another 10 minutes until the frog legs are browned.
Step six: Pair this with your veggie or carb of choice; such as potato, rice, or green beans.
One of the most common ways to cook frog legs is simply tossed in a frying pan. You can coat the pan with oil, or add a few tablespoons of Crisco or other animal fat to deep fry.
Step one: Warm your skillet to medium-high and coat with butter, oil, or animal fat
Step two: Coat your frog legs in flour, bread crumbs, or seasoning of choice and toss in the pan
Step three: For additional flavor, add onion, garlic, chillis, or another potent veggie to your pan
Step four: Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
Step six: Sauteed frog legs will pair well with asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or spinach greens. If using the deep fry method, homemade french fries are a great addition and can be reheated later.
This is a quick, easy, and time-saving way to cook your frog legs. As previously stated, soaking them in milk for any period of time will make for a better flavor. You could also marinate them in your choice of sauce or dressing.
Step one: Preheat your air fryer to 375°
Step two: Use tongs to remove your frog legs from the marinade and place them in a single layer along the bottom of the air fryer.
Step three: Cook the frog legs for 5-8 minutes depending on the size, checking for an internal temperature of 165°.
Step four: Air fryer frog legs can be served with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or sprinkled with parsley alongside a veggie.
In the summertime, frog legs on the grill are a staple in the Southern US. They can be cooked on a gas or charcoal grill, and are often paired with other quirky southern foods such as possum, catfish, iguana, or raccoon.
Step one: Bring your grill up to temperature, about 450°
Step two: Brush the frog legs lightly with oil, barbeque sauce, or buffalo sauce
Step three: If cooking a vegetable such as a potato, sweet potato, or other classic grill staples, wrap them in foil and place them on the grill at the same time as the frog legs.
Step four: Turn the frog legs over when browned on one side, 3-5 minutes.
Step five: When evenly browned on both sides, check the frog legs to make sure the internal temperature is at least 165°.
Step six: Serve with your veggie of choice along with additional dipping sauces and enjoy!
If you don’t have access to a conventional oven, but still want to try to give baked frog legs a try, you can certainly use your toaster oven. Most frog legs are small enough that they do not require much time to cook.
Step one: Preheat your toaster oven to 375°
Step two: Coat your frog legs with vegetable or olive oil
Step three: Once preheated, use tongs to line your frog legs along the rack of the toaster oven. If you are using a sauce or marinade, use a pan to avoid dripping and making a mess.
Step four: Cook frog legs for about 5-8 minutes. Larger frog legs may need longer. If using a pan, flip the frog legs halfway through the cooking time.
Step five: If using a pan, use an oven mitt to remove it from the toaster oven. Otherwise, use your tongs to remove the frog legs one by one and place them on a plate. Serve with your favorite veggie or carb.
Drinks to Pair with Frog Legs
In the South, it’s typical to have a frog bake-style meal and pair it with a cold beer or soda. In a more sophisticated setting, such as a French restaurant, Pinot Gris Trimbach, Chardonnay, and Burgundy (Chardonnay) as good choices for pairing frog legs. This is especially true with a garlic or more seasoned, sauteed frog-leg course.
Different Frog Leg Dishes
Along with the basic cooking recommendations above, you can also strip the meat off of frog legs and add them to a wide array of foods. Here are just a few ideas as to how to serve your frog legs.
Frog Leg Salad (greens)
Take your typical lettuce, greens, cucumbers, tomato, and whatever veggies you usually put into your salad. Once you have cooked your frog legs, strip the meat off the bones and shred them into your salad for a fun twist. Add your dressing of choice and top with cheese if you’re feeling extra extravagant! Croutons and bacon are another delicious topping choice.
Frog Leg Salad (Sandwich)
Much like ham salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, etc., shred up your pre-cooked frog legs into a bowl and add mayonnaise, or your dressing of choice, and mix. For additional texture, try adding chopped celery, onion, or nuts to your salad mix. Once you get the taste you’re going for, spread it onto some bread, and add your favorite sandwich additives like lettuce, tomato, cheese, or even pickles. For an extra fishy twist, mix tuna with the frog leg meat before making your sandwich!
Frog Leg Casserole
Take any casserole recipe and swap out the primary meat with frog leg meat, and you’ve got yourself a real southern take on cuisine. Use your favorite type of pasta, cheese, veggie, and maybe some broth or cream-of-something soup, add your pre-cooked frog legs and mix. Spread evenly in a 9×13 baking sheet and bake until crisp.
Frog Leg Stew
You can start with just water, or opt to use chicken broth or bouillon for a little more flavor, then season and spice to your heart’s content. The mild flavor of the frog legs will not really flavor the broth, so whatever you choose as a base will be the primary takeaway of this stew. Adding milk or cream will make for more of a soup or chowder feel. In the South, adding hot sauce, chili powder or hot peppers is a popular choice. Add your veggies, typically something like a potato, onion, carrots, etc, and then your pre-cooked frog legs either whole or shredded. This dish is a good one to make a large pot of and freeze some for later!
Frog Leg Chilli
Spicy food is another southern classic, and nothing says spicy like a big pot of hot chili. Beans, corn, chilis, ghost peppers all mixed into a tomato-y base is a good start. You can swap out your typical ground beef or chicken for frog leg meat, pre-cooked, and taken off the bone. Pair this with a side of cornbread or tortilla chips, and topped with cheese and sour cream. If you’re doing a crockpot chili that will be cooking all day, you can put whole, raw frog legs in the pot to cook.
Each year, roughly $40 million worth of frog legs are traded across the world. While America is only 3rd on the list under France and Belgium, that’s still a lot of frogs! There are many health benefits that come with adding frog meat to your diet, such as the decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and brain problems. They are an underrated source of protein and most of the population has never tried them, but with the right meal combination that could change.
However, we must use caution when consuming these animals, because there are many species that are on the way to becoming endangered due to over-hunting and habitat loss. In fact, France has banned the hunting of frogs for food and now gets all of its frog meat imported from other countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.
The best way to find what pairs best with frog legs is to experiment. Do you like sweet, spicy, or savory dishes? Do you like your meat on its own, or in a stew or casserole? Don’t knock something until you try it, keep testing out what’s good for you and you’ll be a frog leg culinary master in no time.