09 Jul2007

Frogs Anyone?

by Marketman


There are several regional cuisines that feature frogs on the menu. I actually like frog’s legs when battered and deep fried. But I have to admit, eating a whole frog would take some doing. I also have to say that skinning a frog would pose its own set of problems for me, particularly since some folks seem to do when they are still alive, or at least twitching dramatically. I don’t know why I feel less squeamish about murdering a crab than a frog, but I do. At any rate, on our recent trip up North, I spotted a roadside vendor somewhere in Pangasinan with a lot of live frogs. Like a crazy person, I stopped the car, turned it around, jumped out and grabbed my camera and tried to snap a photo. But I was too late, someone had purchased the frogs and loaded them onto a tricycle by the time I got back to the intersection… bummer. But a couple of days later, in the Vigan market, I found this lady selling live frogs. I managed to take this photo of the frogs, the whole bunch for PHP120. Perhaps 2-3 kilos worth… I decided it was the large eyes that made it harder to hara-kiri these guys (actually, the better term is sepuku, not hara kiri). Apparently these frogs are caught in the “clean waters” of nearby rice fields…got any good recipes?



  1. Ellen says:

    Poor froggies =( I had a traumatic experience when I went to a HK market. I saw skinned frogs still jumping about in a little tub =( I thought it was cruel to have them skinned when they were obviously still alive but I guess that was the point. HK people are notorious for wanting fresh produce including skinned live frogs =( =(…..well, I used to eat frogs legs when I was younger..ginataan style…but for some reason I can’t stomach them anymore =( Too traumatised from seeing them like THAT in HK…besides they’re cute…I agree with you MM…I can’t possibly kill them…I think its those eyes….=(

    Jul 9, 2007 | 3:22 pm


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  3. aleth says:

    i’m not a fan of palaka, but my mon used to cook these ala meatball type – formed into small meatballs with added carrots, onions, garlic, seasoned, fried and then cooked as escabeche or simply as sarciado, with tons of tomatoes and onions.. but the best so far (they say) is adobo…my mon even tried to make patties out of these and served to me as “burger” – but no way … hehehe… i saw her when she was preparing it! :)

    Jul 9, 2007 | 3:23 pm

  4. joni says:

    one word: “eep!”

    okay, two words pala: “eep! freaky!”

    wait, it just keeps getting longer: “eep! freaky! creepy!”

    okay, i think i’m gonna go vegan…

    err…maybe it’s just the picture that’s grossing me out. i would eat this if it were fried or whatever. i mean, i can eat kuhol, why not this, right?

    wow, come to think about it, i’ve never had frog legs before. time to try these hippity-hoppity friends. :)

    Jul 9, 2007 | 3:43 pm

  5. Jade186 says:

    Please forgive me for writing this, but the photo above really grossed me out. The thought and act of eating such exotica (including others such as rats, snakes, sharks, turtles, bayawak etc.) is so repugnant to me, even if it’s cooked and served well. Although I am rather adventurous and willing to try all sorts of food and drink, I suppose this has reached my personal limits and sensitivity. Oh well, we are all different.

    Jul 9, 2007 | 4:51 pm

  6. tings says:

    oh poor froggies :-(

    I agree with Ellen. Although I won’t judge the people who do eat forgs, I must admit that I want to smack the people who skin them alive. How cruel!

    Jul 9, 2007 | 5:00 pm

  7. RobKSA says:

    Ellen, I too had a traumatic experience in HK but not frogs but monkey. My first time in HK (early 80s), i somehow got lost and wandered in a market. Then I saw this thing, a monkey head in the middle of the table and then there’s these chinese guys starting to scope out the brain of a live monkey. I somehow looked at the table below as there are many curious onlookers and I saw the monkey and his eyes are rolling!

    Jul 9, 2007 | 5:32 pm

  8. kaoko says:

    How big are those frogs? They kinda look icky that way. I remember having tried frogs when I was in grade school. My grandmother’s sister cooked them as frog adobo. The frogs where small though, palakang bukid. It was all fleshy legs, bony body and tasted like chicken. I remember eating just the legs though.

    If you’re interested in cooking frogs but don’t want to bother with froggy murder, I’ve seen them being sold skinned and frozen at South Supermarket in Alabang.

    Jul 9, 2007 | 5:37 pm

  9. Raneli says:

    An aunt in Pampangga once prepared a frog dish called”Betute” which I sheepishly tasted out of politeness. It tasted like adobong chicken , but its not what I’ll crave for a meal knowing that its Kermit I’m eating. Sorry my imagination is just too vivid. In high school, you had to dissect a frog in Biology class because it resembled more or less the internal organs of the human body in miniature form. So, eating frogs, pardon me, is akin to eating Lilliputans.

    Jul 9, 2007 | 5:38 pm

  10. kaye says:

    i was taught by my grandma how to skin frogs.. she told me that it is best to cut off part of the head with the eyes so that it wouldn’t be a cruel death to the frogs but still some manage to hop around for awhile before going to the other side of their world.. hehehe!! we would use kalburo (sorry forgot the english term) to grasp the skin from the cut since it’s a little slimy and hard to grasp on to then with one long pull you can get the whole skin from the body.. i remember her cooking several dishes with it but i only tasted the fried frogs.. it actually tastes like chicken.. :)

    Jul 9, 2007 | 5:48 pm

  11. leila antonio says:

    my mom who is a certified ilokano cooked it tinola style. She will make gisa garlic, onions, tomatoes and sliced ginger, then cleaned/skinned frogs. She would pour in like 4 cups rice washings or tap water in bring it to a boil, when the frogs are already cooked she would make “pitpit” with back of the ladle the yellow colored eggs of the frog which look like caviar and pour it to the broth, then she would put in the last ingredients which is dahon ng amplaya. Try it, masarap higupin ang sabaw, and the frogs taste like chicken.

    You can buy skinned frogs at Arranque wetmarket. It’s a hit with the Chinese.

    Jul 9, 2007 | 6:13 pm

  12. elaine says:

    Those are huge frogs and like Jade186, it grossed me out too. I’m not that bold an eater and I’ve never and will never eat frogs. My husband does eat frogs and says it tastes like chicken (I don’t even eat chicken feet). Memories of dissecting frogs back in high school creeps back on me and I almost failed the subject for refusing to slit open a frog…

    Jul 9, 2007 | 6:42 pm

  13. Mon Corpuz says:

    Here’s Ilocano tinola version of frogs.

    Jul 9, 2007 | 9:02 pm

  14. mikelinparis says:

    i remember eating large frogs legs in tinola type soup when i was growing up. i loved it! had that light green veggie.;dunno the name..and sili leaves in the soup.

    Jul 9, 2007 | 9:08 pm

  15. nikka says:

    i think i’ll pass on this one! i may have french blood, but i’ll stick to smelly cheese and snails. hahah

    oh, off topic… have you seen the ostrich eggs they have for sale at the supermarket in rockwell? i’d love to see what you would decide to do with one of these!

    Jul 9, 2007 | 9:12 pm

  16. Apicio says:

    I can understand the resistance against making frogs part of your diet, what with being brought up to believe that one of them critters can, upon touching it with one’s lips, suddenly turn into a prince (or limb thereof).

    Jul 9, 2007 | 10:17 pm

  17. MRJP says:

    Eeeewwww…. I cant even stand looking at frogs because I think they look gross, am afraid of them ever since I was a kid, and they have that “yuck” factor to me… the thought of touching it, skinning it, cooking it and eating it or any of the aforementioned just grossed me out big time! It will probably make me faint. Thank God my biology teacher in high school didnt make us dissect a frog! Maybe she doesnt like them too.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 12:10 am

  18. Maddie says:

    One word…eeeeeew! Didn’t get to read the post after the picture.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 12:22 am

  19. Maria Clara says:

    It’s 1-2-3 to dress a frog and gut to do it. Cut the head off with a pinch of a cooled ash remnant from wood burning stove or charcoal pulls the skin off up to the last leg. The skin comes off easy with the aid of the cooled ash to anchor the skin onto your fingers so it would not slip off. There is no fat in them and taste like chicken. Once dressed you can make betutu with ground pork mix with finely chopped onion, lots of ground black pepper and another pork fat chopped bacon then stuff the cavity with the pork mixture and deep fried. Tinola and arroz caldo is also good. My family does not buy frogs since the early 80s when a nearby barangay was almost entirely wiped out eating mated frogs with “karag” those poisonous big frogs with the native ones which carried their poisonous vile.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 1:48 am

  20. Lou says:

    My mom used to saute them with garlic, onions and tomatoes. She would also add kamias and young peppper leaves.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 4:03 am

  21. connie says:

    My mom would clean frogs the way Maria Clara described above, the coal ash do help to skin the frog easier. She prepared it “batute”, I really do not know what’s the right word. I really can’t remember much about the taste as she stopped making them long before I entered first grade. Although she still made the fried frog legs, that all of us kids like. Maybe that’s the reason, batute involves more preparation time when we like the simply fried legs anyway.
    As for eating it now, thinking about how you skin the frogs while alive. I don’t think I could stomach eating them anymore. But then again I don’t know how they kill alligators for making fried alligators.
    And I do thank the frogs we used for Biology and Zoology for letting us torture them for the sake of learning.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 5:04 am

  22. Ted says:

    If it tastes like chicken, then why just not eat chicken? Actually, i’ve tasted frogs, rabbits, gator, and snake, and they all taste the same to me,,,”chicken” hehehe. But somehow, horsey and bow-wow taste more like a gamey lamb or goat. I’ve tried them once and will never eat them again….I’ll stick to chicken or goat/lamb. I need to try that monkey brain though.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 6:48 am

  23. millet says:

    “Like a crazy person”….that’s why we love you so, MM..you do the “crazying” for us ;->

    seems i’m not the only one here traumatized by frog dissection in hi school bio class. to this day, i refuse to eat tinolang manok (which my family loves)because it reminds me so much of that time. i had a big scare one time at sidcor when a huge net bag of live frogs jumped in front of me just as i was looking at some seafood! i think my scream scared the wits out of half the vendors!

    Jul 10, 2007 | 6:55 am

  24. consol says:

    one word: “ribbit!”

    no, two words: “ribbit” “kokak!”

    then: “Let the frogs go!” (taken from one of my children’s VCD Kermit movies)

    noooo, thanks. not even on a silver platter. not with those bulbous eyes staring at you. kahit anong lasa pa sya, ang palaka ay palaka. yeah well, diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 7:41 am

  25. mrs m says:

    kermit sotangon soup is the best frog recipe i’ve tasted so far. saute garlic (leave some for topping), onions, atchuete for color, the frogs, season with fish sauce, white pepper, chicken broth, add sliced ampalaya and sotanghon and ampalaya leaves. if you are not a fan of amplaya, just add julienned carrots and tengang daga. yummy, you’d like to eat the frog bones too.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 7:51 am

  26. mgr says:

    Yum! and so CHEAP! Wish I could get those here for that same price in L.A.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 8:21 am

  27. mgr says:

    Yes, it sells here for $16/lb. or roughly $35/kilo

    Jul 10, 2007 | 8:26 am

  28. paolo says:

    No, to frog legs for me, thank you…even though the french love them…. as “cuisses de grenouilles”. If I like something that taste like chicken, I’ll stick to chicken.

    MM, what about eating dogs? I’ve heard often that foreigner in the Philippines put their dogs on a lease because, they don’t want their pets to end up as meals by their neighbors. Stray dogs, they are fair catch I heard.

    If you do eat them, please…. I’d rather you not share recipes.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 9:12 am

  29. Hershey says:

    Frog congee is famous in hawker centers here in SG and is quite expensive . I’ve tried stuffed fried frogs before and I liked it. It tastes like chicken. They sell skinned frogs at the market but I would rather buy crabs. They have the same price — S$3.00 per piece. Crazy.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 9:21 am

  30. carina says:

    i tried sinampalukan, adobo and fried. they actually taste good. but it’s been years since i tasted any frog dishes(sorry guys! i’m capampangan :)

    Jul 10, 2007 | 9:37 am

  31. lee says:

    I remember enjoying adobo frogs as pulutan years ago in a party. A friend’s brother called it Adobo Giordano.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 9:52 am

  32. zeph says:

    My granny does it the way Maria Clara described, they call it batotay in Bataan, which is weird because in some areas of Nueva Ecija, batotay is sweet, beef longganiza. I think my grandma also puts some atsuete, either for the color or taste of the stuffing. The photos, however, don’t look like “palakang bukid” to me. They are way too huge and they sort of look like bull frogs which are largely inedible because of the poison they produce. Palakang bukid also makes good adobo.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 10:10 am

  33. Joey says:

    Kawawang Kermit…

    Why is it that all exotic food (e.g bayawak, sawa, etc.) are described as ‘tasting like chicken’. Just wondering…

    Jul 10, 2007 | 10:56 am

  34. acidboy says:

    Its tongue is used as a dish much like duck tongue, which is a rare and special delicacy in China.

    Jul 10, 2007 | 10:59 am

  35. kyang2x says:

    Hubby (who is chinese) was my then my bf, had the audacity to let me eat frogs. I swear I didn’t know. It really tasted good coz it has a lot of siling labuyo and peanuts in it and I asked him what was it. And he and his friends looked at me strangely and said chicken. But I felt something was wrong coz he looked very guilty, then he finally told me it was frog legs…I couldn’t believe it. I stopped eating immediately. I’m scared of frogs, memories of it hopping around the rice field after the rain when I’m visiting my grandparents in the province and it being so dirty ran thru my head, and I don’t eat want to even have a look at it anymore. Funny thing is, in restaurants and supermarkets here in China, they sell live frogs. It makes me wonder how come they don’t jump out of the tank, which is a good thing anyway. hehe

    Jul 10, 2007 | 11:51 am

  36. eumir says:

    Frog tinola it is!!! With lots of ampalaya leaves…. Frog soup for the soul :P

    Jul 10, 2007 | 12:44 pm

  37. Queen B says:

    My friend’s family lives in Cabanatuan and when they invited us to her place they served us sinampalukang frog legs… taste like chicken really but still… I just tasted it and moved on to the other dishes :D

    Jul 10, 2007 | 1:30 pm

  38. bernadette says:

    we have a biotope here so we let the bayawak eat the frogs :-)!As for the bayawak, he’s big right now!

    Jul 10, 2007 | 3:13 pm

  39. Jerry says:

    I just saw the weirdest thing on TV today. A live fish was skinned, gutted and fried with the head held just above the boiling oil. Remarkably the fish was served and eaten with the mouth gasping for breath, still visibly alive. I personally don’t see the point of this kind of cruelty.

    Jul 11, 2007 | 2:15 am

  40. Jade186 says:

    Special reader request to Marketman – could it be possible to have the dangling frogs picture changed? Or atleast change it to black and white? Or just make a link? You see, I am compelled to close my eyes whenever I hit this page. Please please please?

    Jul 11, 2007 | 3:59 am

  41. wil-b cariaga says:

    I am from Vigan, and before, my Grandma always has this regular vendor of frogs, I dont know, I couldn’t eat it now, I used to enjoy it when I was a kid, I think my Grandma sautes it in veg oil with onion and garlic adds some chicken stock and color from atsuete or annato seeds. . . but i have a phobia on frogs they really freak me out, when i see a frog even if its a few feet away i really couldn’t walk pass it. . . :)

    Jul 11, 2007 | 5:59 am

  42. wysgal says:

    You just took a photo without taking anything home? Too bad. I’ll try eating anything … as long as it’s not endangered and it won’t kill me (i.e. anything moldy, anything semi-poisonous)! =)

    Jul 11, 2007 | 2:57 pm

  43. Marketman says:

    wysgal, with a 12 hour ride ahead of us, no way these croakers were hitching a ride to Manila. Mrs. MM and The Kid would totally freak out…

    Jul 11, 2007 | 3:08 pm

  44. Blaise Fortuna says:

    That picture is gross.. Reminds me of my Anatomy class where we have to kill and skin the frogs (live frogs are cheaper than the dead-and-ready-to-autopsy frogs)..

    Jul 11, 2007 | 5:11 pm

  45. Vennis Jean says:

    Love frogs…in the province my grandparents house was sorrounded with rice paddies and mt cousins would go frog baiting after rainy nights bringing fishing fors and a petromax, my uncle then cleans and skins what we cought the night before.
    My mom would cook it adobo-style with lots of garlic and toyo. Sometines ginataan where she sautees’ garlic and onion,ginger and adds the frogs to get rid of the “langsa”, the then adds ampalaya slices and some malunggay and coconut milk sometimes a stalk or two of tanglad. Its delish!

    Dec 23, 2007 | 10:54 am


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