The Dish: Homestyle frog
Where to Get It: New Big Wong, 610 H St. NW; (202) 628-0491
What It Is: Frog with Chinese green beans and snow peas
What It Tastes Like: Lightly tossed in flour and pan-fried, the frog is fresh, moist, and crisp on the outside, tasting somewhere between chicken and fish—or maybe alligator. The flavor of soy sauce and fermented black beans give a sweet, smoky, almost nutty umami flavor.
History of the Dish: While French grenouille gets all the attention, frogs appear frequently in Chinese cooking, from soups to stir-frys. In traditional Chinese medicine, certain foods cool the chi or energy of the body and others warm it up. Frog, being a water creature, is thought to cool the chi, meaning it removes toxins that cause inflammation.
How to Eat It: Carefully. It’s delicious, but watch out for the tiny bones.
Photo by Mary Kong-DeVito