Why Not Take A Bite…
They both conjure up the feeling that you’re looking at a dinosaur, but even though they look menacing they are also very tasty. Their meat is very much the same, apart from Alligator being a little more lower in sodium but both have the same texture and unique tastes.
The health benefits from the meat is well known amongst health conscious people and by adding a portion of Crocodile or Alligator meat to your diet, it is a good way of changing it up without the worry of eating something unhealthy.
Nutritional and Health Information…
Crocodile and Alligator is a source of rich high protein. Because of this it makes it great for building healthy muscle. 100g of raw meat contains 22.5g of protein, which puts it on par with meat from a lamb leg but more than protein from chicken breast.
Low in fat
Crocodile and Alligator meat contains just 1.6% fat. Again beating chicken breast by a long way and less the leanest cut of beef. Its low-fat content makes the meat an excellent option for people following or needing a low-calorie alternative who don’t want to cut meat from their meals.
Rich in Omega-3
Crocodile and Alligator is packed full of ‘good’ fat Omega-3s. These good fats can assist in lowering the risk of heart disease as well as help with depression, dementia and arthritis. Your body doesn’t have the ability to naturally produce Omega-3, so you need to add to your diet with foods containing these fatty acids.
Not only is it delicious but Crocodile and Alligator meat is good for lungs and blood circulation. The meat is said to help cure asthma and coughing problems but this has not been scientifically studied or proven.
Below is a comparison chart with other meats…
|Meat Type||Protein (g/100g)||Fat (g/100g)||Energy (kj/100g)|
|Crocodile / Alligator||21.1||1.9||436|
|Source: Australian Crocodile Traders|
As Crocodile and Alligator meat is quite lean, it is best not over cooked as it can dry out. The meat has a light grained texture which is firm with a delicate flavour. There are many methods of cooking and you will find restaurants that have the meat on their menu serve them as appetisers. The cuts of meat can be baked, sauteed‚ grilled or fried, and served in many different ways.
Marinading is recommended to help keep moisture retention. The meat cooks well with these ingredients as marinades: any citrus (orange, lime, lemon), blended fruit (mangoes, pears, kiwi), rosemary, garlic, basil, ginger, chilli, salt, pepper and curry leaves. After cooking it is best to wrap the meat in foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the juices to evenly disperse before slicing and serving.
Crocodile and Alligator Meat Cuts…
Jaw or Jowel Meat
This is a tender part that can be cooked in ways similar to chicken breast. Great for stir frying and used for kebabs
Tail and Fillet
Meat from the tail and fillet are the premium cuts from the animal and ideal for pan frying, roasting or cut into steaks for bbq. The texture is very much like veal with colour ranging from pale pink to white and can be used as a substitute for and veal or chicken recipe. When baking or roasting it is best to cover or wrap in foil and just open up or uncover the last 10 minutes to get a nice brown sheen. Definitely the tenderest part.
Body or Torso Meat Boneless
The meat texture is somewhat similar to the tail but generally tougher. As with other variety meats of tougher cuts, the meat is better suited for wet cooking methods like stews and curries and slow cooked for lengths of time. Alternatively, mincing for burgers or sausages works well with this part of the Crocodile or Alligator.
Similar to the body cuts, the neck meat should be cooked as above for slow wet cooking or also minced for burgers and sausages.
Leg Meat Bone In
The meat on the leg can have more sinus making it quite tough. With the bone the meat is very suitable for making soups and boneless, the meat is perfect for super slow long wet cooked dishes. The flavour for these tougher cuts are always stronger and tastier.
A Few Recipes To Try...
Taken from Australian Crocodile Traders
CROCODILE WITH MANGO AND BASIL SAUCE
- 300 g crocodile meat – cut into thins slices,
- 30 g peanut oil,
- 20 g basil leaves,
- 20 g parsley,
- 5 g garlic – chopped,
- 20 ml white wine vinegar,
- 200 ml olive oil,
- 1 Bowen mango – stone removed and pealed, salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat peanut oil in frying pan, saute seasoned crocodile pieces for about 3 minutes, then set aside and keep warm.
- Blend basil, garlic, parsley, vinegar and olive oil in a food processor until smooth, set aside.
- Slice mango thinly and arrange on plate.
- Place crocodile slices in the centre, drizzle basil sauce around the plate and garnish with fresh herbs.
SKEWERED CROCODILE WITH LIME AND GINGER SAUCE
- 400 g crocodile meat – cut into 2 cm cubes,
- 40 ml lime juice,
- 200 ml chicken stock,
- 30 ml honey,
- 30 g brown sugar,
- 5 g ginger – finely diced,
- 30 ml oil,
- 10 g corn flour,
- salt and pepper to taste,
- 8 bamboo skewers.
- Thread crocodile meat onto bamboo skewers, place in flat dish, season with salt and pepper, pour lime juice over it and place in fridge for about 1 hour.
- Remove skewers, saving residual lime juice for the sauce.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and saute crocodile for about 5 minutes, set aside and keep warm.
- Combine lime juice, honey, brown sugar, ginger, chicken stock, and corn flour in a saucepan.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Place skewers on plates, spoon sauce over meat and garnish with fresh herbs.
- 500g crocodile meat – sliced,
- 50 g onions – diced,
- 20 g garlic – crushed,
- 5 g ginger – finely diced,
- 200 g tomatoes – chopped,
- 1 clove – crushes,
- 2 cardamom pods – crushed,
- one 3 cm cinnamon stick,
- 1 spring curry leaves,
- 10 g lemon grass stick,
- 3 g chilli powder,
- 10 g paprika,
- 3 g fenugreek seeds,
- 3 g turmeric, 200 ml coconut milk,
- 10 ml lime juice,
- 50 ml oil,
- salt to taste.
- Heat oil in a stewpot.
- Add curry leaves, lemon grass, onion, garlic and ginger and fry about 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, chilli powder, paprika, cinnamon stick, fenugreek, turmeric and salt.
- Add crocodile meat and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in coconut milk and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
Serve heated plates with lime juice sprinkled over the top accompanied by steamed rice.
- Garnish with fresh curry leaves.
For more recipes visit Australian Crocodile Traders…
Where can you buy Crocodile or Alligator meat?
In Australia you can ask your butcher to source the meat for you or you could try contacting the companies below…
Australian Crocodile Traders… situated in Woree Queensland
Mahogany Creek Distributors… situated in Perth Western Australia
Alpine Game Meats… situated in Sydney New South Wales
In the USA for Alligator…
UK Crocodile meat suppliers…
Go ahead and get some…
Why not expand your tasting experience and try some Crocodile or Alligator, depending on where you are in the world. We all know that these animals won’t hesitate to take a bite out of you if they get a chance…well how about biting them back by trying out one of those recipes above. You never know, you might end up liking the meat so much that you’ll add to your regular diet. Certainly will make for entertaining conversation at your next dinner invitation for friends.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below.