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An edible frog in your monsoon garden

September 22, 2010

At Dokmai Garden in Chiang Mai (Thailand) we had seven species of wild amphibians listed until yesterday, when we managed to catch species number eight: Rana limnocharis. Some authors name the frog Fejervarya limnocharis. It has vernacular names like Rice Frog, Paddy Frog, White-lined Frog and Cricket Frog. It is characterised by a pear-shaped body with tubercles and a white line on the back. It is widely distributed in Asia

Ketsanee Seehamongkol’s comment was “aroi” (delicious) when we caught it. At Dokmai Garden we do not kill wild frogs for food, because we want to show them to the visitors, and because the wild frog populations are under pressure due to habitat loss, larvicides and hunting. Anyhow, of anthropological reasons we describe a recipe for cooking this frog, based on Ketsanee’s descriptions.

1. Kill the frog with a hit to the head. The Thai cook would use a knife.

2. If the frog is big, slit the stomach and gut it.

3. Chop the frog, bones and all, into small pieces.

4. Chop lemon grass, shallots, chili and garlic, and mix with the frog.

5. Heat a frying pan, and add some water and the frog mixed with the seasoning.

6. When the meat turns white, add some fish sauce, salt and Esan anchovy.

7. Take a handful of sticky rice and dip it in the frog dish and enjoy!

Eric Danell (biologist), Anja Rohde (anthropologist) and Ketsanee Seehamongkol (owner of Dokmai Garden)

The Rice Frog is native to Dokmai Garden, and is considered an edible species. Photo: Anja Rohde.

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