So Kwin and I were sitting around smoking one evening and we were having a discussion about some of the fun or more exotic kinds of meats that would be fun to try to smoke. I told him one of my favorite things to eat at the local Hong Kong Buffet was their frog legs. He told me that he had never tried them before so I was determined to surprise him with some delicious frog legs to try for the first time. I was anxious to see his reaction. Most of the time we enjoy similar types of foods so I thought there was a good chance that he would enjoy them as I do, but I also knew in the back of my mind that this was something very different and not to be surprised if he turned up his nose at this once croaking treat!
The Northwest is not famous for many exotic styles of eating or capturing critters from our backyards and consuming them with as much frequency as regions such as in the Southern United States, so finding somewhere to sell me frog legs to smoke was going to be a challenge. So my idea was to go to the Hong Kong Buffet and pick up a to go box of their frog legs from the buffet and also see if they would sell me uncooked legs to take home to Kwin to attempt to smoke. Although it was quite amusing trying to communicate my request of uncooked frog legs across the language barrier that existed between us, they surprised me by joyfully granting my desires.
The first pleasant surprise I received was that they did not just go to the buffet and serve me up the legs that had been sitting in the warmers for the past half hour. They made me a delicious, fresh batch of legs that were lightly seasoned and fried in a peppery, fried chicken like coating served in Jalapenos, Chinese peppers, onions and cabbage. These were by far the best Frog Legs I had ever tasted and Kwin was about ready to explode with pleasure after trying them!
We were also given three sets of frozen legs in a to go box to take home for our first attempt at smoked Frog Legs. We were not really sure about how to go about smoking our fine croaking friends, so turned to the internet for assistance. After seeing that not much was written about smoking frog legs, we determined we would be experimenting on this our first attempt. We placed the legs in an Aluminum pan, let them thaw, sprinkled them with two types of rub we thought might taste good on frog legs (one being Mt. Saint Helens Ash) and placed them on the smoker.
We already had other items smoking on a Weber Smokey Mountain that we had previously prepared for our smoke with hickory as our wood of choice and the temperature set at about 225 degrees F. We smoked the legs for about an hour and 45 minutes until they started to have the same look as cooked chicken wings.
The legs took on a good flavor from the Hickory smoke. On our next attempt we will perhaps cook for less time and the try to imitate the light batter that the buffet covered them with. We then will give them a quick flash fry like we do with our chicken wings. This will hopefully make the frog meat more tender and add an additional texture of the crispy outer coating. All in all, we were very happy to have attempted this fun food and will be doing it again in the future.