Frog Ovaries Anyone?

This isnt a post from a high school biology dissection session but as tough as it might actually be to swallow its a food related post. At this stage your ideas might have already evolved to the wildest and most vile of ideas. But lets address the true elephant in the room. In Europe the french have a policy of "Nose to tail" which means  every part of an animal from nose to tail is utilized or etched in their culinary genome. No wastage at all, i like that it shows great respect for the produce and culminates to a true feast for the palette.

But in Asia things are taken to the next level most prominently or notoriously known in the chinese. Hang on about that, not the next level but actually levels off all form of level or hierarchy with a simple yet gut turning (at times) philosophy of eating anything that has its back facing the sun. I dont really have any noble way to put this in an artsy or philosophical interpretation for this but in the case of a country like Cambodia spiders like tarantula has become a favorite snack with its country people out of mere necessity due the the famine during the Khmer Rouge reign.
The much more typical dessert menu you'd find

But one vague idea that i can come to grip with is that most of this prized after ingredients such as Sharks fin and birds nest symbolises power, wealth and aristocracy. At one time these were only available to the emperors and aristocrates. But in this modern day and age of better economic wealth distribution its hard to find a chinese person who has never tried a bowl of sharks fin soup or at least knows someone who does. And strangely enough even after 100 years of the reign of the chinese Monarch the elite status still stands.

Going back to the title of the post itself , Frog ovaries? or you might find it written in certain specialty restaurants written as Hasma isn't the frog ovaries as i was first introduced to but more specifically the frogs fallopian tubes. For those unfamiliar with anatomy, its the portion where the eggs/ovum is transported through to be fertilized from the ovaries.
the unassuming porcelain pot

So what so special about this? Taste wise like shark fin and birds nest it doesnt have a taste on its own but takes on the flavour in the broth which its being cooked in. In this case it had a slightly gingery sharpness to it and is served in a broth with red dates and dried lotus seeds. It has a texture cross over of the starchiness of sago and tapioca. Appearance wise it looks no different from enlarged sago seeds and comes sold in a dehydrated form.

It was my first time seeing this dish of the menu and i was told it's frog ovaries. Being an adventurous foodie its hard to turn away from something that intriguing after being told its a very traditional chinese dish and like all of them has its own medicinal properties. A little reading up tells me that is believed to give better skin complexion, and cure respiratory associated ailments.

Im actually still curious as to how its actually being harvested from the frog itself. Main producers being China, Taiwan and Hong kong (no surprises here).
A different form of specialtly available. Mango, red bean and kiwi Loh

But anyways, before animal right activists and green loving tree huggers go up in arms i would like to clarify that this post isnt meant to take sides nor encourage the consumption of shark fin/birds nest/ Hasma. Honestly i never really seen any culinary value in its tasteless gelatinous texture and the cruel atrocities inflicted towards sharks when harvesting their fins is good enough to put me off. I sure do hope  these pond hopping loud croaking amphibians dont suffer the same fate when being harvested off their egg transporting tube.

This is the location of the restaurant which i tried this dish:

Restaurant KTZ,
N0. 22 Jalan SS2/63
Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur.


Ronaldmohoni said...

wow... awesome..

Huai Bin said...

I go to KTZ for my desserts too! I'm not one for the overrated bubble tea places, this is relatively close to me and they open till late.

Yup, hasma is one of those things that don't have taste in it's native form as you mentioned. It's like birds nest, it's the texture that's amazing and it takes on flavors from the other ingredients.

I love it too. :)

Brian said...

Ronaldmohoni: thanks give it a try!

Huai Bin: Oh really? yea recently read an article in the star stating that th powder is hazardous to our health.

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