In northern Australia (which includes the top ends of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland) the Saltwater Crocodile is thriving, particularly in the multiple river systems near Darwin (such as the Adelaide, Mary and Daly Rivers, along with their adjacent billabongs and estuaries) where exceptionally large (6 meter +) individuals are not uncommon. A rough estimate states that the Australian Saltwater Crocodile population stands somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 adults.
Crocodile meat is a succulent white meat, akin to fish in both appearance and texture, but the taste of chicken and therefore best cooked in the same manner as chicken or lean pork.
Crocodile is easy to prepare and cook. It is best cooked from frozen as during the
thawing process most of the moisture runs out decreasing the flavour. It should be
cooked for two minutes on either side and then allowed to stand for a few
minutes. It is best served just cooked (in red meat terms, medium rare). Remove
excess fat after cooking. Do not use a large number of ingredients (other than
herbs or spices) - no more than three is recommended. If frying, always use butter
or olive oil as they will not impart a flavour that is unique. Do not use margarine as
the hydrogenated fats can emit an unpleasant flavour and prevent you from using
other dairy products such as cream in the recipe. Keep it plain and simple.
100 gm crocodile boneless tail per serve
60 ml white wine
Slice crocodile tail fillet into 3/8-1/2 inch (10-15 mm) medallions across the grain.
Thread medallions onto wet bamboo kebab sticks. Crush pawpaw into a flat
casserole dish, adding wine and a splash of olive oil. Add the kebabs making sure
they are completely covered and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To cook, pre-heat chargrill-style BBQ, eg an open grill using rocks/coal, not a
plate. Place kebabs over coals and cook until just browned. Do not overcook. Place
on a plate in a warm place for the same amount of time it took to cook the
To cook bananas, allow 1 banana per serve. Use firm, just off bright yellow
bananas. Do not peel, cut lengthways and sprinkle brown sugar and nutmeg or
ginger over the sliced surface and BBQ without turning. The coating will melt and
the soft banana can be served whole. Prepare a platter with barbecued bananas
placed around a dish, place kebabs in the centre of the platter and serve
immediately with a cold cucumber and yoghurt salad with some crusty fresh bread.
100 gm crocodile boneless tail fillet per serve
15 gm butter per serve
20-30 ml lemon juice
100 ml thickened cream per serve
Pinch of crushed garlic per serve
Cutting across the grain, slice the tail fillet into medallions and, if necessary, cut
into short lengths of even dimension. Each medallion should be approximately 3/8
inch or 10 mm thick. (This stage can be pre-done and the resulting medallions laid
out separately on a suitable tray and frozen for subsequent use.) Add medallions
to the just browning butter and reduce heat to prevent the butter from burning. If
the medallions are frozen, cook a little longer. Do not turn more than once. When
cooked, place the meat in a bowl in a warm place or oven.
De-glaze pan with lemon or lime juice (a bottled variety is suitable) and
immediately add cream. Swirl and add garlic and bring to boil. Simmer till reduced,
so that the sauce will coat the spoon. Place meat on platter, add juices in bowl to
sauce, stir and pour sauce over medallions. Serve immediately, accompanied with
a fresh, cold, crisp salad as a starter. Alternatively, serve with BBQ bananas. It is
recommended that salad dressing not be used as it may clash with the sauce.
Skewered crocodile with lime and ginger sauce
Makes 4 entree portions
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 olive oil
10 g cornflour
Salt and pepper to taste
8 bamboo skewers
Thread crocodile meat onto bamboo skewers, place in a flat dish, season with salt
and pepper, pour lime juice over and place in fridge for about 1 hour. Remove
skewers from refrigeration, saving residual lime juice for the sauce. Heat olive oil
in a frying pan and sauté crocodile for about 5 minutes, set aside and keep
warm. Combine lime juice, honey, brown sugar, ginger, chicken stock and
cornflour in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Place skewers on plates, spoon sauce over meat and garnish with fresh herbs.