american bullfrog recipes

Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana

Region of Origin: Eastern North America
Habitat: Freshwater lakes, marshes, ponds, and streams; prefer warm waters
Current Range: North and South America, China and Europe
Life Span: 7-9 years in the wild

Now found all over the planet, bullfrogs are ravenous eaters and will eat anything they can swallow. They can rapidly eliminate populations of native small animals including snakes, fish, rodents, insects, amphibians and birds. Ever multiplying, their reproductive capacity is astonishing; an adult can lay 20,000 eggs in a single clutch! Luckily, bullfrogs have tasty legs and you can prepare them a number of ways. As tradition has it, bullfrog hunters do not wear waders. It’s rather a primitive exercise to head out after dark (preferably under a full moon), sink into the pond with not much more than a torchlight and gig – a ten foot pole with a multi-prong spear tip; but one that is entirely authentic. You lurk around the dark water until you see that defining ‘eye shine’ that means, at least for a moment, the frog is frozen in the bright light. You spring, and spear the gig. If you don’t succeed the first time, try again – it takes a few times to get the ‘giggin’ down pat.

fried frog lets vert 2
Fried Frog Legs, French Style, photo copyrighted and courtesy of Holly A. Heyser

Fried Frog Legs, French Style

Angler, hunter, gardener and award winning author and chef Hank Shaw offers this delectable recipe on his site, Honest-Food.net – Thank you Hank!

Sometimes, you find something too great to pass up! One look at this dish, and you know it’s a must eat. This recipe is classic Provencal, formally called, “cuisses de grenouille à la Provençale,” and it is the way Hank first experienced frog legs as a child. The memory stuck with him. Find his story and recipe here. It’s a great read with a delicious ending!

hank shaw holding bullfrog
Hank Shaw holding bullfrog, photo copyrighted and courtesy of Holly A. Heyser

A special thank you to author and ecologist Corinne Duncan for her content contributions to the Bullfrog Introduction.

Teriyaki Frog Legs with Mushrooms

Recipe by Rick Browne

teriyaki frog legs with mushrooms
Photo courtesy of Rick Browne


¼ cup butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
1 cup freshly minced parsley
1 lb. sliced crimini mushrooms
2 Tbsps. minced garlic
1 ½ tsps. onion salt
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. favorite hot sauce
2 cups boned frog legs
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup teriyaki sauce

In a large wok or skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and parsley, sautéing until onions are clear. Add mushrooms, garlic, onion salt, and ginger; stir well and cook until mushrooms are hot. Add hot sauce and frog legs and stir well, then pour in the wine and teriyaki sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low (250-300˚F) and simmer 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Garnish with minced green onions, and serve with buttered grits and stewed tomatoes.

Cajun-fried Bullfrog Legs

Recipe by Jacques Gaspard

12 pairs of bullfrog legs
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsps. cornstarch
4 oz. fresh beer
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 quart peanut oil

In a bowl, add the egg whites, your favorite Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, salt, Tabasco sauce, baking powder and beer together and thoroughly mix. Next, dissolve 2 tsp of cornstarch in a small amount of cold water and add it to the mixture. Again, blend all of the ingredients together. This will be used to coat the frog legs.

In a separate bowl, with a lid, mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of yellow corn meal together. After dredging the frog legs in the beer batter, add them to the bowl of flour and cornmeal, close the lid, and shake until they are well coated on all sides. (A large Ziploc-type bag can also be used for this.)

Heat peanut oil (or other vegetable oil) to 365°F and fry the legs for about 3-4 minutes on each side (turning once), or until they have turned golden-brown. Do not attempt to fry too many at one time because it will bring down the oil temperature. This will make them greasy. We are looking for crispy legs, remember? This is why it is important to maintain an even temperature throughout the process.

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