Trying exotic meat may seem like a thrilling experience, but you often have to consume meats of animals that look unfamiliar and unappetizing.
Like it or not, this article will discuss lizard meat.
But you’re likely here because you’re interested in trying the lizards.
So, what does lizard taste like, and how can you prepare them?
Lizards may remind you of some common meats and could be even more flavorful than you’d imagined.
If you’re interested in learning about this exotic meat, we’ve got answers below.
What Is Lizard?
Lizards are squamate reptiles closely related to snakes.
Some species are quadrupedal, while some are legless and glide to move.
Chameleons, geckos, and skinks are some of the most popular lizards.
There are over 7000 species of lizards, and you can find them in sizes ranging from a few centimeters to many meters in length.
The Komodo dragon is the largest, while the Brookesia is the smallest.
Lizards aren’t as common as other meats in the culinary world, but they are among the most commonly eaten reptiles.
They’re also considered a delicacy in regions that consume lizard meat.
Most lizards are carnivorous and feed on insects, while larger species feed on mammals.
The nature of their prey may affect the flavor and smell of lizard meat.
The most common lizards used as meat are the green iguana, gecko, skink, and black iguana.
They are inexpensive and accessible; you can buy them from exotic markets.
What Does Lizard Taste Like?
Lizards may not be the most appealing meat, but they’re great exotic meat to experience eating.
Like snakes and many other reptiles, lizards taste like chicken.
This similarity in taste gives them the nickname “chicken of the trees”.
Their meats have a reddish-pink hue and turn brownish when cooked.
This is one difference between a lizard and chicken meat, as the latter turns white with cooking.
The green iguana, in particular, tastes very similar to chicken but has a richer flavor.
It is firm and not fatty. Cooking the meat until tender is the best way to release most of its flavors.
As regards the texture of meat, lizards are grainy and tougher than chicken and may require a longer cook time.
They also have a gamey aroma, which may or may not be everyone’s favorite.
You can remove the gamey smell by soaking them if you have many guests with different food preferences.
You may also find that some lizard species taste like Peking ducks.
This means the meat has more fat and a robust gamey flavor.
It is prevalent in wild lizards. Domestic and farmed lizards have a milder flavor and taste like chicken but chewier.
They also do not have an intense aroma. The only difference setting them apart could be their size.
If you’ve already tried the meat and didn’t like the taste, you can conceal it in rich sauces.
They’re one way to make unappealing meats taste better.
Lizard meat is rich in protein and minerals like zinc and iron, so they’re healthy and a treat for the palate.
How to Serve Lizard?
Lizard meat has an exciting taste and texture that makes them suitable for many dishes.
Here are some ways you can experiment while cooking this exotic meat:
- Lizard soup: When added to soups, lizard provides a meaty texture while filling its broth with nutrients. Remember to toss some crunchy and colorful veggies to balance the flavor and texture.
- Grilled lizard: Grilling lizard meat is fun and easy. But before anything else, tendering the meat by boiling them. Then, proceed to the grill and dress it with a rich hot sauce and lemon juice before serving. .
- Lizard patties: One way to serve lizard meat without making it obvious is to make them into patties. This makes it easier to take in, especially if you’re curious about the meat but cannot remove the thought of it being a ‘lizard.’.
- Deep-fried lizard: This is one cooking technique that unites meat lovers. You only have to coat them in a rich batter and deep-fry until golden. This method makes excellent lunch options as it is always exciting to bite into crunchy meat.
While cooking wild lizards, you want to always boil them.
Most wild lizards host disease-causing bacteria, so boiling is the easiest way to ensure the meat is safe for consumption.
Lizards are very much similar to other reptiles in taste and texture.
Most of the species have a mild flavor, like chicken.
Meanwhile, wild lizards may have a gamey taste and resemble Peking ducks.
If you’re trying the meat for the thrill of eating exotic meat, it’s best to start with a recipe that conceals most of its flavor.
Mincing the meat and making lizard patties is one easy way to achieve this.
Also, the only way to enjoy exotic meat is to have fun experimenting with recipes, so be sure to do that.
What Does Lizard Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?
- Lizard meat
- Ingredients from your favorite recipes
- Depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and the type of dish, the taste of the food can vary greatly.
- Make sure to select a recipe that will elevate the food’s original flavor, and enjoy experimenting with different recipes!
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.