Frog was eaten and enjoyed well before the French colonised Vietnam. It's a common food in the wet season for all the South East Asian countries and cooked with garlic is one of the more common ways to enjoy this food. Often it is grilled satay style and for the naive is quite difficult to differentiate this from chicken. The one give away is the hardness of the bone. Frog bones, especially the vertebrae, are as hard as porcelain and can give your teeth quite a rattle if you clamp down expecting the normal chicken bone give.

Ingredients :
  • 4 pairs large frog legs, trimmed.(Freshness here is imperative as there is a distinctive odour that comes about from less than fresh frog meat).
  • 1 stalk Fresh lemon grass, soaked for 1 hour in warm water and finely chopped.
  • 2  red chillies, sliced.
  • 2 Spring onions, sliced.
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed.
  • 1½ teaspoons Sugar.
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt.
  • 30 ml (1 oz) Nuoc Mam sauce.
  • 50 g (1 bundle) Bean thread vermicelli.
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) Vegetable oil.
  • 1 Small onion, chopped.
  • 240 ml (1 cup) Chicken stock or water.
  • 100 ml (say 3½ oz) Coconut cream.
  • 3 teaspoons Corn flour mixed with a little water.   
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Coriander sprigs to garnish
Method :
  1. The frog legs may be left whole or chopped into morsels. The bone is quite brittle and is likely to break off shards so it's important to rinse the cut legs before the following steps .
  2. Drain on kitchen tissue and put in the refrigerator.
  3. Homogenise the lemon grass, chillies, spring onion, garlic, sugar, salt and 15 ml Nuoc Mam sauce in a blender or food processor.
  4. Mix the legs with the paste and ensure a good coverage.Refrigerate again to marinade for 30 minutes at least.
  5. Soak the vermicelli in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and cut into 5 cm lengths , (easiest with scissors).
  6. Heat the oil in a wok over moderate heat and saute the onion until soft.
  7. Brown the legs, turning them periodically, for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Add the coconut cream,the corn flour mixture and the remaining Nuoc Mam sauce. Stir as the sauce thickens and cook for another 5 minutes.
  10. Add the vermicelli and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with black pepper and garnish with coriander sprigs.
           Serve immediately with bread, rice or noodles.

A modification