One hundred and nineteen

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi

When I lived in Melbourne, Australia a couple of years ago, I really enjoyed eating kangaroo – steaks, burgers – but I’ve never cooked with it myself.  I found out I could buy kangaroo topside from the St. Lawrence Market (for $25), so decided to have kangaroo represent Australia for Cooking 30 Countries month.  I had a hard time at first when I took the kangaroo out of the package and the blood and gamey smell hit my nose.  Cutting the pieces of its flesh did almost make me gag.  But the recipe was simple and the kangaroo tasted delicious.  I’d probably make the recipe again with another type of meat.  I think $25 for one steak of kangaroo is a little too pricey to be a regular purchase.

Before I get into the recipe, though here are some facts about kangaroo meat:

  • Kangaroo meat is very lean, with usually less than 2% fat and high in protein, iron and zinc, so therefore very healthy.
  • In a report commissioned by Greenpeace, Dr. Mark Diesendorf says that cutting back on beef production in Australia by 20% and substituting kangaroo meat could save 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the next twelve years (read about Vancouver kangaroo sales on
  • Kangaroo is always free-range organic meat – never farmed
  • The Ecological Society of Australia, the Australasian Wildlife Management Society and the Australasian Mammal Society have all released statements saying they support kangaroo harvesting.
  • Kangatarianism – people who exclude all meat except kangaroo on environmental, ecological and humanitarian grounds (read this article from The Sydney Morning Herald for more information)
  • Sources: Southern Game MeatWikipediaKangaroo Industry Association of Australia, and the others mentioned above.

Sesame Kangaroo with Asian Greens

Seasame Kangaroo with Asian Greens, from the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia:

Serves 4-6

Quantity Ingredients

2 Tsp Minced garlic
2 Tsp Minced ginger
3 Tbs Soy sauce
3 Tbs Oyster sauce
4 Tbs Plum sauce
500 G Lean kangaroo topside cut into thin strips
900 G Hokkien noodles
    Spray or olive oil
2 Each Sweet potato julienne
2 Each Bok choy
1 Each Green capsicum, sliced
1 Bch English spinach, trimmed
3 Tbs Toasted sesame seeds
60 G Snow pea sprouts


1. Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce and plum sauce in a glass or ceramic dish
2. Add the kangaroo and toss to coat. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes
3. Drain the meat and reserve the marinade
4. Put the hokkien noodles into a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water
5. Leave to stand for 2 minutes, pushing gently with a wooden spoon to separate the strands
6. Drain well and set aside
7. Spray a non stick wok or frying pan with oil and heat
8. Stir fry the meat in 2 or 3 batches over high heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Set aside
9. Reheat the wok, add the sweet potato and capsicum and stir fry for 3 minutes then add the reserved marinade and bring to the boil
10. Add the spinach leaves, bok choy and toss until just wilted
11. Stir in the noodles, kangaroo, sesame seeds and snow pea sprouts and toss to heat through

Of course for dessert I had to have Tim Tams (a chocolate wafer cookie, coated in more chocolate) dipped in either tea or coffee.  The trick is to bite opposite corners off, then suck the hot liquid up through the biscuit until it collapses in on it itself and starts to fall apart, and throw the whole thing in your mouth.  It was one of my favourite treats in Melbourne and I was so happy to find a place they sell them in Toronto.



10 thoughts on “One hundred and nineteen

  1. I’m glad you didn’t invite me for dinner!!! (Although I would have loved the dessert!) What other guinea pig ate it with you? Good job for trying it though Lex!

  2. YUM!
    Another Kangaroo fact: Lots of Melbourne pubs have “Roo and Red” nights where you can delicious Roo and a glass of Red for a good price. Maybe you should come back and have some. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cold winter night.

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  5. Found this via your Freshly Pressed post. There are several things (aka animals, reptiles, bugs) I thought I would never eat, but I’ve surprized myself with octopus, alligator, sea cucumber, and abalone. The alligator was the best out of the bunch. Was kangaroo one of those things for you? Have you had other strange creatures and liked it?

    • Kangaroo is actually quite tasty and pretty good for you, as long as you can get past the thought of what you’re eating. I guess that’s the same as any of those other things – it’s all in the mind. I’ve never tried alligator or sea cucumber, but I do like octopus. What did alligator taste like? Do you have a lot of it in Texas?

      If something’s put in front of me, I will take at least one bite and try it, even if it’s a bit crazy. I figure it’s worth a try because maybe I’ll like it. And if not, I have a really great story to tell!

      • I had the gator in Houston, closer to the gulf and swamp lands. It was like a chewy piece of chicken, they were prepared as “nuggets”, battered and deep fried. Like you said, I tried one and ended up eating half the plate 🙂 The sea cucumber is very soft, like an overcooked cucumber or zucchini, with a fishy aftertaste. I might call it quits on the sea cucumber :X

  6. I am Australian, and work in a hostel in San Sebastian, Spain.
    There is a single bar-restaurant here in town – a city which has some of the best gastronomic cuisine in the world might I add – which serves Kangaroo. People who come through the hostel are often taken aback when an Australian recommends they eat our national animal. It even on our coat of arms. It’s as if they feel it’ll offend me!

    But when they try it, cooked perfectly rarely with enough rock salt to draw the flavoursome juices to the surface, they immediately understand why it should replace beef in our country. This is further confirmed upon hearing it’s amazing nutritional qualities!

    Thank you for spreading the message even more widely!

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