Monday, 6 January 2014


Asian style Coca cola braised Crocodile paw , Hawaiian sweet potato puree , Cola broth reduction , Water hyssop (Brahmi herb) , Ginger mint and Wild spinach flower.

             This isn't the first time I've used coca cola to braise meat, it does a fantastic job, nor is this the first time cooking crocodile paw this week. But as far as braising 'Croc in Coke' its a first. Earlier this week I made char grilled croc hock with a fresh made banana flower salad and it tasted fantastic on the blistering hot summer day it was. On the last day of our holidays on the coast, I came across a small shop in the heart of Surfers Paradise, they'd only been open for a week. 'Fortune Abalone Australia' are traders in world delicacies and it was the massive mason jars standing half a meter tall filled with deep sea cucumbers that caught my attention whilst walking past. Well really it might have been the price label of AUS. $1200 / kg for these sea melons from the abyss. They had snake, birds nests you name it and as I pried further with curiosity, my wife clung tighter in desperation to my two boys, so they couldn't knock anything over. At the back of the shop these crocodile paws caught my eye from a chest freezer, when I saw the price $6 for two hocks I had to get them and along with some tail fillet, we walked out of there with some fairly cheap (Australian standards) croc meat and the boys managed to avoid a second bill (the damages). This crocodile meat comes from a farm in Cairns Nth. Queensland and comes available washed, skinned, vacuum packed, frozen and in various cuts. The asian cola broth paired with the sweet potato is just heaven, add the croc paw just tops it off. Crocodile paw cooked this way by far surpasses the textural highness of braised chicken feet. The dish was finished off with the renowned brain herb Brahmi or Water hyssop which grows with much vigour at this time of the year. Along with watercress and kang kong (water spinach) they make up the natural plant filters in my solar aquaponic pond set-up which I grow Red-claw yabbies.                                                                          
               To begin I started by defrosting, washing and cutting the croc hock to the portion sized paw, this was then boiled rapidly in water for 2-3 minutes before removing, discarding the water and washing the pot to start the broth, this process removes any unwanted impurities before braising. Into the pot I put the croc foot with one part coke to two parts water enough to cover the paw. Adding to this a quarter part of each soy sauce, dry sherry and panela (evaporated sugar cane juice) along with red chilli, ginger, star anise and cinnamon stick this was brought to the boil before reducing to a simmer for around 45-50 minutes covered and turning the paw twice each side during this process, this was removed from the heat and set aside. During the braising process I peeled some Hawaiian sweet potato cutting into equal pieces I placed them into a pot of cold water which I brought to the boil until the starch was tender of which I then drained and placed into a blender with a little seasoning and some milk and blended to a rough puree. To make the sauce I simply poured some of the strained cooking liquid into a small saucepan adding a little more panela and some xantham gum I simmered the sauce until thick and reduced.          
              to plate I spooned some of the reduction onto the plate dragging the paw through the sauce I then spooned some puree topped with water hyssop opposite the sauce placing the croc paw on top of the puree and finishing the dish with a little ginger mint and a wild spinach flower.


  1. Wow! This is really taking it to another level! Impressive!

  2. Thanks heaps for the kind words anonymous, they don't all turn out this way and some things just don't go your way, like everything I guess persistence pays off. Braising was definitely better than the marinate / char-gril option for this particular cut from the croc.