Ostrich: Healthy Red Meat

It’s Foodie Tuesday!

Ostrich teppanyaki at Benihana, Pattaya. Image from @ Bangkok

Care for something exotic?

I wrote about ostrich before, about all the fabulous gifts that they bring, from flouncy feathers and dotty leather. In addition to all these wonderful things, ostrich meat is really yummy too!

Ostrich meat is not white like that of chicken or turkey. It’s a gorgeous, rich, deep red, much like beef. The difference is that this red meat is lean. As in good for you! It has even fewer calories than white meat.

The ostrich’s natural habitat is in Africa. So ostrich dishes are not so unusual over in, say, Cape Town. But since its lovely red meat and healthy qualities has been discovered, farms in warm climates around the world have started raising them. They grow much faster than cattle, and they’re not picky with food, so they’re quite a good investment. There’s an ostrich farm in the outskirts of Cagayan de Oro, the city where I live, so ostrich meat is pretty much readily available here. It is pricey though, and is twice the price of its equivalent beef cut.

So how does one prepare ostrich meat? Theoretically, you can take any recipe for beef, and just substitute ostrich. The only key thing to remember is that since ostrich meat is very very lean, you have be careful to not dry it out.

For steaks and grills, go with the fillets. Because ostrich is so lean, it is very important to sear it and not cook it beyond medium.

South African Chef Jason Whitehead`s Ostrich Fillet with Biltong Cream. Click for recipe. Image via Hospitality Jobs Africa.

Image via Robertsons. Click for recipe.

Ostrich and butternut kebabs. Image via Food and Family. Click for recipe.

I used to make Asian satay with ostrich using this recipe from Emeril Lagrasse. The marinade is great and that peanut dipping sauce is the bomb!

Smokey Chilli Ostrich Goulash. Via Food and Fabulous. Click for recipe.

The tougher cuts are ideal for slow cooking, as in soups, stews, and curries. A leg of ostrich would make a great roast too.

And for a touch of exotic added to everyday fast food — ostrich burgers.

Ostrich Burger with Beetroot Relish. Image via Nomu. Click for recipe.

Ostrich burger with hummus, haloumi, and mushrooms. Image via Woolworths. Click for recipe.

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