Fried Frogs' Legs with Garlic Sauce

         Yield: 4 Servings
Categories: Vietnamese, French

4 Pairs jumbo frogs' legs, : -trimmed -about 1 pound 1 Stalk fresh lemon grass : soaked for 1 hour in warm : water -- finely chopped : OR 1 TB dried lemon grass 2 fresh red chili peppers -- : sliced 2 green onions -- sliced 2 Cloves garlic -- crushed 1 1/2 ts sugar : salt 2 TB Nuoc Mam sauce : OR 2 TB Maggi seasoning and 1 garlic : clove -- crushed 2 oz bean thread vermicelli 2 TB vegetable oil 1 sm onion -- chopped 1 c chicken strock or water 1/2 c coconut cream or heavy : cream 3 TB cornstarch mixed with a : little water : freshly ground black pepper : cilantro sprigs -- for : garnish *(Chan Ech chien Voi Xot Toi) 1. Chop the grogs' legs into bite-sized pieces and rinse with cold water to get rid of any pieces of bone. Pat dry and put in the refrigerator. 2. Combine the lemon grass, chilies, green onion, garlic, sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon Nuoc mam sauce in a blender or food processor until a very fine paste results. Rub the paste over the frogs' legs, cover and refrigerate again for 30 minutes. 3. Soak the vermicelli in warm wate for 30 minutes. Drain and cut into 2 inch lengths. 4. Heat the oil in a wok over moderate heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, then add the frogs' legs and brown well, turning them over from time to time. This should take 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 5. Uncover the wok and add the coconut cream. Add the cornstarch and the remainng Nuoc Mam sauce. Stir as the sauce thickens and cook for another 15 minutes. 6. Add the vermicelli and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with black pepper and garnish with cilantro sprigs. 7. Serve immediately with rice or French bread or rice noodles. It is advisable to offfer an alternative to frogs; legs since there are a few cynics who do not believe that frogs' legs taste very much like chicken. Recipe Source: VIETNAMESE COOKING - EXOTIC DELIGHTS FROM INDO-CHINA by Paulette Do Van. Published by Chartwell Books, Inc. Copyright (c) 1993. Recipe formatted by Olivia Liebermann RDSE68B on May, 1995. Recipe By : "Vietnamese Cooking" by Paulette Do Van, Chartwell Books