Deep-Fried Rattlesnake Steaks
An Uncommon Dish
My father was a veteran of the Pacific Campaign with the U.S. Army in World War II. When we were young he use to tell us stories about his adventures while in the Army.
After getting drafted he was first sent from his home in Rochester, New York to Ft. Niagara in the far western part of the state.
This was the new Ft. Niagara which had been built by the Army next to, but outside the walls, of Old Ft. Niagara which had originally been built by the French in colonial times and had been used and fought over by the French, British and Americans.
Following his basic training at Ft. Niagara, he spent time at Fort Dix and Camp Wood in New Jersey before being sent to Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. From San Antonio, it was off to Australia and then to combat in New Guinea and the Philippines following which he went to Japan with the first wave of occupation troops and then home.
Growing up we heard tales of his experiences in all of these places. One thing I remember his telling about San Antonio was seeing rattlesnake steak on the menus in some of the restaurants.
I don't recall whether he mentioned whether or not he had tried it but it didn't sound very appealing to me and still doesn't.
However, a while ago the of eating rattlesnake came up in an email exchange with my old college roommate, Todd, who had spent a few years in Texas while in the Air Force and before I knew it I had an email from him which included the following recipe for Deep Fried Rattlesnake.
Since I haven't published any recipes recently, I decided it was time to share another one, but with the disclaimer that not only have I not tried this recipe, I have no desire to try it or to sample the results if someone else tries it.
Also, while my friend sent it to me, I am not sure of its original source but am assuming that it is like other recipes which get passed around and tweeked and the original creator forgotten. If the real author ever sees this please accept my apologies but that is the risk one takes when they share a recipe - they get copied, re-copied, passed around and are claimed by numerous people.
So, if rattlesnake is your thing here is a recipe for you:
- One 3 to 4 pound Rattlesnake, Cut into steaks
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup Cornmeal
- 1/4 Cup Cracker Crumbs
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder, Don't use Garlic Salt
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 teaspoon Table Salt
- Dash of Pepper
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, cracker crumbs, garlic powder, table salt and pepper)
- Beat the egg and then thoroughly mix the milk with the egg using a whisk or fork.
- Dip snake steaks into the milk and egg mixture, soaking and coating them thoroughly
- Roll steaks in the dry ingredients until covered
- Fry steaks, uncovered in 400 degree oil until brown
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If You Prefer to Purchase Rather Than Hunt For Your Meat
If you would prefer to simply purchase your rattlesnake meat for deep frying rather than going into the wild to find and kill one for dinner, there are stores selling the meat.
While not the type of item your local supermarket stocks, there are specialty and exotic food stores both online and brick and mortar where you can purchase rattlesnake meat.