If you read my venison recipe, you’ll know that I also walked out of John’s Meat Market with a rabbit for this challenge. As my family recovered on Tuesday from a great New Year’s Eve teen party held at the house, I had all intentions of grilling that wascally wabbit for a late lunch. After opening the packaging and realizing that there simply wasn’t enough meat to be served to four in the way I had envisioned, I decided to look at ideas for using only the meat.
The old joke “Try this, it tastes like chicken” came to mind. I figured that if most people would eat chicken over rice, why not substitute wabbit for chicken?
So, I went on a search for Asian-style ingredients and came across a Szechuan-style dish that I could follow for which we had ingredients in the house.
Ironically, we had both black bean and chile paste. The dish called for peanuts, peppercorns and sesame seeds, all to be toasted and ground slightly. As hard as it is to believe, we didn’t have any nuts of any kind in the house, just sesame seeds. I didn’t have the motivation to go to the store just for nuts, so I looked for a substitute. All I could come up with was crushed potato chips, of which we had plenty of leftovers from the party. When suggesting that as an option to the wife, she didn’t think it was a good idea and instead suggested to just use the sesame seeds, which already were toasted.
To complete the challenge, the Szechuan Rabbit was served with Cassava Cake with Champagne Cherry Syrup, made by the wife. Yum!
So how did it turn out?
The rabbit didn’t taste exactly like chicken, but it didn’t taste gamey, either. With the sauce, it was definitely better than expected. The wife tried it, which was all I could hope for, and she stated flatly “I still think it needs the peanuts.” The girl wanted no part of rabbit, although I guilted her into trying one piece. She never said whether she liked it. The boy ate two servings, making up for his sister’s void.
Neither child was thrilled with the Cassava Cake, but I happen to think it was great. The champagne cherry syrup might have been the best thing in the entire dish. So good, in fact, that the wife served it over vanilla ice cream for dessert. Yum!
Asian-style Wabbit over Wice
- 1 domestic rabbit
- One 2-3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (or 2 Tbsp ginger spice blend)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and crushed
- 2 Tbsp black bean paste
- 3 Tbsp peanut oil
- 2 Tbsp chile bean paste
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
- White rice, cooked per package
- Cassava Cake with Champagne Cherry Syrup
Chop the rabbit in half with a cleaver — you’re going to pull off the meat anyway. Cover in water in a large pot and add the ginger, onion and crushed cherries. Bring to a boil, then drop the heat to low so you barely have any bubbles. Simmer like this until the meat wants to fall off the bone, maybe 45 minutes to an hour. When the rabbit is done, move it to a platter and allow to cool somewhat. Strip the meat off the bones and chop into cubes or small pieces.
In a wok or a saute pan, heat the peanut oil over high heat. Add the black bean paste and the chile bean paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds to a minute. Turn off the heat and mix in the sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce. Add back in the rabbit pieces to reheat and coat with sauce.
Place rabbit pieces over rice and top with sesame seeds.