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What does Kangaroo Taste Like? Eating Kangaroo Meat in Australia

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Australia? Crocs? Shrimps on the barbie? Koalas? Whatever you think of, kangaroos can’t be far down the list.

I recently took a vacation down under and the bizarre food eater in me had a craving for unique food experiences. In Australia, weird food means bush meat like croc and emu, but the most common and widely available bizarre food there is kangaroo.


Kangaroo Rump steak at Oz Turk Pizza’s & Kebabs

The first question about eating kangaroo meat that everyone asks is, “what does it taste like?” I would say that it’s a cross between venison and buffalo meat. Not quite as dry as deer but still leaner than buffalo. It has a wonderful gamey taste (because roos live in the wild and feed on grass and shrubs) that adds a lot of flavor without being overpowering.

Down in Oz, I ate kangaroo on several occasions. By far my best meal was a tender, juicy, marbled kangaroo rump steak cooked medium rare. It was prepared by a man who looked like he had been cooking the dish for decades, so the concerns of game meat becoming too dry were not a factor.

From what I’m told, kangaroos are much like deer here in America. They are a native species that lives in the wild and they overlap with human populations on the fringes of civilization. Anyone with a license can hunt them and allegedly they will overpopulate if not hunted (source – MSNBC). Oh yea, they are cute like deer. Understandably there is controversy over hunting them from animal rights groups.

While not as ubiquitous as beef or pork, kangaroo meat is readily available in supermarkets around Australia and tends to be cheaper than the meat of farm raised animals. In the supermarket I visited, I saw kangaroo steaks, pre-marinated skewers, and kanga bangas (sausage).


Kangaroo Burger at Oz Turk Pizza’s & Kebabs

Surprisingly, kangaroo wasn’t very easy to find in restaurants – we only found 3-4 in Sydney that serve it. Luckily, one of them was a random neighborhood pizza and kebab place just around the corner from where we stayed. We ordered EVERY kangaroo item on their menu, including a kangaroo burger and a kangaroo Turkish kebab (what we like to call gyros).

I highly recommend the kangaroo burger because it’s pretty delicious and inexpensive, but I would avoid kangaroo kebabs – something about the sweet tahini sauce they use in Australia with kangaroo rubs me the wrong way.

One of the most interesting ways I had kangaroo in Australia was on a pizza at the popular and touristy Australian Hotel (which happens to have an amazing rooftop view overlooking the Sydney Opera house ). The Australian is the place to go if you want kangaroo, emu, and crocodile in a single meal – they have a pizza for each of them.


Australian Coat of Arms – Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons”


A pizza at the Australian Hotel that has kangaroo and red pepper on the left half, and emu, tomato, and basil on the right half

At the Australian, my travel buddies and I decided to order a custom half kangaroo, half emu pizza in honor of the Australian Coat of arms, which depicts a kangaroo and an emu standing side by side. This pizza was amazing! The highlight was actually the emu, which has a very distinct, surprisingly non chicken like taste that is gamier than the kangaroo. In fact, emu doesn’t taste like chicken at all, it is more like a juicy, lean, yet tender beef jerky.

Just in case you were wondering, crocodile tastes exactly like chicken in Australia (for reasons explained in the photo gallery) but the Thai basil with Crocodile pizza and coconut milk at the Australian Hotel was delicious anyways. All of them go great with a James Squire Golden Ale (my favorite Aussie beer).


Kangaroo Vitamins

Back to Kangaroos, the fun down under doesn’t stop at food. Around Sydney people were sporting kangaroo leather hats and I found souvenir stores selling kangaroo jerky.

Even stranger, while perusing an airport gift shop I came across “Essence of Kangaroo” kangaroo meat capsules vitamins. I’m not sure that I’m interested in taking kangaroo supplements with my multivitamins and at $30+ US per bottle, I passed on this offering.

In closing, what do all of my kangaroo observations lead me to believe?

Stereotypical as it may be, Australians are genuinely fascinated by Kangaroos. They eat and wear kangaroo products, they use kangaroos their as mascots (see Qantas Airlines), and even the Australian National Soccer Team is called the “Socceroos”.

As far as incorporating kangaroos into their diets goes, while the meat is easy to obtain, I don’t think many Aussies eat kangaroo on a daily basis. They probably eat kangaroo as often as Americans eat venison or other game meat.

In any case, I highly recommend eating some Kangaroo! If it was readily available in Austin, I would be eating kangaroo regularly as a leaner and in many ways better tasting alternative to beef or pork.

Happy tasting and be sure to check out the gallery below for even more pictures,
Peter

Posted in Food, Travel, Weird.

Tagged with , , .


20 Responses

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  1. Nessa K says

    I’m not going to lie. I know it’s like eating deer (which I LOVE) but I would feel so guilty eating it!!

    I’m jealous of your time spent in Australia!

    • julian hill says

      i live in Australia and i do not know anybody who has eaten kangaroo.

      • Pamela says

        I live in Australia, and I ate Kangaroo tonight.
        I’ve eaten it before.
        I’ll eat it again.
        The husband and kids eat it too.
        Give it a try. It’s a great lean meat. Very tasty.

        • Serene says

          Its my son’s favourite meat :)

          We love it in our house!

  2. Wayne says

    It all sounds tasty.

  3. Thomas K. Tinney says

    Amazing! Thank’s. Thomas K. Tinney, Cleveland, Ohio.

  4. mel says

    to the idiot who’s from Aus and doesn’t know anyone who has eaten kangaroo, I eat it quite frequently as it’s higher in iron than the usual cow and tastes good too. we usually eat it marinated served with mash and steamed veggies. glad you had an amazing food experience in Aus! I’m in America visiting friends and stumbled upon this trying to explain how it tastes. definitely juicier than usual game. great post

  5. Jon says

    “…..tends to be cheaper than the meat of farm raised animals.”

    Kangaroo meat available in butchers and supermarket is sourced from farm-raised kangaroos, and follows strict goverment health regulations.

  6. bob says

    I bought kangaroo fillet and i cooked it and it smelt and taste like dead animal. it was very strong taste and smell. i dont know if maybe i cooked it wrong or if it was because the meat was frozen (obviously i defrosted it)

    Has anyone had the same experience or have any advice

    i dont know if thats not how it should come or if i just really dont like it

    • Brad says

      Are you sure you weren’t eating dog food! Very unusual to find kangaroo meat in a frozen form for human consumption.

    • william says

      Well if it had tasted like a live animal you might have had a problem…

  7. Amy Wood says

    I made spaghetti out of spaghetti squash and ground kangaroo tonight, it was very lean and so tasty. My husband and kids all loved it. Will definitely have it more often.

  8. Shana says

    My husband and I went to Australia and New Zealand back in September. On the plain over we met some aussies and asked them what we should try. They both said Kangaroo and croc. So after we land and checked into the hotel we went meandering around Darling Harbour and found a restaurant that served kangaroo. I ordered it medium rare per the plane companions and enjoyed every bite. My husband and I both feel it too be like Filet Mignon but better. Before we left we ordered it again along with some croc skewers. And yes croc taste just like chicken.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Tweets that mention Crazy for Kangaroo in Australia | -- Topsy.com linked to this post on June 21, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jon Vallejo, TastingBuds. TastingBuds said: New Bizarre Tasting Blog Post – Crazy for Kangaroo in Australia – How does it taste? Find out @ http://ow.ly/21fvx [...]

  2. Pictures of Sydney, Australia 2010 | Peter Tsai Photography Blog linked to this post on November 16, 2010

    [...] there aren’t unique experiences to be had down under… where else in the world can you eat Kangaroo and emu, see the Sydney Opera house, come face to face with one of the world’s largeset crocodiles, [...]

  3. Best Burgers in Austin (You’ve Never Heard Of) – The Tasting Buds | Austin Food Blog linked to this post on September 17, 2012

    [...] (pictured at the top of this post), but are known to occasionally stock wild boar, venison, elk, kangaroo, and axis (an exotic deer).  Occasionally even more exotic game such as bear, ostrich, and yak [...]

  4. Comer carne de canguro linked to this post on July 30, 2013

    [...] Fuente: vía Tasting Buds [...]

  5. 23 Reasons Life Is Better In Australia | InfoCnxn.com linked to this post on December 6, 2013

    […] 14. There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia, which makes life more adorable. To deal with all those marsupials, experts have concocted kangaroo birth control and a national Kangaroo Management Plan. Another population control — sniffle, tear, sniffle — is the kangaroo burger. […]

  6. 23 Reasons Life Is Better In Australia | Travel Vacation Dream! Plan your next Vacation linked to this post on December 6, 2013

    […] 14. There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia, which makes life more adorable. To deal with all those marsupials, experts have concocted kangaroo birth control and a national Kangaroo Management Plan. Another population control — sniffle, tear, sniffle — is the kangaroo burger. […]

  7. 23 Reasons Life Is Better In Australia | Political Ration linked to this post on December 6, 2013

    […] 14. There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia, which makes life more adorable. To deal with all those marsupials, experts have concocted kangaroo birth control and a national Kangaroo Management Plan. Another population control — sniffle, tear, sniffle — is the kangaroo burger. […]



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