Alligator meets its match in this Chinese-Louisiana dish. The sweet white meat is a beautiful contrast to the spicy, salty, and earthy Asian seasonings.
- Alligator and Marinade
- Alligator Meat - 1 pound, (tail loin preferred), completely trimmed
- Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons
- Peanut Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Egg White - 3 tablespoons
- Peanut Oil - 1/2 cup
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 12, stemmed and halved diagonally
- Red Pepper Flakes - 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste
- Pearl Onions - 2 cups, peeled, or 1-inch pieces of the white part of green onions
- Celery Slices - 1 cup 1-inch-diagonal-cut celery
- Shallots - 1/2 cup, sliced
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Miso - 1/2 cup
- Oyster Sauce - 3 tablespoons
- Sesame Oil - 2 teaspoons, toasted
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Dark Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons
- Green onion tops - 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped, or fresh chives
- Almonds - 1/2 cup, sliced, toasted
- Cucumbers - 2, thinly sliced
- Green onion tops - 1 tablespoon, chopped, or snipped fresh chives
To marinate the alligator: Cut the alligator loin into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Place the meat in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch, then add the peanut oil and salt. Mix thoroughly, then add the egg white, coating well (this helps retain moisture when frying). Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Heat a wok or large, heavy skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the peanut oil, then add the marinated alligator. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 more minutes.
Using a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, remove the alligator and mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of peanut oil from the pan. Add the red pepper flakes to the hot peanut oil, then the onions, celery, shallots, and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the miso and return the alligator and mushrooms to the pan. Cover and steam for 2 minutes. Uncover and add the oyster sauce, sesame oil, chicken stock, and soy sauce. Stir-fry over high heat for 1 to 2 more minutes. Add the green onion tops and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
To serve: Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter, sprinkle with sliced almonds, and surround with slices of cucumber. Sprinkle with chopped green onion tops of chives.