Ioannina

Frog legs

Traditional side dish from Ioannina and its rich lake-influenced gastronomy.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Frog legs
Before cooking...

Deep-fried frog legs are a flagship dish of Lake Pamvotida and the residents of its anonymous island who followed the monks of the age-old local monasteries. According to oral tradition they came from Mani, along with a Turk official, and, for unknown reasons, they settled on the island. Skilled fishermen as they were, they strongly influenced the lakeside region’s culinary habits and left their mark on Epirotic gastronomy.

Frog legs

Ingredients

Frog legs can be found in stores specializing in frozen goods. Before cooking them, you can bread the frog legs with this traditional batter or use a mixture that best serves your palate.

  • 250 g frog legs
  • Salt (to preference)
  • 3 eggs
  • 170 g fine semolina
  • Olive oil (for frying)

Execution

  1. Sprinkle the frog legs with salt.
  2. In a bowl, pour the semolina.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until mixed.
  4. In a frying pan, heat some olive oil (enough to cover the frog legs) until it shimmers.
  5. Dip a leg in the egg mixture and then dip it in the semolina. Put it in the frying pan and repeat for a few more legs. Fry for 2 minutes, turn around, and fry for 2 minutes more (4 minutes total). When a leg is golden brown, put it on a platter laid with absorbent paper to strain the excess oil. Repeat until all the frog legs are fried.
  6. Serve each batch immediately when the oil is strained to enjoy them hot and juicy.

Frog legs have always been considered a fine delicacy in Mediterranean countries like France and Italy. In Ioannina, elders often tell stories of French tourists leaving for their country with sacks full of frog legs from the lake. The lake-inspired local dish may seem too “exotic” to some, but if you ever find yourself relaxing, sipping local tsipouro by the lake, it’s hard to resist taking a bite.

After cooking...

The history of Lake Pamvotida is intertwined with the rule of the legendary Ali Pasha of Ioannina. One of the most novel-worthy figures in the place’s oral history, Kyra Frosini, found tragic death in the lake’s waters after an execution order from the Pasha himself. Ali met the same fate sometime later. Having clashed with the Ottoman central command, he was executed in his summer residence on the lake’s island.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking...