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Meet Emu Meat

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Eating emu can really benefit your health and it is a healthier option than red meat. Gargi Bansod tells you why you should consider including it in your diet .

A large flightless bird, the emu is from the ratite family and is a cousin of the ostrich. It’s native  to Australia and is the second tallest bird in the world. Emu meat, the oil derived from their fat and their eggshells, are considered to be highly nutritious. Many of us might not be familiar with emu meat or even if you have heard about it, you didn’t expect that you’d get to eat it in Mumbai. However, if you look around, emu meat is quite easily available and a much healthier option than chicken or red meat. Read on to find out more about this versatile protein.

Emu & Health
It is considered by some researchers to be the super food of the new millennium. Emu meat is one of the few red meats that is actually heart healthy. The American Heart Association even includes emu in its list of heart healthy meats. If you’re a health-conscious person who loves the taste of beef, emu meat is an excellent alternative. The red emu meat is similar in taste and texture to lean beef, but lower in cholesterol, fat and calories. Emu meat is 95% fat free, which is one of the main reasons to indulge in it. It has high levels of phosphorous, selenium, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamins C, B-6 and B-12. It is rich in iron, magnesium and protein. The best part is that it is reared without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, making it a lean meat.

How To Cook It
Emu meat adapts well to many recipes. Because of its mild flavour, emu meat absorbs most spices and seasonings, such as marinades made with honey, soy sauce, ginger, lemon juice and garlic. It is best prepared lightly grilled, pan fried or sautéed.

Nutritional Content (per 100g)
Protein 23g
Calories 120kcal
Sodium 0.40g
Iron 0.4g
Cholesterol 0.45g
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 1g
Phosphorous 1g
Vitamin B12 0.6g

Finding Emu Meat
Though emu meat isn’t easily available at any cold store or meat vendor, here’s where you can buy the meat in Mumbai:

  • HyperCITY, Malad (W)
  • Good Luck restaurant, Bandra (W)
  • Emu Farming, Fort

Emu Schnitzel Recipe
If you haven’t cooked emu meat before, Sudhir Pai, executive chef at Holiday Inn at Mumbai International Airport, gives us a simple recipe to start off with:
Ingredients

  • 500g emu cutlet
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cup dried bread crumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Parsley sprigs

Method

  • Pound the emu cutlets as you’d pound lamb or pork chops.
  • In a shallow dish, beat the eggs and fresh lemon juice together.
  • On a large piece of waxed paper, combine dried bread crumbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, coarse sea salt, paprika and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Dip cutlets in egg mixture, letting excess batter drip off and place on mound of crumbs, coating both sides evenly and patting the crumbs in firmly.
  • Arrange on a wire rack and let dry for 30 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over high heat.
  • When hot, add cutlets and sauté, turning once until lightly brown, 50 seconds per side.
  • Transfer to heated serving plates and garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and fresh parsley sprigs. Serve immediately.
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