Swikee

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Swikee
Swikee Kodok Oh.jpg
Swikee Kodok Oh, frog legs in tauco soup
Type Main course
Place of origin Indonesia
Region or state Purwodadi, Central Java
Creator(s) Chinese Indonesians
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredient(s) Frog legs cooked in various sauces

Swikee or Swike is a Chinese Indonesian frog leg dish. The dish can be served as soup, deep fried or stir fried frog legs. Originally a Chinese dish, this dish is popular in Indonesia. "Swikee" is originated from Hokkian dialect (, Pe̍h-ōe-jī: súi-ke) sui (water) and ke (chicken), which probably an euphemism to refer frogs as "water chicken". It is sometimes identified as a traditional food of Purwodadi, a city in Central Java.[1] The main ingredient is frogs' legs (mainly from "green frogs") with the condiments of garlic, ginger and fermented soy paste (tauco), salt, and pepper. Once it is served, fried garlic and chopped celery may be added. Swikee is usually served with plain white rice.

The taste and texture of frog meat approximately between chicken and fish. They are often said to taste like chicken[2] because of their mild flavor, with a texture most similar to chicken wings.[3] However there was a slight fishiness that some might perceived that frog legs is also taste mildly like fish.[4] Normally, the legs are the only part served in the soup, since the legs are the most meaty parts; the skin of the frogs may, however, also be dried under the sun, and fried as chips. The salted fried frogs skin has a unique taste incomparable with other types of chips.

Another type of frog cooking is "pepes kodok", frog cooked in pepes method, where the frog legs and different condiments are wrapped in banana leaves and put in a fire until cooked. The taste of the meat is enrichen with a distinct aroma of burned banana leaves.

Frog-cooking is ubiquitous in Purwodadi, Grobogan Regency, Central Java, where it is the local delicacy. Frog leg cooking also can be found in the town of Jatiwangi, Majalengka Regency, West Java. It can also be found in the large cities of Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Cirebon and Bandung (where the most popular swikee restaurant chain is "Swikee Jatiwangi"), Yogyakarta, Semarang or Surabaya. Normally, a restaurant will use the name "Swikee Purwodadi" or "Swikee Jatiwangi" on its restaurant sign and menu.

Currently Indonesia is the world's largest exporter of frog meat, exporting more than 5000 tonnes of frog meat each year, mostly to France, Belgium and Luxemburg. [5] In the past, the frogs could be obtained from the wild, especially during the rainy seasons. Lately, there are more and more farms, who, due to the increased demand of raised frogs, especially from France.

Variations[edit]

Swike goreng mentega; stir-fried swikee in margarine sauce

Swikee can be served in soup or stir fried according to each sauce.

  • Swikee oh or Kodok oh, frog legs in fermented soybean sauce (tauco) soup.
  • Swikee goreng mentega, stir fried frog legs in butter or margarine with Worchestershire sauce
  • Swikee kecap, stir fried frog legs in sweet soy sauce
  • Swikee saus tomat, stir fried frog legs in tomato sauce
  • Swikee asam manis, fried frog legs in sweet and sour sauce
  • Swikee goreng tepung, deep fried battered frog legs
  • Swikee goreng mayones, deep fried battered frog legs served with mayonnaise
  • Pepes swikee, seasoned boneless frog legs cooked in banana leaf as pepes, another variant is pepes telur kodok, the frog eggs cooked in banana leaf.

Issues[edit]

There is two main issues dealing with frog legs consumption in Indonesia, the religion and environmental issues. Frog meat is considered as haraam (non-halal) meat according to mainstream Islamic dietary laws. Frog meat fell under non-halal category on two prepositions; the meat to be consumed should not considered disgusting, and frog together with ant, bee, and sea birds are the animals that should not be killed by Muslims. This frog legs haraam status had sparked the controversy in Demak, where the official authority urged the swikee restaurant owners not to associate swikee with Demak city, since it will tarnish Demak image as the first Islamic city in Java, and also opposed by its inhabitants that mainly follow Safii school that forbade the consumption of frog.[6]

Actually within Islamic dietary law there is some debates and differences about the consumption of frog legs. The mainstream Islamic madhhab (school) of Safii, Hanafi and Hanbali strictly forbid the consumption of frog, however according to the school Maliki consuming frog is allowed only on certain type of frogs;[7] the green frog commonly found in ricefields, while other species especially with blistered skin is considered poisonous, unclean and disgusting and should not be consumed.

Environment activist urged the restriction on frog consumption — especially frogs harvested from the wild — because frog is an essential element of ecosystem. Conservationists warned that frogs could be going the same way as the cod, gastronomic demand is depleting regional populations to the point of no return.[5] Like most of amphibians, frog with its thin and moist skin is sensitive to environmental changes and pollution. The population of amphibian is threaten and declining globally due to habitat degradation, environmental destruction and pollution.

See also[edit]

References[edit]