How to Eat Kangaroo

While most of us will be tucking into a big fat turkey this Christmas – don’t forget the cranberry sauce guys – some of us will be slapping a couple of prime cuts on to the barbie. But I bet you didn’t think it would be dear darling skippy did you!? Brooke Schoenman from WhyGo Australia tells how to tuck in to this tasty marsupial…

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No other animal symbolises Australia more than the kangaroo.  The koala may come close, but the kangaroo definitely trumps them all.  For those of you that have never before been down under, yes, kangaroos do inhabit almost every part of the country, and it is not uncommon to encounter them in the wild – hopefully not because you’ve narrowly swerved to avoid one from your car.  But one place where you might not be expecting to them to turn up is on your dinner plate.

Kangaroo, as a meat source, has actually been legal in Australia since 1993 but Aboriginal people have been hunting roos since time began.  Although it’s less popular than lamb or beef, kangaroo is becoming accepted as a common source of protein, and a leaner, healthier one at that. Many people are starting to rave about its environmental benefits – there isn’t the methane byproduct which farming cows produces.

So, how can you expect to eat it in Australia? Well, here are seven tasty ways:

1. Kanga Bangas

Probably one of my favorite food names, the kanga banga is simply a kangaroo sausage.  You can get these pre-packaged at the shops on your way to a barbie with friends.  There’s really no fuss when preparing these guys; just pop it in a bun with some sauce, and you’re good to go.

2. Kangaroo Steaks

In place of beef, kangaroo steaks are tasty when marinated and cooked on the barbie.  But, you’ll need to definitely watch how long this one gets cooked; there is very little fat on this meat, and overcooking can leave it chewy, dry and not as juicy.  Almost everyone I have talked to about kangaroo meat has stressed that it must be a medium-rare finish in order to enjoy.

3. Kangaroo Pies

A stereotypical food, other than Vegemite of course, that defines the Australia people, is the meat pie.  Fill a meat pie with roo meat, and it doesn’t get any more Australian than that (unless you’re knocking it back with an icy VB).  Not many places sell the roo pie, but if you’re lucky enough to come across a quality pie shop, like Freddo’s outside of Port Macquarie, then it just might be on the menu. Keep your eyes peeled.

4. Skippy Burgers

Aussies like to refer to kangaroos as “Skippy”, a name which comes from a popular old television show.  Therefore, “skippy burgers” are simply roo burgers that have been prepared from kangaroo mince, slightly undercooked, and then stacked with your typical burger toppings.  For those who throw the humble gherkin out of their usual burger, be warned, in Australia you tend to find beetroot is the topping of choice.

5. Roo Tail Stew

In Sydney’s Chinatown, roo tail is sold at the butcher shop alongside all the other meats that might fancy for your dinner that night.  Some Chinese restaurants will even serve you up some delicious roo tail stew, made from that part of the kangaroo that helps them to keep their balance when hopping about.

6. Kangaroo Pizza

You can get just about any type of meat on a pizza, and in Australia, heck why not pop some kangarooo top!  The Australian Hotel in Sydney is one of the few places to dish up kangaroo pizza.  If you are going to dabble in kangaroo meat, a roo pizza is one of the more subtle ways to ease yourself into this new ingredient.

7. Kangaroo Jerky

For a salty snack that can go just about anywhere, kangaroo jerky is another option.  This dried meat treat is made from roo meat that has been cured with a number of other spices.  It’s great for shoving in your backpack and or for long car journeys round Australia when your lacking refrigeration.

About:  Brooke Schoenman is the expert author for WhyGo Australia, an online travel guide with life to the land down under.  She currently resides in Sydney, Australia and can be found on both Twitter and Facebook.

9 Responses to “How to Eat Kangaroo”

  1. Cienwen Hickey Reply

    I think a bit of public awareness and a warning to human health about Kangaroo meat should be given along with the Christmas suggestions.
    Kangaroos are NOT farmed, they are slaughtered in the outback they are wild animals which are NOT vet checked for problems as are cattle, sheep and pigs.
    The meat of Kangaroos cointains selmonela, toxoplasmosis (this can kill unborn babies) e-coli, tape worms which can form cysts on the brain to name but a few. (read Dr. Dror Ben-Ami – A shot in the dark)
    The true facts about Kangaroo meat are kept secret from the public and overseas buyers so that a kangaroo meat industry can be kept going.
    Shame, Shame, Shame on the Australian Government.

  2. Wow Cienwen Hickey! You are SO incredibly brainwashed to think that commercially farmed animals that are HEAVILY injected with nasty anti-biotics and hormones are a better option than wild game. Cook the kangaroo properly and you’ll rid it of any worms or salmonella. You can’t get the nasty stuff out of commercial meats. Shame on you for being so gullable.

    P.S Great article! Looking for Kangaroo Jerky to send to friends overseas. What is the cost effective way to get some? I know they carry it at tourist shops but I’d rather buy it elsewhere.



  3. Cienwen Hickey – I think you’ll find that even in farmed animals they too have problems like you’re suggesting the roo has. All meat is tested before sold and for your information, kangaroo has the same percentage of containements as farmed meat (0.7%). Maybe do some research yourself before you go spouting off about the health risks of roo eating.
    Also, don’t you think creating jobs and making money for the country by exporting a product we have copious amounts of a good thing?

  4. I think if Cienwen Hickey actually did some research and wasn’t towing the animal welfare line she would have nothing to say as the evidence would point to the contrary. How would she know the anuimals arent Vet checked? My mother is one of the AQIS vets at a plant in QLD and is the case for all export standard human consumption plants, they must be vet checked. The study she quotes is so full of holes and bias its ridiculous, I urge anyone to contact state food safety bodies and get the FACTS from there and make up your own mind.

  5. I read that the young skippies are abbandoned though when they kill the parents (mum roo) in the “out-back”.. Poor things left to die.. Sounds unfair to me and very cruel. Woundn’t mind trying a roo burger however.


  6. Hahaha – I have not heard of half of these. I actually don’t even think I’ve ever tried it? Not sure! Isn’t it really expensive?

  7. My local Woolworths sells roo meat, by the way Hayley. It’s not expensive, especially considering the high price of lamb these days. It’s sourced through this company:

    Go take a look before you freak out over Australian food safety laws.

    Oh, and kanga bangas aren’t great, but a medium rare cooked steak is yumm-o! It’s a really lean meat, so you can’t let it cook to well done or it’ll be way too chewy.

  8. Um, if we go back many years ago ( when thy average joe, even went out and shot bunnies/roo’s and many a wallabies) they sure never had ‘VET CHECKS ON THEM ‘ as so, we still do it today. We ourselves can tell they difference between good & bad one’s !

    So, it’s just a fancy arsed fill in ! For those that live in big cities, to thy true bushies from thy out back. And yeah, we let the joey/joeette’s run along for another day,too. For it allows us later on of having more of the true BLU AUSSIE bush dinners, after eating mum & dad…

    It’s a fact of life, so get over it eh !

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