Axolotls are known as cute aquarium pets and were even the inspiration for toothless the dragon in a favorite Pixar film we all know.
With the cuteness of the axolotl in mind it was quite shocking to learn that:
Mexican people close to lake Xochimilco use to eat the axolotl tamales, which were the whole axolotl coated in cornmeal and are still eaten today in Mexico. Axolotls are also eaten in Asian countries, mainly Japan where axolotls are bred for meat, serving them deep-fried in restaurants.
I really couldn’t find much info online about people eating axolotls and probably for a good reason. Axolotls are endangered so people certainly won’t be catching them from the wild to eat.
Axolotls would need to be raised in captivity and bred specifically for eating, although it is not recommended.
How Do Axolotls Taste?
I have no idea how axolotls taste and I don’t plan on finding out because I don’t like to eat weird meats, haha, but you don’t have to take my word for it.
After doing a little research, I found some old and modern axolotl taste testers for some real-world experience:
The axolotl is wholesome to eat, and is of much the same taste with an eel. It is thought to be particularly useful in cases of consumption.Francesco Clavigero, Mexican Historian
The first bite revealed a flavor similar to white meat fish.”It tasted great with a sprinkling of salt, but was equally tasty without. Eating further in, there was a distinct crunchy texture to add to the flavor. This must have been the spine, since none of the bones were removed before frying. Most likely, this dish wouldn’t really compliment a side of rice, but it goes surprisingly well with beer.Takara Yuki Sakebou, https://soranews24.com/
I’m not sure what eel tastes like so that doesn’t really help at all, so I’ll just go with white fish because I’m sure everyone knows what that tastes like haha.
I found two youtube videos. In one video it shows the axolotls being fried and then some people eating it at a party but it is in a foreign language so I couldn’t understand. They do seem to be enjoying it though.
The other youtube video shows some young people going to one of the restaurants in Japan where some odd meats are served, axolotl being one of them.
The guy that eats the axolotl reacts like I probably would. He doesn’t say what it tastes like but just states, “this is not meant to be eaten by humans”, haha.
Is Eating Axolotl Legal?
Apparently, eating an axolotl is legal in some countries. I couldn’t find anything about eating axolotls in the U.S.
Axolotls are illegal in California, Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia, so it would be illegal to eat them as well since you aren’t even supposed to have one in your possession.
The general consensus seemed to be that it was fine to eat captive-bred Axolotl but morally wrong to eat a wild axolotl – in the U.S. states where they are legal of course.
There are no wild axolotls in the U.S. anyways so I presume it is legal(in the states where axolotl are legal), but you would be hard-pressed to find an axolotl recipe since they are not considered food in the U.S.
How Do You Cook An Axolotl?
I absolutely couldn’t find anything online about how to cook an axolotl except for one recipe from learnaboutpet.com:
This is how to prepare”fried axolotls
Make sure to remove the stomach intestinal organs by spreading the stomach open
If you have your spices ready, batter the axolotl fully
Put the axolotl in already melted and boiled fat or oil in a pan on the fire
Fry for around 30 minutes until the meat hardens and starts to feel crunchy.
Use your meshed spoon to hold the fried axolotls out of the pan ensuring oil trickles back to the panLearnaboutpet.com
The above recipe was from a poorly written blog post so I would be hesitant to trust the source.
The only other method was the deep-fried method in Japan, described above, so you might be able to figure out how to deep fry one on your own if you have some cooking experience.
I did read that the deep-fried axolotl was served with pickles and it could be salted but tasted good without it.
All I could find online were people arguing about whether it was humane to cook and eat an axolotl because they are endangered.
The consensus seemed to be split 50/50 but most people were in agreement that you should eat a domestic axolotl and not a wild one.
Do Chinese Eat Axolotls?
I found some websites that said the Chinese do eat axolotls but I am skeptical since the breeding locations such as zoos are kept under lock and key so that axolotls don’t end up on the black market for resale.
The axolotl is also described as the dinosaur fish with six horns in China, so it doesn’t sound like something viewed as a treat or delicacy.
What Do Axolotls Taste Like?
As described above, axolotl tastes like white fish, with a crunchy texture since they are deep-fried. You can remove the bones, but you don’t have to since technically the bones of an axolotl are mainly cartilage because of the axolotl’s anatomy.
I’m not sure why anyone would want to eat an axolotl but as I said before, I’m not into the weird meats.
Apparently, it does taste like white fish, and a lot of people who do eat it, like it so it is up to you.
If you do want to eat an axolotl, make sure you’re in a country or state where are axolotl are legal and try to eat one in a restaurant.
If there are no restaurants that serve it as the U.S., then make sure you deep fry a domestic one and don’t catch one of the wild endangered axolotl’s that are endangered. This would be morally wrong and probably illegal.