You may already know how scary an alligator gar appears to be if you’ve ever seen one. The teeth are extremely sharp, and the snout resembles an alligator’s in real life.
There are only two kinds of freshwater fish that may readily weigh more than 100 pounds, and one of them is the alligator gar.
Alligator gar actually isn’t that horrible, despite the fact that it does appear to be dangerous and aggressive. Many people aren’t even aware that it can be eaten. Yet, it makes a great ingredient that you can use in your cooking.
In this article, we will discover the flavor profile of alligator gar and whether it tastes good or bad.
Alligator Gar: What Is It?
The biggest fish within their family is the alligator gar. It is a widespread species in North America and one of the oldest species in the world, earning it the nickname “living fossil.”
A number of the primitive traits of the alligator gar’s ancestors have been preserved. For instance, it has a spiral valve gut and the ability to breathe both air and water.
Also, the name that it goes by has been given for a good reason. This is because the appearance of their head is reminiscent of an alligator’s.
The fish can reach a maximum length of 10 feet, thus it can certainly dazzle with its size.
The alligator gar, however, is more prevalent in regional cuisines due to its popularity in North America. Furthermore, it can be prepared in a variety of ways as well.
Flavor Of An Alligator Gar
Alligator gar’s meat is fairly dark, which may turn several people off. However, this has no connection to how it tastes.
If you enjoy hunting, you should know exactly what to expect from this dark meat because it has a slight game-like flavor.
The white meat is also rather light and mild, despite the hue. Simple and not overly fishy is the flavor that a lot of people describe it as. Some people have said that this fish has a flavor that is comparable to lobster.
However, the texture is not what you may anticipate from fish. Forget about flaky flesh. The texture is more akin to that of chicken.
Nevertheless, some individuals choose to discard the dark meat prior to cooking. However, this isn’t always the case. You want it there because the dark meat produces the most of the flavor.
In addition, you can decide to marinade the fish in saltwater if you don’t like fishy flavors. However, you just need to do that for one night, not for very long. It will taste somewhat like game after this process.
Alligator gar has a pleasant flavor, but it shouldn’t be consumed uncooked or raw. Its flavor is overpowering when uncooked.
To be on the safe side, avoid touching or even ingesting alligator gar eggs as well. They contain a protein toxin that is extremely poisonous to humans and causes a wide range of unpleasant symptoms.
Cooking And Preparing Alligator Gar
Alligator gar can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are many possibilities if you prefer to prepare food as you catch it.
For instance, some fishers favor filleting the fish and cooking the whole thing. Others prefer grinding the entire batch of flesh before forming the patties, which are particularly excellent because of the game-like flavor.
Additionally, alligator gar can be grilled or barbecued. Simply prepare a few fillets and start cooking them. However, roasting is typically advised for such a big fish as well.
To guarantee long flanks, you need a fairly large fish. Otherwise, you might not get enough meat.
Some people prefer to grind all the meat and roll it into balls. However, they must first be coated with cornmeal before being cooked. This keeps the meat moist and flavorful.
Ensure you are careful when it comes to fully cleaning the alligator gar.
The alligator gar needs to be completely clean as a precaution. Regardless of whether the fish is dead, the snout still needs to be wrapped.
If you don’t, you run the risk of cutting yourself on those razor-sharp teeth. When descaling the fish, the same principle applies.
Their scales are quite sharp and potentially hazardous. It is known that they were utilized as arrowheads by Native Americans long ago.
Finally, it is important that you remember that alligator gar contains internal air bladders. Thus, it can endure being out of water for a long time.
This is important if you have caught this fish and believe it is dead, it could still be alive, so you need to be aware.
Why Are Alligator Gar Eggs Toxic?
Alligator gar meat is completely safe to eat. However, as mentioned above, their eggs are toxic.
This is because ichthyotoxin is found in their eggs, which is quite dangerous to humans.
If you do come across some alligator gar eggs, you should be cautious about where you decide to leave them because they are also harmful to other animals and birds as well.
How Do You Catch Alligator Gar?
It’s challenging to catch an alligator gar. Many methods can be used to catch alligator gar.
Fishing techniques that are authorized include bow fishing, rod-and-reel fishing, and using passive equipment like trotlines, limb lines, and jug lines.
Bow fishing is allowed, but it is usually regulated as it is a method that often results in the death of the fish.
Therefore, you cannot use this option too much as only so many alligator gar are allowed to be fished this way, otherwise the fish could be overharvested.
Overall, the flavor of alligator gar might vary depending on how it is prepared. You’ll get a more subtle flavor if you skip the dark meat, and the flavor will be really weak if you remove it.
As a result, it isn’t advised to remove the dark meat. However, by soaking the fish, you can remove any really fishy flavor.
Other people claim it tastes like game, while others say it tastes like lobster. It is a nice tasting fish. However, the task of capturing such a fish is challenging.
Other than that, this fish can be prepared in a variety of ways, making it highly adaptable.
We hope this article has been helpful. Now you should have a better understanding on what alligator gar tastes like!