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Rabbit Stew Manto

The other day, I mentioned that we tried rabbit for the first time and Susan asked what made me want to try rabbit and the answer is that it wasn’t me, it was the man in the house. We had been planning on eating dinner at Chai’s Island Bistro for a while for his birthday because I had read they served it and he really wanted to know what it tasted like. We’d already been to Kiawe Grill to try the buffalo and some other exotic meat, but didn’t think it tasted any different than hamburger.

Shortly before we were going to go, I called to ask why I couldn’t find it on their menu. Turns out, so few people ordered it that they took it off the menu. I took to Twitter, causing quite a flurry amongst some Hawaii foodies as they tried to find me a place that served rabbit. The only real result was a Moroccan restaurant in Kailua, but I found quite a few terrible reviews so I decided to skip that place. In the end, Mr. Pikko found a guy in Makakilo that raises rabbits and sold meat, so he went and bought two. The first was younger, so I fried it and like I said, it came out pretty tough. The second was older, so I stewed it.

Rabbit Stew Bento

I packed this last night for Mr. Pikko and since it’s in my Zojirushi Mr. Bento, which holds a LOT of food should you choose to pack all four containers, I am calling this one a “manto”. It’s also a manto because what better way to describe a bento with a food a man just had to try.

By now you’re probably staring at that bowl with the yellow stuff and the white substance while thinking, “No… she wouldn’t… Would she?”

Rabbit Stew

Oh yes I did! I searched my fridge up and down and since Mr. Pikko is picky and wouldn’t eat like 5 out of the 5 colorful foods I was debating putting in, I had to improvise. Plus, that bowl with the milk is meant for liquid and I had no time to make soup. So in went a bag of Corn Pops and skim milk. Sadly, he had leftover lunch, so this is his lunch for tomorrow.

This is Box #029 in my Docubentory. I’ve actually kind of lost track of things and I only think this is Box 29. I really need to update my Flickr again!

Related posts:

  • Ahhhh, I see now why the rabbit hunt! 😀 LOL, for a picky eater Mr. Pikko sure is adventurous!

  • So what’s the consensus? And what did the kids think? Rabbit stew & corn pops is a first bento pairing for me!

  • It’s a nice bento… um… how? How could you do that? D= My fiance loves all sorts of weird (to me) things, frog’s legs and rabbit and turtle… but… I don’t know if I’d ever be able to actually cook something that I find exceptionally cute normally. Is there some… mental-blockage secret?

    You always have awesome bentos, though. ^_^; I’ve been watching for a while.

  • Rahani

    Oh no! rabbit! ;P Rabbits are my fav animal so I don’t like the idea of me eating them, but my father has tricked me at least twice when i was little. He made rabbit stew and said it was chicken and I couldn’t tell the difference until he owned up to what it actually was! traumatising! My husband likes strange meats too. Last summer we walked for over an hour to find this sushi restaurant that served horse sashimi! Surprisingly quite nice! 🙂

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  • Casablanca, the Moroccan restaurant was a pleasant surprise for us. We’ve been there once, and we didn’t bother looking at reviews so we went. There aren’t too many moroccan foods here in hawaii, and the food was really good. It’s quite expensive and I would prefer going with a couple or with a group bigger than 6. Reason? well, we share all the dishes beside the main dish. We went as a party of 6, and the dishes came in plates of one to share with 6. We looked over a couple, they share the same plate with two, looked over a party of 8, they shared two plates with 8. My husband, who usually doesn’t care for ethnic foods, enjoyed it. He said he would be more of a satisfied stomach if we didn’t have to share the dishes with 6 people. Overall it was a great experience. You should try it at least once. I heard there are belly dancers, but we didn’t see them.

  • Ha! Corn Pops Bento – hehe – sorry, that just tickled me 🙂
    I had a pet rabbit as a yongster for a couple months b4 my parents decided it was too much trouble – gave it to friend who had rabbits and was in 4-H and all that (I grew up in WV near Parkersburg). Asked about it a couple months later and found out they ate it! 😮 I myself have never tried it… Did it taste like chicken? :p hehe

  • hypothermya

    This entire story cracked me up. 🙂 I’ve also done the “search for exotic meats” quest… luckily there is an excellent restaurant in CA called La Fondue that serves a dish called “The Wild Thing”…which contains “alligator, buffalo, ostrich, savage wild duck, venison, wild boar”, although when I had it there was elk instead of savage wild duck. (And why do they need to mention that the duck is so savage? I’m pretty certain the alligator and boar fit this bill, but you don’t see them being listed as “vicious alligator” and “rampaging boar”, do you?)

    However, in particular, this story reminded me of the very first time I tried rabbit — I was sixteen and had gone on a hunt to find a grocery store that carried it. When I finally found one (Draeger’s), I brought the rabbit home and used small bits to create little pasties. There was a fair bit of raw rabbit left over, and my mother decided to make a soup of it the next day. She served it to my sister, telling her it was chicken, and waited until my sister had eaten the whole bowl before telling her it was really “bunny rabbit.”

    I’ve only had one more run in with rabbit, and that ended in disaster. A friend brought back a cookbook from Greece that had several intriguing recipes in it (including one for “stuffed kid”!). I decided to try one that involved stewing the rabbit in red wine, with onions. Unfortunately, the recipe used some European term to describe what type of onions to use; I think, in retrospect, that they meant spring onions or pearl onions. Regardless, I spent way too much time trying to debone the rabbit (an experience I wasn’t anticipating, since the rabbit I’d cooked with before came deboned), and spent way too long cutting up the *huge* amount of onions called for…. only to cook it up and find out that it tasted pretty much entirely like onion.

    Reading about your stew, I’m thinking about giving rabbit another try. Maybe a try that doesn’t involve onions. 😉

  • hypothermya

    Oh, wait, I lied! I have had rabbit a third time, at a restaurant called The Stinking Rose, where they serve it with olives and a garlic olive oil sauce. It was a tough choice…I almost ordered the “Silence of the Lamb Shank”. 😀

  • Okwes

    I was just at a small festival helping my sister out at a museum she runs where there was a “Colonial American” reenactor doing a food demonstration. She was spit-cooking a rabbit and offered me some. I’ll tell you, it didn’t taste too far off of chicken (pardon the cliche). I asked her the best way that she knew how to cook rabbit and she said, nice and slow, like a pot roast is best. Fast is not good (as you have found out, make the meat tough and dried out). Spit roasted was good, but for those that don’t have that convenience, cook it like a pot roast.

  • Loolee

    Aha! I knew those were corn pops! I won’t comment on the rabbit stew, different strokes for different folks and all that. I just hope the stew was as tasty as it looks.

  • Eanglin

    Hey- I’ve been eating rabbit since I was little, and there are defiately some tricks to cooking it and other wild rodents. (Squirrel, jackrabbit, etc.) Slow gentle cooking is the way to go, with plenty of moisture to make up for the fact that it is, once you remove the skin, extremely lean meat- it will dry out and lose its delicacy very easily.

    Braising, stews and pot roast type preparations are wonderful. Any recipe created to tenderize tough old chicken will work well for rabbit.
    My family favorite for rabbit is pretty simple. Dredge the cut up rabbit in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and any other seasonings your family likes.
    Brown meat in a generous amount of high quality fat. Bacon grease is wonderful, but a good clarified butter or olive oil is fine too. When well browned, add a generous amount of thinly sliced onions and perhaps some garlic and stir around to brown them slightly and soften them a bit. Onions should pretty much fill the space between the pieces of meat once they soften. (1-3 onions depending on size of onions, rabbits and pan.)

    Add water or chicken, veal or vegetable stock to cover the rabbit and onions/ Bring to a gentle simmer then cover and cook very slowly until fork tender. (1 hour to all day depending on age and size of animal.) This works well in a heavy dutch oven.

    Before serving, thicken pan gravy with flour if its too thin.
    Serve over rice, boiled or mashed potatoes.
    Seasonal greens are the best side- especially if they are what the rabbit was eating. (Garden raiders aren’t really a ‘problem’ they are a tasty main dish!)

  • Lisa Kukla

    Sometimes you just have to have a comfort food. I like to munch on Fruit Loops. I miss the giant sized ones they use to make under the name “snack ums”. I would eat those by the canister. Rabbit is really good too and its a hard meat to find around here.