Top End tour guide and former fine dining chef David McMahon with dead toads and toad legs at his home in Leanyer. Picture: Keri Megelus
Top End tour guide and former fine dining chef David McMahon with dead toads and toad legs at his home in Leanyer. Picture: Keri Megelus

The man who skins cane toad for a living

DAVID McMahon is bringing toads to the dinner table and he wants you all to join.

The tour guide and former fine dining chef made national headlines when he served up teriyaki toad legs in 2017.

The idea was to get the general public talking about ways in which people can help manage pests. One way is to eat them.

Mr McMahon said toads, or rather the legs the rest of the amphibian is poisonous, are widely eaten across Asia.

Top End tour guide and former fine dining chef David McMahon with dead toads and toad legs at his home in Leanyer. Picture: Keri Megelus
Top End tour guide and former fine dining chef David McMahon with dead toads and toad legs at his home in Leanyer. Picture: Keri Megelus

He's been asked to cook up a recipe to be published in MONA's exhibition and cookbook Eat the Problem.

He has created a sweet and sour recipe fit for a toad.

"It's a modern funky Territory take on a sweet and sour pork recipe from Chinese restaurants using the cochineal scale insects that red scale insect found on the prickly pear and lychees for the sweetness and tamarind for the sour," he said.

"It was actually really tasty, I shouldn't be surprised but I was."

Last week directors at MONA asked him to collect about 100 toads which he then chopped up and skinned.

They will be sent down to Tasmania where chefs will whip up the legs into a meal.

The cookbook will feature other recipes and ideas on how to use invasive species, from toad leather clothing to eating foxes and cats.



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