One of the highlights of our trip to Peru in 2009 was a visit to Incanto Restaurant in Cusco where I got roasted guinea pig (cuy). The guinea pig legs reminded me structurally of prairie chicken, but the meat was similar to rabbit. After we got home from Peru I made a number of attempts to try and find guinea pig meat to eat, including contacting a number of Peruvian restaurants, but was unable to find any. Finally, a number of years later, Exotic Meat Market made it available and I ordered four and have had them sitting in the freezer waiting for the right time to cook them. I talked with the owner and chef of our local Peruvian restaurant about cooking them for me, and he was willing, but I was never able to make it work time-wise with my family's schedule and the schedule of the restaurant.
So several months back the mood hit me and I decided to cook them on my own. I thawed two of them and decided to bread and fry them. The guinea pigs seemed smaller than those found in Peru, but were still large enough to get a good meal out of them.
|Two guinea pigs, or cuy.|
I cut them in half, lengthwise, then cut them down further into smaller pieces, then breaded them in flour mixed liberally with salt and pepper, and fried them in canola oil. The guinea pigs were fatty enough to add their own juices to the pan and they fried up nicely to a golden brown.
|Two guinea pigs, cut in half.|
|Cut into smaller pieces, breaded and in a frying pan.|
|Frying to a crisp, golden brown.|
It is a dark meat, very moist, soft and juicy, and has no gamy flavor. It reminds me of rabbit, which I love, but I think the guinea pig is even better - a little darker and more flavorful. If cost was not a factor, I would have cuy more often. I tried the other two guinea pigs sous vide, perhaps a separate post some day, but this breading and frying far surpassed the sous vide version. I would cook guinea pig this way again.
|The finished product.|