Icelandic Minke Whale Steak

Minke whale are not endangered  and they rather flourish in Icelandic waters with counts over  70000 just in that area. Being quite a delicacy, no wonder that they have been a staple on Icelandic menus for centuries. The meat  (Minke are mammals, not fish) is very red like a Toro tuna with a texture like the most tender beef filet mignon you ever tried. It is for sale in most butcher shops in Iceland and at the Airport duty-free counter, pre-packaged either as small marinated filet or as a whole plain filet. I was lucky to be on the way to France when my eye caught the  Icelandic only labels. As there was no border control to prevent the export from Iceland or the import in the E.U., there I was, proud owner of the rare treat  while staying at my sister in the Alps for a few days.

Marinated Minke filets

It was not too hard to convince Christophe, my brother-in-law and also a Master Carpenter to use some of his best hardwood scraps to light the perfect barbecue. The whale needs very high heat and very little time. It is best served quite rare like tuna, hardly 2 minutes on each side. 

The tasting provided excellent results, I preferred the marinated chunks but the plain thick steak was also praised. Both are well worth getting if you are on your way to Europe.

Steak cut

I have compiled some information about the nutritional values of Minke meat  from Taneko Suzuki, Professor, Nihon University:

Whale Meat Is Rich in High-Quality Protein. It has a Lower Calorie Content Than Beef or Pork, a Much Higher Iron Content Than Other Animal-Related Foodstuffs,  Is Rich in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids,  Is Relatively Low in Cholesterol and the leanest meat.

Duty-free sealed package at Reykjavik airport

whale

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5 Responses to Icelandic Minke Whale Steak

  1. Raphael says:

    Sounds great, unfortunately that type of review encourages Icelandic whale hunting which would not seem to be a massive problem if they were only hunting minke whale but in 2013 they actually killed more fin whale (134, endangered specie) than minke (38). Beware of the effects of consuming that sort of products. Raph (Switzerland)

  2. Pingback: Icelandic Delicacies: Puffin, Whale, Foal and Fermented Shark | The Cooking Frog's Blog

  3. Kim says:

    Wow, that looks completely different to how I would have imagined. Looks delicious though – if I ever find myself in Iceland, I’ll definitely try some!

  4. hospitalist says:

    I just added this blog site to my rss reader, great stuff. Can’t get enough!

  5. SandySays1 says:

    Looks good! Sounds good! But, I doubt we’ll find a store in Florida that has it!
    Sandy

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