Dec 2

The Great Yak Escapade

in Culinary Adventurism, Family, Product Reviews

I’ve mentioned before that my dad and I are into culinary adventurism. Well we were at it again for Thanksgiving! My dad emailed me at the beginning of November saying that he wanted to make something exotic for Thanksgiving, just to give it an added twist, but that he was going to surprise my mom. He gave me a list of things he had though of and then asked if I was interested in being his partner in crime. I eagerly said yes (duh!) and we began planning. We ended up choosing yak and my dad ordered some yak burger patties and ribeye steaks from Del Yaks, a yak ranch in Colorado.
It turns out that yak is a very interesting meat. The Yak was first domesticated by Tibetans thousands of years ago and they still rely on the yak for many of their daily needs such as meat, milk, butter, cheese, wool, fiber, leather, fuel, and as pack animals. Yak meat is 95% fat-free(less fat than salmon) and is much lower in calories, saturated fats, cholesterol, and triglycerides than beef. It is much higher in stearic and oleic acids and in protein and solids than beef (making it much healthier). Ultimately it is one of the healthiest meats out there, who knew?
The meat arrived on time and it was gorgeous–beautifully red with nice marbling. On Thanksgiving day my dad threw the burgers and steaks on the barbecue and then we cut everything into little pieces so that everyone could have a try.
I wasn’t sure how people would react, but everyone was interested to try it, which was good because everyone ended up loving it and the meat disappeared very quickly.
My dad did a fantastic job of cooking because it was tender and moist (harder to accomplish when something is as lean as this). The taste was very similar to beef but with more flavor. If there was a yak farm in town I think I would stop buying beef completely because seriously, this stuff was amazing. So the moral of this story is, if you’re a meat eater and you get the chance to taste yak, don’t pass it up!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob December 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Oh man I want some! I love trying stuff like that. My buddy one time got some ostrich steaks, those were wicked good. I love buffalo and moose too. I’m definitely going to have to get my hands on some.


K and S December 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm

sounds delicious! wonder if they have any here?? maybe not..will ooh and ahh over what you had.


Snakebit December 2, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Yeah, I’m glad it was yummy as not much could be worse than yucky yak.


Melissa Hodgen December 2, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Who knew Yak wasn’t yakky? Sounds tasty. Anthony Bordain went to mongolia or something like that and like Yak as well. Can’t wait to hear about what you eat at Christmas.


Marc @ NoRecipes December 2, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Wow that’s awesome! I had yak for the first time when I was in Bhutan last year. I wonder if that farm makes yak cheese too.


magikjaz December 3, 2008 at 9:34 am

I’ve never tried Yak but once when we were tailgating at a football game the guys next to us had buffalo burgers that they shared with us if we wanted to try it.

The only ones brave enough were me and my brother. And let me tell you they were YUMMY!!!

so yay for being food adventurous!!


Fuji Mama December 3, 2008 at 9:37 am

Bob–I LOVE ostrich! Buffalo is good to. I’m not sure if I’ve had moose before or not. I’ll have to ask my dad (he keeps track for us). I’m quite partial to elk when it’s cooked right.

Marc–I don’t know, but I would LOVE to try yak cheese! I’ll have to look into it!

magikjaz–Yeah for being adventurous! Buffalo burgers are yummy, I have to agree!


eruvande December 3, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Yak cheese is absolutely delicious. When I was on honeymoon in Tibet we had to have yak cheese momos at least twice a week (that’s fried cheese dumplings). It’s kind of like mozzarella, but with a little more tang.


Fuji Mama December 3, 2008 at 5:03 pm

eruvande– Mmmm, that sounds FABULOUS! And what a great place to honeymoon!


Lorraine E December 3, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Thanks so much for taking us through your yak adventure! I don’t know what chance O have of getting it here but if I ever see it on a menu I’ll definitely try it :)


Jen December 3, 2008 at 6:47 pm

My mouth is actually watering. You are right, who knew?


Melanie Gray Augustin December 3, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I love that your dad wanted to surprise your mum! How cute! Now wonder you turned out so sweet with parents like them!

Wayne would love to try that! He’s the big red meat eater in our place. When we move back to Oz, I’m sure he’ll be cooking lots of kangaroo meat again – if it’s just a steak, it’s a bit too “gamey” for me, but I love it minced up and cooked with other flavours – a nice healthy meat!


Ayie December 4, 2008 at 12:49 am

looks like the feast was really good!

Reply December 9, 2008 at 3:15 am

How intriguing I never even remotely thought that yak would be accessible here in the states. Gotta try!


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