Bandicoot Rat
Rat [Rice field rats, Bandicota bengalensis (lesser bandicoot rat) Bandicota indica (greater bandicoot rat)]

The greater and lesser bandicoot rat, not the common rat, are the rats eaten in Southeast Asia and southern China. Not related to the real bandicoot, they are major pests in rice and wheat fields throughout Southeast Asia and India. While they are hunted, trapped and eaten in great quantity conservation status is LC (Least Concern) because they breed at a stunning rate.

These rats are much larger and plumper than the common rat and the tail is proportionately shorter. For B. indica head/body length is about 10 inches and overall length is 16 inches.   Photo from blog Tropical Ramblings - I didn't find an email for permission.

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While California and Texas grow large quantities of rice, we have no bandicoot rats and the USDA is unlikely to approve introducing them. I would not be surprised if frozen ones are available somewhere in the vast LA/Orange County metropolis, but I haven't encountered them. It is unknown if common rat is a suitable substitute but it's way too small to be worth trying anyway.

To prepare a rat (presuming it is already dead)

  1. Cut off it's tail and feet, then make a cut through the skin around the neck behind the ears. Grasp the rat by the head and pull the skin entirely off.
  2. Cut off the head and discard.
  3. Slit the belly being careful not to cut so deep you cut the innards. Now pull out all the innards, except the heart and liver are often left in.
  4. At this point larger rats are simply marinated with seasonings and roasted over hot coals until well done. Smaller rats may be roasted until just done, then made into ground rat.
Health & Nutrition

The main risk involved with eating bandicoot rats is from programs to poison them. Make sure your rats come from an area where no poisoning is being done. This is not a problem in North America because there are no bandicoot rats here.

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