Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and the United States are some of the countries that use nutria rats in recipes. Nutria rats, also called coypu or river rats, have lean meat that is low in cholesterol.
One recipe using nutria rats comes from the Institute of Applied Ecology’s Invasive Species Cookoff. The recipe requires two large nutria back quarters, 1 cup of kosher salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 gallon of water, and hickory or alder wood chips. Soak the nutria meat overnight in a brine mixture made from the salt, sugar and water. Pat the meat dry, then place it on a smoking rack in an electric smoker set to 190 degrees Fahrenheit for three to four hours. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Shred the cooked meat, and mix it with 1 cup of barbecue sauce.