Chef Henry M. Summers

     Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been overwhelmed by inquiries about pangolins. Are they really good to eat, or merely a fad? Can eating one give me COVID? And how on earth do you cook it?

     As any Wuhan gourmet will attest, pangolin is delicious. However, it has been identified by the World Health Organization as a vector of the COVID-19 virus.

     We are all familiar with vectors in mathematics. But in the context of zoonotic diseases, a vector is an organism that transmits infection between one species and another. One example is a flea that transmits plague from a rat to a human being. Another is a Fox that transmits conspiracy theories between Donald Trump and his supporters.

     Cooking pangolin at home is simplicity itself. Because the meat is easily tainted, pangolins should always be purchased alive from a reputable dealer. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Holding the pangolin by its tail to avoid its powerful claws, lower it head-first into the boiling water, and quickly cover.

     The pangolin's primitive nervous system makes it impossible for it to experience pain. Just ignore the the wild thrashing around in the pot–it's merely a reflex, and will stop after a

few minutes.

     Counting from the time that the water returns to a boil, allow 12 minutes per pound of pangolin. This will ensure that the internal temperature reaches the 165-degrees needed to kill the COVID virus. When you can pull out a scale without resistance, your pangolin is cooked.

     Drain the pangolin, saving the cooking liquid, which can later provide the basis for countless soups, stews, and sauces. Serve the pangolin on a dish, removing the scales one by one, dipping them into melted butter, and running them through your teeth like the leaves of an artichoke.