HOP Pockets

If you’re a human, and chances are you are, you’ve either eaten or heard of Hot Pockets, the quick microwaveable sandwich that 99% of the time is way too hot to eat, but you eat it anyways. Virginia Zoo Chef Yohn, with the help of the Australia and Bird Keeping Intern, made a tastier, healthier and safer version of the famous meal for our kangaroo and wallabies.

Feast your eyes on the Hop Pocket, an all-natural veggie and fruit treat specifically designed with the Australian species’ dietary needs (and preferences) in mind. Of course, humans can eat the fare as well, but we recommend eating it chilled or room temperature to avoid burnt tongues as seen with regular Hot Pockets. Personally, we’d take Hop Pockets over the latter any given day.

So what’s in it and how are the ingredients good for the wallabies and kangaroo? The wallabies eat a certain measurement of greens, veggies and fruits everyday, and grain pellet is added to fulfill their daily intake of nutrients. The kangaroo eats a little more pounds of veggies and fruits, as well as more pounds of grain pellet.

So now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the recipe! If you’re craving a Hop Pocket, feel free to mix it up with the ingredients, or keep it simple and eat like the animals!

hop pockets


• banana leaf

• grapes

• bananas

• apples

• sweet potato

• lettuce

• parsley


Step 1: Cut your bananas, apples and sweet potato into long strips.

Step 2: Cut the grapes in half and cut the lettuce into smaller pieces.

Step 3: Pull apart some of the parsley stalks and leaves.

Step 4: Lay a thick piece of banana leaf flat on the table.

Step 5: Put your preferred amount of sliced apples, bananas, sweet potato, lettuce, grapes and parsley onto the banana leaf, trying not to overfill the space.

Step 6: Take the ends of the banana leaf and fold them over the filling.

Step 7: Using a long, thin strip of banana leaf, tie a knot around the hop pocket.

Step 8: Garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Step 9: Watch the wallabies and kangaroo jump for joy at their feast!

Zoo Intern, Ana Frace gives Mulberry, one of the Zoo’s several wallabies, her very own Hop Pocket.

Mulberry indulges in the banana leaf that encases the fruits and veggie filled Hop Pocket.

Look who popped their head out while the older wallabies were enjoying their Animeals? This little joey will hopefully be eating some of Chef Yohn’s delicious food soon. In the mean time, stick around for June’s Recipe for the Animals!