Follow Me To The Deep End!!

Mar 4, 2007

All Those Jellyfish. So Little Time. PB&Jf.

Jellyfish

“Take us *slooorp* to your leader,” ordered the Commandant of the Jellyfish Army.

With his troops massed behind him, Commandant Jellyfish stood upright, bell-shaped, muculent and dripping. The Jellies all stood upright, some on shore and others filed into the sea like a string of alien mushrooms. By some freak acceleration in evolution caused by global climate change or “The Warming”, jellyfish now possessed sensory organs, brains and leg-like tentacles with deadly stingers.

Oh, and they could speak perfect English too.

“Barack Obama?” I replied.

“No,” the massive, menacing yet squishy jellyfish snorted.

“Vice President Hillary Rodham Clinton?”

“No, the guy who *slllooorp* fucked up the environment and *sloorp* made it possible for us to take over the seas,”

“Oh, him. He hasn’t been our leader for years.”

“We just wanted to thank him for The Warming *sloorp*. He didn’t invent it but he sure didn’t do anything to stop it. Now, I must ask you to surrender. *Sssloorp* The mass stingings will commence in fifteen minutes.”

At that moment I wiggled around like a merman out of water — this was my signal to attack.

From seemingly nowhere my band of resistance fighters popped out of the sand, propelled down from the cliffs and charged the Jellies. All of my fighters were of Asian descent and wielded Global 8-inch chef knives and carried pots of freshly boiled water.

Tears welled up in my eyes. It was a magnificent sight. Like a culinary cavalry.

The Jellies shrieked at an octave just outside of human hearing range. “Fuck me! Chinese foodies!!” the Jellyfish Commandant bellowed.

It was too late for the Jellies. With the element of surprise to our advantage, their flotilla was brutally and mercilessly sliced, boiled and whipped into jellyfish appetizers. Our victory was exhausting and, unfortunately, not without cost. We lost a dozen comrades to suicide stingers.

But there were still blooms upon blooms of Jellies out in the wide-open seas numbering in the billions. With no predators or competition to speak of due to overfishing and warming waters, jellyfish have thrived and multiplied. Warmer waters are the ideal climate for them so not everything opposes global warming. The Jellies love it.

Although what they didn’t count on was a whole lot of Chinese with a taste for nicely marinated invertebrates.

The War on the Jellies had just begun.


This was my peek into a dark future. However horrific, I saw it as a gift. So I’m sharing it with you and telling you all — it’s not too late to avoid this future shock scenario. There are many, many things you can do, like:

1) Vote for environmentally friendly leaders.
2) Live your life green.
3) Diversify your diet so you don’t eat as much of the really popular fish like certain tuna, red snapper and Chilean seabass.
4) And learn to love, I mean really love, eating jellyfish because there are plenty of them.

Consider the jellyfish salad or sesame jellyfish. It’s a cold dish. Very simple to prepare. You can get all of the ingredients to make it — including the jellyfish — at any well-supplied Chinese grocery store.

1/2 lb prepared shredded jellyfish
2 tsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp white rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted

Rinse jellyfish well in cold running water and drain. Put it in a stainless steel bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the jellyfish sit in the hot water for about 15 minutes or until it is tender. Drain and continue to soak at least 6 times in several changes of cold water. Drain thoroughly and blot dry with paper towels and set aside. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Toss the jellyfish well in this sauce and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, garnish with the sesame seeds. (Serves 4 as part of a Chinese meal or 2 as a single dish.)


jellyfish

Jellyfish is also served at most authentic Chinese seafood restaurants. I had a nice plate during the dim sum service at Hop Li in Arcadia. I usually call this dish a "salad" not because it’s cold or because it is like salad but because to me jellyfish is just one DNA strand away from being lettuce. In fact, the fish part of jellyfish is a major misnomer. Why? Because jellies are brainless, don’t have basic sensory organs and start out life very much like a plant. On top of that, they’re made up mostly of water so they're squishy and yet are crunchy — scrunchy? Yes, it's a scrunchy texture, and, when shredded, jellyfish is slippery in a wet noodle kind of way. Because of these peculiar textures, the first time I ate jellyfish salad I didn’t even realize I was chowing on an animal. (Really, the next several occasions I supped on jellyfish I didn’t know it was of the Kingdom Animalia.) Jellyfish’s singular characteristics are part of the appeal for gourmands who enjoy this odd dish.

I, for one, really enjoy slurping up and munching on jellyfish salad — sweet, savory and slightly spicy — it hits all the right spots. Combine these tastes with its unique feel and jellyfish salad becomes a sensationally complex snack.

I’m sure I haven’t convinced the majority of you to join the Resistance to help control the jellyfish population by adding them to your shopping list. That’s okay. I understand this may be a little much to ask from those who’d rather stick to the safe stuff like hot dogs. After all, hot dogs don’t involve anything stranger than tails, snouts, ears and other tasty nether parts all ground up and packaged into an appetizing, portable presentation for your dining in denial pleasure.

By Jove, that’s it!

If I cleverly disguise the jellyfish, make it eater-friendly and handy, then maybe I can get some of you to try it.

pb & jellyfish

Introducing PB&Jf. Like, what is it? Peanut Butter and Jellyfish sandwiches, silly! It’s just like a regular PB&J sandwich only better because you substitute Jf for the J. Just spread your favorite PB on to some toast then pile on the Jf and enjoy. Serve with a cold, tall glass of squid ink. No EVOO required. How easy is that? Yum-O!

pb & jellyfish 4

Go on. Do your part and rid the world of excess jellyfish scum. Try it and let me know!

pb & jellyfish 5

Next time…Jellyfish Donuts!

9 comments:

get a long little doggie. hot link that is. said...

interesting.. odd.. yet comforting and familiar.. yes, i might just try a peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich..as for your salad.. why do you want to ruin a good lettuce mix by adding some squishy, makes you pee on yourself if one stings you, clear sack filled with deadly poision, seemingly innocent but actually deadly at times, jellyfish?
give me an intestine filled with non descript meat parts and rat hair anyday..as long as its grilled! yee haw!

Traci said...

At first I thought you were like every other food blogger - but articles like this set you far apart from the rest. Like a good movie, your writing has me coming back for a second and third read. Somehow you managed to intertwine politics, environmentalism, and humor into the cold and bizarre world of the jellyfish. Did I laugh? Yes? Will I eat my Jellyfish with Peanut Butter? The Jury is still out..Great Job Eddie Lin!!!!

Jennie said...

Did you get the PB&JF idea yourself?! Brilliant. Reminds me of my tender high school years. I was often seen munching on peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Delicious. Hey, that's an idea...pickled jellyfish. Then you can slap it on a Reuben instead of the saurkraut!

Peggy Archer said...

I LOVE Jellyfish - I tried a salad once, and got hooked!

Mmmmm... must have jellyfish salad for lunch tomorrow!

Juliet said...

That story was too funny! you should make a short film LOL

I lovem love, LOVE jellyfish! Thanks for the recipe1! I will try it sometime after we move.

Eddie Lin said...

get a long little doggie. hot link that is.

is that your real name?

yes, please try the PB&Jf. it's a wack snack! btw, the jellyfish salad doesn't actually have lettuce in it. eat more jellyfish or die!


traci,

wow, i am blushing (bright yellow). that is awful nice of you. i'm very glad you discovered me. and try the jellyfish, please.


jennie,

yep, i thought up PB&Jf all by myself. i even did a fairly deep google search on the subject and for possible recipes beforehand just to make sure it didn't exist. it does exist as a joke and cute cartoon characters, even a children's book written by a kid but not as an actual "dish".


hey peggy,

i missya! any vegas waiters comp your meal because we're homeys lately? jellyfish is delish!


juliet,

hey, sweety, thanks for the compliment! try the recipe. it is super easy...just like a salad. weird!

get a long little doggie. hot link that is. said...

yes, it is my real name... my parents are tube meat whores. whats a girl to do? well, except avoid texas bbq's. the "eat more jellyfish or die" request has made me uneasy, i dont want to die, and there are lots of things to do with the jellyfish rather then eat them.. there is a book called 1001 things to do with a jellyfish.. (http://pdv.pdv-systeme.de/users/martinv/pgg/02U/02U037.html) and i for one want to use the Fluoriscating jellyfish as body paint. so eddie, make jellylove not dinner.

Eddie Lin said...

GALLD. HLTI.,

make jellylove... kinky.

Chubbypanda said...

Word!

*sharpens 8-inch chef knife*