Here are some faSEAnating food facts that
you should know about your favorite foods from the sea!
Buying the perfect fish for sushi-pay close attention to fish that is firm and has clear
eyes. Buy only at markets that specialize in fish. More importantly, choose and get the
fish cuts that have the fewest number of blood vessels. You can recognize this if the cut
is dark in color.
All fish, seawater or not --- may contain parasites. Although the risk is small, pregnant
women, small children and older people who are at greater risk, should be more careful
when eating raw fish. At home, you can kill the parasites by freezing the fish (preferably
at 20°C or 4°F). Since our freezers at home can't give this much temperature, it is best
to buy fish pre-frozen. You can then thaw it and use it for sushi or sashimi. Next time
you order at your favorite restaurant, pay close attention to the freezer temperature.
The tender lobster meat waits for those who struggle past the shell and don't mind getting
their hands all oily and greasy in the process. A lobster is best-enjoyed eaten using
hands, a small hammer or a nutcracker and of course, that small bib that you place around
your neck to protect your shirt from stains. Start by twisting off at the joints the large
claws of the lobster. Crack the claws but either using a nutcracker or a small hammer. The
back of a heavy chef's knife --- a rock will also do, a little primitive but effective.
Bend the body away from the tail --- that's the segmented portion that ends in small
flippers which you need to remove --- after you hear the crack it will separate. Push the
meat out of the tail, put two fingers tightly around it, dip in lemon-butter-garlic sauce,
and place it in your mouth. Enjoy the tender meats as it rolls around your mouth.
Delicious! The last process of sauce dipping and dunking in your mouth should be repeated
as often as you can get meat from the lobster. There is more meat in the legs (especially
if you get a really big lobster) and the cavity where the legs join the body. The lobster
tomalley (or liver, it's green) and the roe (if the lobster is female) can be discarded.
Although some like having the tomalley as a sauce and there are recipes that call for it.
SHELLING AND DE-VEINING SHRIMPS
There are two school of thoughts about shrimps, it's shell and the "vein" which
is actually it's digestive tract. One says that removing them makes shrimps taste and look
better. The other insists that the shells adds flavor. Both have some plus or minus
factors associated with them. So whether you remove them or not actually depends on
personal preference. Here are few easy steps to unshelling and de-veining shrimps:
- Remove shrimp legs and then remove the shell, except for the
tail, by using only your fingers.
- Get a knife and insert about 3/4 of the way into the shrimp
from the head and cut almost through the flesh down at the center of the back to the tail.
- Open the shrimp or "butterfly" it until it lies
flat. Remove the "vein" with your finger or the tip of a knife. Rinse shrimp
under cold running water.
Cook crabs first in a pot of boiling water with some salt in it. Remove crab from water
and allow it to cool slightly. Place crab belly-up on the table and pull off the triangle
shaped belly flap, or "apron". Remove shell. Twist off claws and legs and crack
them open to get the meat. You can use a lobster pick (a two-tined small fork), a
full-sized fork or even the tip of a crab claw. Get the crab meat and roe (also called
"crab butter") from the shell. Keep the roe or discard it. Depending on your
presence. Pull off and discard the spongy gills and small paddles at the front of the
crab. Cut the crabs body in half lengthwise and then into quarters or simply snap the body
in half to get to all the meat inside.