Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seafood Salad Sandwich

I am tired as HELL this week.  Having discovered that roughly 40% of my food has gone bad, I think I’ll just kick back with a sandwich.  I really like seafood, so a nice seafood salad should do the trick.

Bee tee dubs, guess what you can just buy whenever? Did you guess "baby octopus"? Well done!

You need:
Flying fish roe
Baby octopus
Some of that fish cake log from the last post
Red Pepper
Black pepper
Hamburger buns
Total cost: $10 - $20

You didn’t think I’d just pussy out and use canned tuna or something, right?  In all seriousness, I find myself using fish roe more and more in my everyday cooking when I can afford it. You may be wondering “How do I tell flying fish eggs apart from other kinds, you nasty, fucking, psycho?”  Flying fish row are tiny, orange eggs.  They’re usually on California rolls.

Normally, butchering the infants of most animals isn’t that hard but, with the octopus, you need a really sharp knife because these things are rubbery and hard to cut. Just chop them as coarsely or finely as you’d like.  Chop some onion and red pepper while you’re at it.  Afterwards, rip up some fish cake and mix it with the octopus, mayo, veggies and spice.

Kinda looks like it's missing something, doesn't it?  Add a nice big spoonful or two of fish eggs.

 Perfect.  Now slap that crazy mess on a bun.

This is fucking awesome.  It’s the best seafood salad I’ve ever had.  It’s kinda like imitation crab salad with lots of sweet little bubbles.  The octopus is tasty too, but it’s hard to describe it other than “it tastes like octopus”.  I don’t think it would be nearly as enjoyable without some crunchy vegetables in it.  The flavor is good by itself, but the texture would be a little boring without the pepper and onion.  I find myself consuming the unborn and young more than usual lately.  I’m also on my period.  Coincidence or my own brand of delicious revenge?  Either way, stay queer!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fish Cake Scramble

You can apparently buy Asian fish cakes in the form of a long, thin loaf, kind of like a pepperoni.

 Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have bought this if I hadn’t seen Suicide Club for the first time recently.  (There’s a scene where a woman is chopping up something that looks similar to this.)

"Mommy's funny."
It’s precooked so you can eat it cold. It tastes a bit like imitation crab, which makes sense because they’re both made from pollock.  (Isn’t it weird that I think that Pollock tastes like imitation crab and not the other way around?  That’s weird to me.)  The texture is dry and kinda grainy.  Nothing special on its own, but whatever.
As with almost all of my other posts, I don’t really know what to do with it.  I do, however, know that I could go for a tofu scramble, so some scrambled fish cake surely wouldn’t be amiss.

You need:
Fish cake
Cooking oil
Barbecue sauce
Whatever veggies you like
Optional: cheyenne pepper:
Total cost: $10 - $20

Heat some oil in  skillet at medium temperature.  Cut up about 7 oz of the fish cake and remove the casing, if need be.   

Then you can just knead it with your hands a bit to break it up.  

Chop up whatever veggies you want.  

Pictured: 2 mushrooms, a brussel sprout and about an ounce of onion.

Mix the veggies and fish cake together and add cheyenne pepper to your taste.  Transfer the mixture to the pan and saute until the veggies are tender.  Add barbecue sauce to your taste during frying.  Basically it’s done when the veggies are.

Weird but good.  It’s got the soft texture of lox, but the barbecue sauce and onion sort of interact with the fish flavor to make it taste a bit like pickled herring. The brussel sprouts have a very subtle flavor that works surprisingly well with the dish and the mushrooms add a nice bit of texture to it.  Not bad for a first try.I’d also like to thank my girlfriend for doing the photography for this post (even if she did voice her disgust every step of the way and initially reacted to my blog with shock and horror).  Stay queer!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Prawn Chips

This post is actually due to a happy accident because when I bought this...

...I was under the impression that the box contained potato chips or kernels flavored like shrimp.  I assumed that the choice of packaging was just a little marketing quirk.  Instead, I got this:

That’ll teach me no not read food packaging properly.  A brief scan of the back of the box reveals that you have to fry them. I’ve seen loads of weird flavored snacks in Asian grocery stores before, but never something like this.  Don’t you buy chips so you don’t have to cook?  That’s half the reason why people tend to stock up on chips before they get drunk.  If you rolled these out in the middle of a party it’d probably result in brns.  Although I suppose you could always relegate the actual frying to that one shirtless, drunk guy who tends to show up at gatherings of twenty-somethings and won’t stop yelling “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and that no one actually invited; he just thinks all parties are open and the beer is always free cuz that’s how it works in college movies and who will invariable sulk off, muttering insults under his breath like the na├»ve, entitled, little mommy’s boy shit he is when told to leave, despite the fact that there was absolutely no way he was going to hook up with any of the women there without the aid of rohypnol.  Then again, those guys tend to be terrible cooks, so you run the risk of a grease fire breaking out.

You need
Prawn chips
Total cost: $1 - $10

Heat some oil over medium heat. The chips are really thin but you want to be sure that they’ll be covered since the box says that you’re supposed to deep fry them. The actual frying is surprisingly cool. In a few seconds they puffed up, became opaque and lost some color.   

Transfer them to some paper towels to let them drain. 

Cool!  It’s like a puffed potato chip or a soft rice cake.  Don’t worry if a chip hasn’t puffed completely.  Any spots that look uncooked are just a bit crunchier, that’s all.  They have a buttery taste with a slight hint of prawn.  It can be a bit hard to notice at first but the more you eat the stronger it is. I approve. At first I was slightly annoyed that I’d have to fry them myself but I really like how they’re warm and kind of oily.  It's kind of cool that I have freshly fried chips too. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to market chips that you have to fry up yourself, but I guess that why I’m not rubbing shoulders with the snack food barons.  Stay queer!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Durian Fruit: Raw and Fried

Sorry for the hiatus.  I moved and started grad school so I was a bit busy with getting settled and all that.  I've decided that the break is over, and now I'm ready to really knuckle down and eat weird things for the entertainment of myself and others! (Mostly myself.)

Yes, a durian fruit.  It's called the King of Fruit by some.  I'm not sure how one determines fruit hierarchy, but I'm pretty sure that if all of the fruit in the world became self aware, sprouted limbs and engaged in some sort of battle royale, the durian fruit would win without too much resistance.  Why?

Go on, guess.
The fruit in that picture weights about 5 pounds and I can't pick it up with my bare hands because the spikes are so sharp.  These things grow on trees by the way...TALL trees.  They're also notorious for their smell, which is VERY strong and generally disliked.

A tad pricy and difficult to find but I don’t mind because a) first post in two weeks, so I’ll suck it up b) my girlfriend and room mate are both in different states and won’t be subjected to the smell and c) I actually found one so yay. 

You need:
A durian fruit: I got mine for 2.09 a pound, so about 10 bucks.  Ripe durians weight between 4 and 7 lbs if I recall correctly.
Total cost: $10 - $20

I’ve actually had durian once before, about 2 or 3 years ago.  It was like vanilla pudding with a strong undertone of red onion and it smelled like rotting garbage, particularly celery.  According to a friend of mine who refused to let us eat it in her apartment, it smelled of “garbage, cat piss and bad weed.”  Pungency and flavor varies based on how ripe it is though.  There are a bunch of different kinds of durian, but only one of them is sold internationally.  Let’s see how it tastes raw first.

It smells like slightly rotted almonds.  I haven’t cracked the husk yet.  Yes, the smell permeates the husk.

The husk may look hard but it has natural seams and the spikes, while very sharp, are actually somewhat bendable. If you’re careful, you can pull the sections apart with your hands.

Yup, as I remember it!  More like custard actually.  The flesh is soft and gooey and very easy to chew.  The consistency is nice and the flavor is good, if a bit weird.  This would be a bit cloying if you eat it too fast though.  Still, it's very tasty.  Smells more strongly now but I’d actually call it aromatic and pungent, rather than saying it stinks.  It scent carries a whiff of slight over ripeness but is strongly fruity, a tad like banana actually.  Now, those chunks of flesh naturally section off into wads, each of which has a pretty big seed in them.  Remove them, it’s not hard.

Now to fry it up.  Nothing special about this recipe.  Just heat some oil over medium heat and fry until both sides are partially browned, like how you would fry a banana.

Wow, this is really good.  The outside gets firm and crunchy and the inside stays creamy.  It loses a little bit of it sweetness and some of the oniony taste is gone.  Actually, once again I’m reminded of a banana, even though this is less sweet than that.  By the way, durian is like catnip to vegans and fruitarians. They eat it by the crate-load and, if you give a group of them enough, they start to act a little it high. I've seen it happen. It's adorable. Stay queer!