JellyFish Facts

Cooked Jellyfish

Cooked Jellyfish picture

Cooked Jellyfish

Jellyfish is an intriguing marine creature that is found all over the world's oceans. The word jellyfish, instantly conjures in the mind, a dome-shaped form with hanging tentacles. Many have seen the body of a jellyfish marooned on the beach, and touched it to feel the gelatinous mass that is its body. The jellyfish is a weird creature which has no brain, or a skeletal structure. It immediately collapses when taken out of the water, as the currents of the ocean and pressure in the water keeps its body intact. The tentacles are packed with stinging cells which it uses to capture its prey. The carnivorous jellyfish feeds on a variety of small marine creatures, including the zooplankton, crustaceans, larvae and eggs, mollusks and small fishes.

The jellyfish is fast becoming an accepted dish around the world and in places like China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea, it is regarded as a popular delicacy and people consume it in huge quantities. The jellyfish spoils very quickly, once its taken out of the water, and so a process, is there to preserve it for a longer period. The jellyfish is dehydrated and salt and alum is used in the processing.

The jellyfish is never sold fresh and the processed ones are the ones that you get in the market. The traditional method of processing a jellyfish is usually over a 20 to 40 day period. The gonads and the mucous membranes of the jellyfish are removed and then a mixture of salt and alum is rubbed into the body and the oral arms. The salted jellyfish is then compressed under a weight, so that all excess water drains away. This will make the jellyfish drier and it will get a crisp texture. This process will remove 90% of the original weight. The processed jellyfish has a white creamy color, which will turn yellow to brown with prolonged storage.

Cooking a jellyfish is pretty simple compared to the process other marine creatures require. Firstly you are saved the botheration of cleaning it, as it comes in pieces which are already processed. Initially you wash the jellyfish in cold water to get the salt off and then you have to soak it overnight in the refrigerator. Then you can cut them in thin strips and put them in boiling water. Immediately after this you have to immerse them in chilled water. After this blanching process the jellyfish will curl up a little, and is ready to be marinated or to be put in any dish that you choose. For different types of salads the jellyfish does not need any marination and can be used directly into the salad as one of the ingredients. For a gravy dish you can marintae it in different seasonings, like vinegar, soy sauce and so on. The jellyfish has a bland taste and will take on the predominant flavour of the dish you are making.

In China the processed jellyfish are desalted and soaked overnight, and even eaten raw without blanching. In Japan the processed jellyfish is rinsed and cut into strips, and served with vinegar as an appetizer.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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