How To Cook Jellyfish
Jellyfish is a marine animal which is found in all the oceans of the world. A fascinating creature to look at, the jellyfish is almost all water, with a content of only 5% of solid matter in its body. It gets its name, because its bell shaped body consists of a gelatinous mass, encased in a layer of cells on the outside. The tentacles have stinging cells that can immobilize the captured prey, and leverage it, to an opening on the underside of its bell body, which serves as the mouth. The jellyfish is carnivorous and feeds on the zooplankton, crustaceans, small fish and eggs and larvae of marine creatures. There are 200 types of jellyfish and certain species will feed on other jellyfish.
In recent times there has been a tremendous explosion in the population of jellyfish, around the world. Particularly in seas surrounding China, Japan, Bahrain and other Asian countries, the jellyfish are creating a nuisance by clogging the nets of the fishermen. People have now started eating jellyfish, all over the world and it is considered a delicacy in Japan. Certain jellyfish are rich in protein with good nutritional value, and are considered a health food, as they are without cholesterol. Raw edible portions of jellyfish of about 114 grams will have 30 calories and contain, 8 grams of protein and 120 milligrams of sodium. There is a total absence of saturated fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol.
The jellyfish fishing industry is booming, as there are lots of jellyfish available in the ocean. The only drawback is that the jellyfish will spoil very fast and has to be processed immediately. The processing involves drying the water in the tissues of the jellyfish with the application of salt. The jellyfish is sold in the market in a dehydrated form, after the salting and dehydrating process. After you buy jellyfish you have to store it in a refrigerator, if you are not going to cook it immediately.
For cooking jellyfish you have to first soak the jellyfish overnight in the refrigerator. Some people re-soak it in fresh water, for another 24 hours or so. The best way to cut the jellyfish is to roll up the flesh and slice it, so that you get thin julienne strips. These strips are then to be blanched. Blanching is a process where you put the strips of jellyfish in boiling water and then immediately immerse them in chilled cold water. The blanching can be repeated one more time, after which you drain off all the water. Now you can marinate these pieces with the seasoning of your choice, like vinegar, salt, spices and so on, and then add them to salads, or vegetables or other sea-food dishes. After mixing the seasoning the marinating process should be done in the refrigerator. Usually the juices which collect after marinating, are to be discarded as they might have harmful bacteria. If such marinating liquid is required, then you should reserve a separate portion, before you add the jellyfish.
The best type of jellyfish that is sold in the market is the cannonball jellyfish, which has collagen in its protein content, which is very useful for building cell tissues, cartilage, teeth and bones of the body.
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