JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Cooking

Jellyfish Cooking picture

Jellyfish Cooking

The body of the jellyfish is made up of a gelatinous mass which has about 95% water. This fascinating marine animal although hardly solid, makes up 40% of the mass of marine life, in the ocean. The jellyfish has been around for centuries and their number seems to be growing, with the increased acidity in the ocean, by the effect of global warming. The increased number has prompted many Asian nations to include it, in their diets. In Japan particularly the jellyfish, has played havoc in their fishing industry by clogging up the fishing nets due to their sheer number. Jellyfish has become an integral part of Japanese cooking and is considered a delicacy. Other Asian countries like China, Vietnam and Korea have also included the jellyfish in their diet in a big way.

The jellyfish's water content makes it spoil very fast, out of the water. Therefore it is impossible to sell it as a fresh product. The jellyfish has to be preserved by drawing out the water from its tissues by a dehydrating process. After cleaning the creature of its gonads and mucous membranes, it is treated with a combination of salt and alum. The jellyfish flesh is then compressed under a weight to remove any excess water. This process can take 20 to 40 days and then the jellyfish can be kept for several weeks. This flesh would have lost almost 90% of its weight after the dehydrating process. The color of the flesh will be milky white just after the process and will start turning brown slowly, as days pass. Amber is the best color to choose, while buying jellyfish in the market, and the flesh should be firm to touch.

The cooking process for a jellyfish is hassle-free and does not require any complicated tasks to be performed. The flesh of the jellyfish that you but in the market should be left to soak overnight in cold water, so that it will rehydrate. Then comes the task of cutting the jellyfish into thin strips, which can be easily accomplished, if you roll the flesh up tightly and then slice it. These slices are then blanched. Blanching is a process where you put it first in boiling water for some time and then immediately immerse it in cold water. Now the jellyfish is ready to be eaten and can be added to any dish that you prefer like a salad and so on. The jellyfish can also be marinated after this stage with vinegar or soy sauce.

To make a simple and fast snack you can take finely shredded blanched jellyfish and season it with 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp of light soy sauce, tsp white vinegar, tsp sugar and a pinch of MSG. It is ready to eat plain or as an accompaniment with some other dish.

Apart from Asian countries, jellyfish cooking is slowly being tried out, all over the world and people are acquiring a taste for it. People find the taste to be bland, and some find it having an intense sea flavour to it. The texture is rubbery and some people do not much care about it. It is found that many people did not mind it, as long as they were unaware of the fact that it was a jellyfish.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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