Friday, August 15, 2014

The only way to eat seafood.

Move over peasants! I'm here to eat all of your live seafood. This is the only way to really eat seafood. Us of the nobility know of no other way!

The ability to point out the exact fish that you want to eat, to pick out the oysters, shrimp, razor clams, pinkish blobs, edible-looking stones. Now that is something for only us of the 1%. Now move aside you plebian pests! I must poke a well heeled finger at the food to let the chefy know how he may please me today.

This is the most luxurious way to eat seafood. I found this on the street in China. Welcome to the lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.


Puppy dog tails.

Oysters ready to be shucked
The bottom right are ribbon fish delicious oily fishes. 
You walk through with a waiter and pick out the fish you want and you can chat with them about how you want it prepared. We got some giant Chinese conch which were steamed, raw oysters with lemon, fried ribbon fish, a huge plate of snails, steamed sole with Ginger and Garlic, huge sharp prawns, BBQ'd giant cockle galore

Then we go sit down in the nice air conditioned restaurant while this guy cooks our food.
This guy looked like a cartoon of a Chinese chef. 
But man could he cook.

This conch was so so fresh and sweet. Conch seems to always have a very firm texture, and this was just perfectly cooked. It have a lot of bite but it wasn't the least bit rubbery. The flavor is very slight. Conch is a great introduction into some of the more different textures that most Americans aren't used to. Since the flavor is light and sweet it very nice to eat. There is a lot of Conch in the Caribbean and they have some great unique preparations for it. If you're just starting to expand into more adventurous seafood I would highly suggest finding some Conch.

Oysters Raw
Oh god Oysters... sweet sirens of the sea. These are one of the guiltiest pleasures that I know of. Raw, live oysters. these were so massive they actually cut them into sections to make them easier to eat. Little did they know I would have happily gobbled them down whole. Briny, tasting of the sea, while simultaneously bursting with that flavor which only comes from Oysters and White Truffles. This is one flavor and food without which the world would be a much sadder place.

Steamed sole on the bone
I love whole steamed flat fishes. They are so tender and juicy and ergle bergle bergle fish fish fish... Sorry I blacked out there for a second. I'm sure I said something witty and memorable about the delicate flavor of flat fish.

Ribbon fish
This was something I think I had seen before but never really had. These are the long thin fish in one of the earlier pictures. The have been floured and fried. They are like delicious bone filled chips! Small thin fish like these and anchovies, sardines, etc are just packed with fish oil. So tasty and good for you.

Chili fried mantis shrimp. These were so tasty but man they are sharp and hard to open and extract the meat. They were by far the hardest to eat seafood of the night. But they were worth it. My fingers may have been covered in cuts afterwards but I couldn't stop eating them. Luckily we got a pile as big as my head. They are like shrimp's more heavily armed and armored older brother.

Snails in garlic. It seems that every food culture agrees that snails cooked in a lot of garlic is a very very good thing. It's strange the US is absolutely chock full of snails, but none of them are eaten. Not one person has decided to take up USDA approved snail farming. Except Tori Amos that is

It's more like a hobby farm though.

BBQ'd Cockles. This is dressed in a ginger, garlic, soy sauce and Mung Bean noodles and grilled over an open wood flame until the sauce caramelizes and I wet myself just a little bit. I've written about the ginger garlic sauce before in my Ancient Chinese Secret post so I won't fawn over it all over again.

OK... I'll admit it I'm not really nobility, and I'm not really in the 1%... and this whole meal cost less the $30... God you have to love that exchange rate don't you!? Thank you China and thank you sea!


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