Eyre Affairs

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Sunday, October 08, 2006


"While there was yet time to rescind it..." ~ Jane Eyre

A few months ago I posted a "Never Will I Ever" list that included, as an item, never eating jellyfish salad (see above photo for how the salad appears on a plate). Promptly after that post, I received an email from J. Sarah's mother informing me of how delicious it is and how I should try it (she has made it before and eaten in during her travels to China).

Last Autumn I attended a program of The Fall for Dance series at City Center with J. Sarah, her fiance, and Moo. We dined out at Wu Liang Ye, a yummy Szechuan restaurant. Tradition brought us back there a year later the other evening, this time with J. Sarah's mother, Dee.

Clearly the combination of the aforementioned information was going to land me in some hot water where jellyfish roam. Dee does not take no for an answer when she tells you to try something. Of course I owe her the pleasures my palate has enjoyed over the past 14 years of dining with her, including escargot, but I have my limits. And those limits include blubbery gelatinous creatures that roam in the ocean and terrorize the feets of beachgoers everywhere.

Mistake number one: I had the chance to pass on szechuan since J. Sarah mentioned doing Korean. Being sentimental, I said lets go back and have the same kind of evening as last year.

Mistake number two: I know very little about Szechuan cuisine, but apparently it includes jellyfish salad.

Mistake number three: I sat next to Dee at dinner.

Yes, yes, yes. I am eating my previous words along with the JELLYFISH SALAD I ATE. It was absolutely delicious, flavored with scallions and sesame oil. I would have it again, thanks to Dee, and I am even considering going to the Korean market and looking for jellyfish since it is high in protein.

Sigh...I am so proud of me.

It would be lovely to read in the comment section about the most "exotic" food that you have ever eaten. For some it is more tame than others, and that is just fine! I still want to know! I also want to know if you would ever try jellyfish salad. If so, here is a recipe! I hope everyone is eating well this three day weekend! Cheers!


JellyFish Salad
Ingredients:
sugar
Oriental sesame oil
salt
1 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic (finely chopped)
2 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
water
1/2 giant white radish (shredded)
1 small cucumber (shredded)
4 ounces jellyfish (salted and soaked)

Directions:

Drain jellyfish. Cover with warm water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain again and mix with cucumber and radish.

Mix soy and vinegar with garlic adding sesame oil, salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Toss with salad; serve cold.

Shredded cooked chicken can be added.

32 Comments:

Blogger Marty said...

Three day weekend? What three-day weekend?! I forgot it was a 'holiday,' since we only get Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. :(

Most exotic food I tried? Ethiopian, which was also the WORST food I ever ate.
I would try jellyfish salad, cause I love all seafood (so far..).

But I don't eat much of anything except American. Good ol' meat and potatoes! Sorry, but it's what I was raised on. But Italian is awesome. Other than that, I don't eat foreign food. I can tolerate Chinese but only chicken and broccoli. I'm probably missing out, but I am a creature of habit. Especially when it comes to food. I eat the same all the time. Like a cat. ;)
(But I'll try things...just don't eat new things regularly)

Have a great weekend!

3:02 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Marty ~ I am sorry to hear that you didnt have a good Ethiopian food experience! Its normally so yummy! I remember first trying it with my cousin; it was cool to sit on the low stools and eat in a different style! As for trying new cuisines...sounds like you could use some good Armenian recipes? xoxo

3:42 PM  
Blogger work in progress said...

NO. I would NOT eat jellyfish salad. Nope, doesn't matter how much coercion came from my neighbor, or how much I respect her, and no matter how much I'm missing out on. I'm sorry, bleck.

I'm pretty boring when it comes to trying new food. If the thought of it is revolting, it won't get past my the anti-gross force-field surrounding my head. Closed minded? Absolutely. I'll just consider it a character flaw and my loss, I'll never have the pleasure of a jellyfish salad.

Most exotic? Chinese from a restaurant where I saw one of the employees picking his nose.

Thanks, now I feel like I should seek out new culinary experiences. I hate being boring. Damn it!

4:49 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

WIP and Marty:
Lets get you ladies doing some Armenian cooking. If you don't like eggplant, use tomatoes or peppers instead! xoxo


Eggplant Dolmas:
INGREDIENTS:
2 round eggplant or 4 Japanese oblong eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. lean ground lamb or 1/2 lamb and 1/2 ground round
1 can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 yellow onion [chopped]
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup parsley
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION:
Cut the eggplant lengthwise and scoop out most of the fleshy pulp and set aside. Salt the skins/shells and set aside to make them sweat. Rinse off salt, gently squeeze and dry. Fry the shells in a tablespoon of olive oil until browned, and drain on paper towels. In a tablespoon of olive oil, brown off meat, add chopped onion and peppers. Then add the rest of the ingredients and the diced up eggplant pulp. Mix the ingredients together and fill the eggplant shells. Spread 1/2 of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a covered baking dish and place the filled eggplant shells on the sauce.

2 large tomatoes Parmesan cheese or feta cheese - Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top of the stuffed shells. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the shells and sprinkle with parmesan or feta cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for and hour.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Seskel said...

I consider myself very open to new foods, so I'm embarrassed to admit I can't think of a single exotic one I've endured. I had Thai food recently but I think that's only considered exotic if you live in like the Midwest.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Neil said...

I would eat jellyfish salad because the the jellyfish would be disguised in there. I'm one of those that can eat exotic things if I don't see it, like eating cut up snake. I once took a trip to Hong Kong, and certain fishes were served with the heads and eyes still on, which you were supposed to eat as well -- and this was impossible for me to touch.

7:39 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Seskel ~ I think Thai food counts in this scenario. :) I love curry! What did you have?

Neil ~ The other night my sister and brother-in-law grilled whole bronzini fish. The eye freaked me out and my brother-in-law touched the eye then touched my arm to gross me out. He ate the heads, not the eyes, too!

7:47 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

Dearest:
1) I don't eat lamb. What can I substitute? Will chicken work?
2) I don't cook. Who will cook for me?

(haha JK I can cook. If forced.)

;)

8:00 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Marty ~ NO CHICKEN! Use ground beef? ;)

8:26 PM  
Blogger schaumi said...

I eat a variety of different foods from raw fish in sushi dishes to pickled herring in Germany...so what's exotic? perhaps more romantic than exotic were the
whole itty bitty squid that looked like itty bitty squid ...eek.... the freshest i've had was sitting at an itty bitty seaside shack on the coast of Santorini (you had to walk over a cliff to get to this shack) and watching the boat come in that ended up bringing the squid we ate. did i like them.......ummmm, not really.

i guess truly the most exotic food that I've ever eaten I've eaten right here in our southern States....
rattlesnake sandwich...

11:21 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

most exotic food? i guess that depends on how adventuresome or unadventuresome you are. i think thai food is sort of exotic - though it's becoming less and less to me. here's my list, with dates & locations no less.

1988 - sea cucumber (sea slug)at a chinese banquet in Scarsdale, NY

2000 rapini (never had it before, strange huh)

2002 jersualem artichokes - again never had it before - they are ugly little roots but mighty tasty when roasted with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. i guess they're not really exotic at all.

2004 frog, steamed snakehead fish, and squid (which i previously swore i hated - but then discoverd i love) in Thailand. and frog does not taste like chicken. but it is good. the body is better than the legs.the fish was served with the eyes in place. i avoided eye contact with the fish.

2005 escargot in SF. but i prefer my butter and garlic with french bread. haha!

2006 dragon fruit(tastes a bit like... nothing..it cleans the pallette ?sp?) and durian (another fruit which has a very peculiar smell and taste), water mimosa (a green i've never seen in the US) all in thailand.

i will try anything once. you only have to take a bite - and if you like it - you've found something new to eat - and if you don't - it's only one bite - easily washed down with a cold beer, a glass of wine, a slurp of water...

hmmm...maybe this will motivate me to post pictures of food on my blog.

2:58 AM  
Blogger Frumteacher said...

Thank you so moch for the eggplant dolma recipe! I will try it sometime soon. One of the nicest food experiences was this summer, when we had dinner in an Indian restaurant behind the Arc de Triomph in Paris. The waiters were dressed up all Indian, the food was served on the traditional tandori dish, and it was all very yummy. I also liked their icecream made of pistachio, nougat and safran.

3:08 AM  
Blogger David said...

On a dare, I once ate a pea.
A dubious thing, green and mushy.
A horrible thing to be in my belly
I think I'd rather eat a fish of jelly.

8:43 AM  
Blogger work in progress said...

Thursday-I'm a vegetarian, so the lamb and chicken are out, but I'll substitute some soy protien and give your recipe a shot.

Thanks!

8:55 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Schaumi ~ Rattlesnake sandwich?!? You are my hero! I would honestly love to know what it was seasoned with and how it was prepared! Grilled? Roasted? ;) Actually, one of the more exotic foods I have eaten was BBQed alligator down in Nawlins! Mmmm. So good!

Birdie ~ So much for eating like a bird. ;) I am impressed! Ironically, last year we did order sea cucumber at Wu Liang Ye. It was icky! J. Sarah's fiance was the only one who enjoyed it, it seems! As much as I think I would love to try frog's legs on a trip to France, I fear I would be haunted by that horrible scene in the Muppet Movie. Oh, please post food photos on your blog!

Frumteacher ~ Oh I am with you on the Indian ice cream! Its called kulfi! Mmmmm.

David ~
Peas are a lovely dish
better than a jelly fish
especially when split in soup
its one amazing type of gloop.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Amy, you are amazing. I have never eaten jellyfish salad and I doubt there is anyone who could get me to eat it! I think it's awesome that you were brave and did. I will think about you if ever I am faced w/eating something I don't care to try.

The weirdest thing I have ever eaten? Oh hell--that's easy. Cinnamon beans, in my dining hall, when I was living in Scotland. I doubt this is a real recipe--more likely a desperate attempt on the part of the cook to hash together something resembling a meal, but it was the WORST taste I have ever encountered. Cinnamon flavored kidney beans. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I once dated a guy who ate the eyeball of a goat--does that count??

haha. =-)

9:22 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Ryane ~ Cinnamon kidney beans? Yech is right! Thanks again for sending that vegetarian haggis recipe a few weeks back. :) I don't think I could ever eat the real deal. Hmmmm. I assume that things were over right after you had to witness a boyfriend eat the eyeball of a goat? I don't know if I would have kissed him even a week later. ;)

9:27 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

You give new meaning to eating your words, dah-lin'.

I do enjoy some Korean food-- I just get all those Koreans I am related to to order for me.

Marty-- oh my gosh! I love Ethiopian food. The whole experience was so interesting.

Oh, and that recipie for the eggplant dolmas looks amazing. I have fallen out of cooking new recipies and just whipping together some pasta dishes. I need to broaden my horizons again. I like the idea of this recipie. xoxox

11:51 AM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Amy, real haggis is quite delicious. It just tastes like spicy sausage!! Seriously--if you could eat COLD jellyfish, you should try haggis. Did you try the vegetarian recipe yet? It is good, as well...

As for the eyeball--luckily, that was waaaaaaaaaaaay in his past when I met him...bleh. ICK! I could not have witnessed that. Stop. No. Just could not have watched...

ugh.

=-)

1:48 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Good for you for reconsidering one of your nevers!
In all of my world travels, I have eaten some scary stuff - things I would never eat at home, but I ate with pleasure because they were served by the most loving and gracious hands of my hosts.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

I meant to ask earlier--what is the texture like?? Is it slimy? See...that would throw me. I don't like lima beans b/c they are slimy..and it's cold too, right?

My questions are doing a very good job of further convincing me to never eat jellyfish..hahahaha!

3:47 PM  
Blogger schaumi said...

well, here in the south, at least where i had it, the poor rattlesnake was prepared somewhat like you would make a chicken salad. It was served on white bread with the crusts cut off...little finger sandwiches..
This was not in a restaurant btw, but served at a private party. i think the folks who brought those sandwiches just went out and killed themselves that derned pesty ole snake that had been botherin them.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Mayden's Voyage said...

I tried crocodile and gazelle once-in South Africa. Both were good- gazelle was gamey, but the croc rocked! :)
Fried Grub worms in Asia- but that was not exotic- that was just me trying to be one of the boys! Silly me! :)

I ate 2~ one for each ball I'd need to grow...lol! (can you believe I wrote that???) I hope you laughed! :)
Hugs Amy :)

10:07 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Kels ~ My favorite Korean dish is kim chee. :) I love any of the soups made with udon noodles, too. I am trying so hard to stay away from pasta these days! If I have it, its usually whole wheat. :)

Ryane ~ I remember once going to a Chinese buffet in Flushing where nothing was labled in English. I could have sworn they were serving some kind of eyeball dish. Yech! The texture was NOT slimy at all for the jellyfish. I know it sounds weird, but it kind of tasted like sprouts. The slimiest thing I ever had were those sea cucumbers...ugh. The jellyfish were more like room temperature, too.

Steph ~ I always wonder about what I would do if there was food I didnt want to eat served by a lovely host. You are brave! :)

Schaumi ~ Oh geez! It sounds like the rattlesnake sandwich was prepared in such a way that you could serve it at tea! :) lol Awesome!

Cora ~ Darlin', I love it when you talk like that. :) I know there is another side to the Pollyanna because...well...there is another side to my Pollyanna as well. :) I wonder if croc tastes like alligator. Alligator tasted kind of like chicken. Fried grub worms wins you the prize of this post, Mayden. You win for most exotic food eaten! xoxoxoxoxoxooxo

7:38 AM  
Blogger Sid the Dog said...

I'm glad you tried the jellyfish. I sure wish I could try some... I think the exotic food I want to try the most are eels. I guess the most exotic food I have had would be a 3-way tie between woodchuck, horse poo, and something I found by the road in Montana one time...

12:10 AM  
Blogger PeeJ said...

Mmmm!

I like Baby Octopus salad or soup. I know, it sounds icky but I can't get enough of those little suckers sticking to my tongue.

Peej

4:46 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Sid ~ My you pups have quite an open mind about what you eat. ;) I love eel; you must try!

Peej ~ How on earth did you manage to make eating small baby octopi sound erotic?!?

6:20 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

I would eat jellyfish salad! I wonder if you can even get jellyfish salad in Montana? Hmmmmm. Google. . .

9:37 AM  
Blogger PeeJ said...

Lol. It's all down to my freudian genes hon...

Seriously though I am so nicking your dressing recipe for this salad.

Peej

11:23 AM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

I'll stay in the Never ever eat part of the list. :)

I'm glad you tasted, tried and even gave usme a recipe..LOL!

Thinking of you!
xoxo
C

8:54 PM  
Blogger shpprgrl said...

Never had it. I'm pretty boring and not daring with food. I've had shark and tried alligator gumbo if that counts. :)

10:52 PM  
Blogger the queen said...

What I've had: frog legs, rabbit, squirrel, elk.

What I am not allowed to have while my Mom lives: Fried Brain Sandwiches (a specialty in Saint Louis).

What I want now: jellyfish salad.

12:25 AM  

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