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Evan

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  1. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    Speaking of roe, I've always had a hankering for Japanese salted mullet roe otherwise known as karasumi. My grandfather would bring some over from Taiwan every time he went. Interestingly enough, I had dinner over at a friend's house who is from Sardinia, Italy. She had actually brought over smoked tuna roe last time she was home on her island. The way she used the tuna roe was different from the way I've had karasumi (she had grated the tuna roe on top of a toasted bread as opposed to eating karasumi straight) but the taste and texture was exactly the same. She also told me that she would also grate the tuna roe on top of pasta as another means of preparing it. Its very interesting to me because one of my favorite dish is salted cod roe spaghetti, which is just out of this world. I'm thinking I need to try the karasumi on top of pasta when I have a chance.
  2. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    Spiny lobster season is here again in California... Steamed... Parboiled and split... Then baked...
  3. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    They are 1/4lb each, and the plates are about 8".
  4. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    Spot Prawns Asked the fish monger for two largest and this was what she gave me, two females with eggs. Didn't do anything fancy with them, just steamed and had it with butter and vinegar and soy sauce with ginger. Available mostly during the summer here in the west coast US.
  5. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    Summer is here and the California Grunions are back. During the full and new moon high tides, grunions invade the beaches en mass... Plate of grunions... Grunion dredged in flour/cornstarch mix and fried... Very fresh sardines... Matter of fact, they were alive 15 minutes prior to when the picture was taken. Simple but my favorite way to have fresh sardines, broiled with salt.
  6. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    More local Southern California fish... Spring early summer means White Sea Bass time (Atractoscion nobilis ). Although it is dubbed 'bass', it is actually a croaker. They get up to 60lbs+ but this one is less than 10lbs specimen. These fish have very firm white flaky flesh. It is good anyway you prepare it, raw, grilled, steamed, fried, etc., there is no bad way of cooking this fish. Finescale triggerfish ( Balistes polylepis) The flesh of the triggerfish are very firm and meaty. They have a distinct smell to them but very good for cerviche. California Sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher, bottom) and Treefish (Sebastes serriceps, top) Sheephead is good cerviche as well. It has very delicate white flesh when cooked but firm when raw. Treefish also has very nice flaky white flesh, it is good steamed, fried, and in tacos.
  7. I only used rice as the stuffing. And sorry, I didn't take cross section pictures. The squid were small so it was only a two biter. I would like to try again using a larger squid. The squid was 8-10 inches at most and that's including the tenticles. The squid body was only about 4-6 inches.
  8. Well I was finally able to get some live squid, so I tried it. By the time I came home with it they were dead but it can't get any fresher. I wish I could have gotten ones that are little larger but what can you do, it was practically free for the squid. They came out okay but I over cooked it a little being afraid of having under cooked rice so the squid got a little tough but it was good nonetheless.
  9. Thank you, I didn't really have anything to compare it with but it was very tasty soup, so yes, I would say that it came out well for my first real try. All of my guests that I had decided to go for seconds so I was happy about that. I am glad I didn't add any of the extra ingredients so that the main ingredient shined through. Again, thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
  10. After all the suggestions, I decided to use whole chicken without giblets, ginger and rice wine as the ingredients for the broth. I decided to use "old chicken" to make the broth. The label from the store said "brown chicken" or "too chi" in mandrian. The fins that were used. These were just bathed in boiling water to scrape the scale and skin off and frozen. These pictures are after being thawed. There is a dime next to the plate for size reference. I decided to cook the entire batch of fins that I had. I tried a small fin as practice run since I've never cooked shark fin before. I was quite surprised to see how little, the clear strands of cartilage existed from a single fresh fin. I was expecting most of the fin to be clear but it actually was not. Here is a cooked fin after about thirty minutes of boiling in the chicken broth, separately from the main broth. I wasn't too sure of the traditional method so I left all of the fins clear strands and white matter that were soft enough to eat, throwing away the hard cartilage at the base of the fin. After three hours or so, I took the chicken carcass out and put the shark fins in and cooked for additional hour and resulted in this... As for the chicken meat, it was too bland to eat it by itself so I used it to make chicken salad the next day. Added white pepper and red vinegar right before serving but I forgot to take a picture in the served bowl but you get the idea. I got about 12 servings out of the fins and the broth.
  11. In California, or US for that matter, it is illegal to take Great White Sharks since they are a protected species. I'm not aware of any other sharks that are illegal to take. Other species of sharks are fair game in California, including mako, threasher, soupfin, spiny dogfish, smoothound and leopard sharks, in which all of these sharks are quite edible, not just the fins. There are, however, sharks that are pretty much inedible like hammerhead and blue sharks which have so much urea in their flesh that its literally like eating a chunk of urea but their fins can be eaten. I don't condone taking of a shark solely for their fins so I don't buy it. Having said that, the shark fin that I obtained was from a leopard shark that was legally caught under the CA recreational sport fishing license by my friend and I and kept for the table mainly for their flesh. These fish are highly regulated by the CA department of fish and game so I do not feel one iota of guilt for taking the shark. Everything we eat comes from a living being and because I killed the animal for food, it is my responsibility to use as much of the animal as I can so I took the fins, otherwise it would have been wasted. Now that is out of the way, I think I will use a whole chicken to make the superior broth, thicken it with a bit of corn starch slurry and add crab meat and egg whites before serving with a bit of red vinegar. Do anyone suggest a type of garnish like cilantro or green onions? or is it unnecessary?
  12. Thanks hrtz8w for your recommendations. It seems that you are insistent on using chicken only broth, may I inquire as to why that is? Yes I do know how the fins that I have in my hands were harvested.
  13. Recently, I was able to get my hands on some fresh shark fins. I was able to take the skin off using hot boiling water poured over the fins and scraped the scales/skin off to result in this... Does anyone have any suggestions as to what type of broth I should use to make a shark fin soup? I'm having some dilemma on what type of broth to make the soup. I was thinking of using pork ribs, chicken thigh and legs, and compoy. Perhaps a little bit of dried shitake mushrooms for added flavor. Then again, I was also thinking about making the broth simple and use only a whole chicken. It's been a long time since I've had some sharkfin soup so I don't remember what was in the soup that I had can anyone help and resolve my dilemma with a suggestion? Perhaps a recipe?
  14. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    Leopard Shark Triakis semifasciata Here in California, it must be larger than 36" if you plan on keeping one. I've been tinkering with the idea of keeping one for a while as people have been telling me that the shark is quite tasty. But I had been hesitant on keeping one by myself since it is too much meat for just myself, as a four foot shark is about 20lbs. Honestly they are magnificent creatures in our local waters but recently, curiosity got the better of me and kept one to share with one of my friends so we could split the meat. They are present along the coast all year around but locally these fish come in really close to shore around August to September. After the catch, it was immediately bled, gutted, and filleted. My friend also decided to keep the fins to prepare them for eating. I pan seared the fillet and poured on top, a basic mushroom and shallot sauce with capers and italian parsley. I was initially afraid of having an ammonia smell since it was my first time keeping a shark and wasn't quite sure if I had prepped the fish properly. Well, the rumors were true and the shark was very good. A firm and meaty texture and quite flavorful.
  15. Evan

    Fish and other seafood

    California Barracuda Sphyraena argentea For best results, must be bled and iced asap or the flesh goes south really quick, similar to mackerel. I've grilled it, and deep fried it for tacos but the best method that I had the pleasure of tasting but not actually cooking it myself is smoking it. From what I hear, it is a 12hr process but the end product is so worth it. Unfortunately for me, living in an apartment does not allow me to smoke anything. California Grunion Leuresthes tenuis During spring and summer, these fish come in and lay eggs right on the beach during the new and full moon high tides. Quite a site to see a hundreds of them burrow into the sand and do their thing. Coat in starch, season with s&p and deep fried and eaten whole. Locally caught land locked striped bass Morone saxatilis Many of the lakes in Southern California that get its water from the California aqueduct have striped bass. Having had both the California version and the East coast version (Fish caught off of Nantucket Sound), the California version has less fat content but still not bad at all considering you have to pay at least $5.99 for farm raised striped bass/white bass hybrids here in California. Also, there is the gratification I get of catching my own food. There is pretty much no wrong way of eating this fish but I like it grilled.
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