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Pictorial: Sea Cucumber Dried Scallop Clay Pot

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Hi all, I bought a dried sea cucumber the other day, hoping that my mom would know how to prepare it, I left the store without asking for directions on how to reconstitute the creature...went home then called mom....alas, she doesn't know either. :sad: She said we always bought ours ready to cook.

GUYSSSS I NEED HELP!!! Pleeeeeezeee! I tried looking it up on line and all it says that its tedious preparing a dried one, but none of the sites bothered putting it to detail.


...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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the dried product needs to be boiled at high temperatures for up to 20 minutes at a time over the course of a week to reconstitute it for use in cooking.
source

a longer, more detailed answer is found here :wink:

thanks for the site Gifted Gourmet. But it says there that the skin needs to be peeled before the soaking process.....uhmm I think it's gonna be hard to do that without losing significant amount of "meat" from the whole creature, coz this thing is as hard as a brick.......pretty lethal when hurled at someone. :unsure: and considering its covered with the skin all over.

if you've seen fresh ones that are ready to cook, they have the same skin as the one dried, same mottling and all, and I'm assuming that thats the only skin it has since, once you get past that skin its meat is almost opaquish transluscent.


...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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Gosh...no...don't peel off the skin.....just give it a good scrub.

Pls scroll down for soaking instructions.

thanks for the site Tepee. seems like this method is ok, have you tried this method? I just hope the slow simmer won't melt the sea cuke. but thanks again, will start the process tonight and I will be back with the results.


...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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If you live in a city with a "Chinatown", you're in luck, because most markets there sell sea cucumber already soaked and ready to use, ie; cleaned.

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If you live in a city with a "Chinatown", you're in luck, because most markets there sell sea cucumber already soaked and ready to use, ie; cleaned.

We have a Chinatown and a Viet-town in Chicago, neither one has fresh sea cucumbers being sold though, and its always the frozen ones *yuck!!! and the dry ones, the frozen one has a weird texture, almost snot-like sometimes and has that old freezer taste to it, even after its been boiled with ginger.

I'm jealous of you guys living in LA and SF, y'all have those live seafood market, where the fishies and other critters are kept in the tank and you choose which one you want and you can either take it home alive or have the store people knock em out for you. I'm sure its the same way in the East coast. It sux living here in the midwest...specially if you love fresh seafood, everything comes dead already. can't even find those dungeness crabs here...all they have are the legs... i want the whole thing....but either ways I wont buy them dead. they gotta be feisty....like me! :cool:


...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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I saw lots of fresh, lively crustaceans in Chinatown when I was in Chicago in August. It's unusual that you can't find any fresh seafood in such a centre when we can get fresh dungenese crabs, lobsters, clams, mussels, oysters here on the Canadian prairies.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Hi all, I bought a dried sea cucumber the other day, hoping that my mom would know how to prepare it, I left the store without asking for directions on how to reconstitute the creature...

The Wei Chuan series (I think it is the one on Sichuan style (this one)) has 1/2 page of instructions on how to prepare dried sea cucumber. Here is the brief rewording:

- Wash, soak in H2O for one day

- Place sea cucumber in new H2O and bring to boil. When H2O cools, change again with new H2O. Bring to boil again. Repeat process 3 times a day for 2 days until SC has softened

- Cut open lengthwise, clean out intestines. Cover with H2O and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let it stand for 1 day.

I am a bit unsure about this process... As it calls for boiling and changing H2O a total of 7 times over 3 days. It seems a lot of work!

How desperate do you want to cook with dry sea cucumber?

I have been using frozen ones. To me it is acceptable. I have not dealt with dry ones.


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I saw lots of fresh, lively crustaceans in Chinatown when I was in Chicago in August. It's unusual that you can't find any fresh seafood in such a centre when we can get fresh dungenese crabs, lobsters, clams, mussels, oysters  here on the Canadian prairies.

Hmmmm, would the season create the difference in the matter? coz I've never really looked hard enough during the summer and the fall......its just suddenly I got this craving for seafood...and live bought ones( ...as the roomate looks at me like I'm crazy :wacko: ....anyways) so now this winter I've been scouring Chicago, and even the suburbs for fresh seafood stores, and sadly to say I've yet to find those Dungeness crabs alive and kicking. As far as the blue crabs, I dont like them, they're small, and and more ammonia smelling even when alive, and they're the most abundant. BTW, Deja do you remember where in Chinatown you saw those live seafood?

"How desperate do you want to cook with dry sea cucumber?" eheh sorry dunno how to do that two quotes in one post. :laugh:

Not that desperate, I just dont want those three SC that I bought go to waste, they're pretty good sized too considering they're dried......and lately it has been a learning experience for me....1)how to soak the SC at home when bought dry and 2) NEVER LEAVE THE STORE NOT ASKING FOR DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO SOAK EM!!!!!! :angry: and last but not the least.....3) my mother doesn't know it all, like I thought she did....sigh


...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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I never have seen a sea cucumber as it is in the sea.  Pretty!

The ones which make it to the dining tables are not that pretty. I saw a few of them (the ugly ones) when I snorkled at Shek O and a few other beaches in Hong Kong. They were completely dark brown in color, about 6 to 7 inches long, lying on the sand floor at about 10 feet deep. They looked just like a piece of "you know what". :laugh: I dared not to touch them.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I never have seen a sea cucumber as it is in the sea.  Pretty!

The ones which make it to the dining tables are not that pretty. I saw a few of them (the ugly ones) when I snorkled at Shek O and a few other beaches in Hong Kong. They were completely dark brown in color, about 6 to 7 inches long, lying on the sand floor at about 10 feet deep. They looked just like a piece of "you know what". :laugh: I dared not to touch them.

I actually have two small ones in my fish tank about 2 inches each and they're not the pretty kind either...they're the *ahem* turd looking black things but they clean the glass purty good.


...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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Sea Cucumber Dried Scallop Clay Pot (瑤柱海參煲)

Sea cucumber, anyone? These creatures don't look very appealing, but Chinese love them! Clay pot is a good way to cook them.

Picture of the finished dish:

gallery_19795_2839_20920.jpg

Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3

Preparations:

gallery_19795_2839_28469.jpg

Main ingredients (from bottom-right, clockwise):

- 1 to 1 1/2 lb of sea cucumber (already reconstituted from dried ones)

- 10 dried black mushrooms

- 5-6 dried oysters

- 3 stalks of green onions

- Dried shrimp, use about 2-3 tblsp

- (Not shown) about 10 dried scallops

- (Not shown) ginger, use about 2 inch in length

- (Not shown) garlic, about 4-5 cloves

Note: Sea cucumbers shrink quite a bit during cooking.

gallery_19795_2839_31226.jpg

These reconstituted sea cucumbers are pre-cleaned. Simply rinse them before cooking.

gallery_19795_2839_2925.jpg

Cut each sea cucumber into 1-inch pieces.

gallery_19795_2839_7749.jpg

Soak the dried black mushrooms at least 2 to 3 hours in warm water before cooking.

(Not shown): soak the 10 dried scallops in a small bowl of water at least 4 to 5 hours before cooking. For best results, soak them overnight. Drain before cooking.

gallery_19795_2839_2791.jpg

Soak the dried oysters about 1 to 2 hours before cooking. Drain before cooking.

gallery_19795_2839_10167.jpg

Trim off the stems of the black mushrooms and discard. Cut each mushroom in half.

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Soak 2-3 tblsp of dried shrimp in warm water for about 15 minutes. Use a cleaver to finely chop the dried shrimp.

gallery_19795_2839_4668.jpg

Trim the ends of 3 stalks of green onions. Peel and mince 4-5 cloves of garlic. Cut about 8 to 10 thin slices of ginger. Grate about 1-2 inches of ginger. Take 2-3 tsp of fermented black beans, rinse and smash them. Use 1-2 tsp of Yank Sing Chili Pepper Sauce or Guilin Hot Chili Sauce.

Cooking Instructions:

gallery_19795_2839_16756.jpg

Use a wok/pan, fill with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Boil the sea cucumbers with the ginger slices for about 3 to 5 minutes.

gallery_19795_2839_41192.jpg

Drain off the hot water and discard the ginger slices.

gallery_19795_2839_8994.jpg

Pre-heat the clay pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add 2 tblsp of cooking oil

gallery_19795_2839_22413.jpg

First, add the minced dried shrimp. Fry for about 30 seconds.

gallery_19795_2839_19941.jpg

Drain the water off the dried scallops. Add to the pot. Fry for a minute or two. Stir well.

gallery_19795_2839_2024.jpg

Add the minced garlic, chopped green onions (only add the white portion), smashed fermented black beans, 2 tsp of Chili Pepper Sauce, and grated ginger. Dash in 2-3 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine. Add 2 tsp chili bean sauce, 2 tsp of oyster sauce, 2 tsp of hoisin sauce, 1 tsp of brown bean sauce and a pinch of salt (or to taste, suggest: 1/2 tsp).

gallery_19795_2839_27297.jpg

Stir well.

gallery_19795_2839_13455.jpg

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 cup of water (you may use the soaking water from the dried scallop). Bring to an initial boil for the mixture then turn down the heat to a simmer.

gallery_19795_2839_19514.jpg

Add the black mushrooms and reconstituted dried oysters to the pot.

gallery_19795_2839_7734.jpg

Simmer the mixture with the lid on for about 30 to 40 minutes.

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This is what it looks like after 30-40 minutes of simmering.

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Finally, return the sea cucumbers.

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Sitr well. Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.

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This is what it looks like afterwards. Ready. Finely chop the remaining green portion of green onions and sprinkle them on top. Bring to dinner table and serve.

gallery_19795_2839_20920.jpg

Picture of the finished dish.


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I used to like sea cucumbers, but I suspect I haven't had fresh ones in many years. I think that the weird rubbery ones are dried reconstituted; is that right?

Also, what is the importance of using a clay pot for these kinds of dishes (instead of, say, a cast iron or stainless steel or aluminum pot)?


Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan

 

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I used to like sea cucumbers, but I suspect I haven't had fresh ones in many years. I think that the weird rubbery ones are dried reconstituted; is that right?

I am not sure. These in the pictures were sold in the refrigerated section. I presumed they were never dried and reconstitued. Their textures are quite bouncy, which typically only found in fresh seafood. Perhaps an expert can tell us.

Making this in a clay pot is mostly for presentation and the functional purpose of keeping the ingredients warm at the dinner table. One may make this with a regular pan/pot.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I think another reason for using a clay pot for these types of dishes is if you plan to add fresh seafood. You can add the seafood right when you take the pot off the stove and it will continue to cook as it makes its way to the table. Doing it this way will help keep the seafood from overcooking.


Edited by sheetz (log)

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I'm pretty sure those are reconstituted dried-the fresh ones I've had don't look the same. Certainly saves a lot of bother! that looks like a fantastic dish-but a very expensive one here!

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hzrt8w or anyone, why is the sea cucumber pre- boiled? Is it bitter? Is it a matter of texture? I'd love to make this for my family, however I think the sqeamish factor would kick in if I said sea cucumber. Anyone have an alternative name?

Thanks


If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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hzrt8w or anyone,   why is the sea cucumber pre- boiled?  Is it bitter?  Is it a matter of texture? 

This step is typical for cooking some seafood to remove the fishy taste/smell. Adding ginger in boiling is important. Other seafood that I perform this step is: mussels, reconstituted squids, fresh squids, clams.


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I'm pretty sure those are reconstituted dried-the fresh ones I've had don't look the same. Certainly saves a lot of bother! that looks like a fantastic dish-but a very expensive one here!

Thanks muichoi and pan. I think that makes a lot of sense. Wrong presumption on my part. I have edited the original post so I don't mislead.

I am lucky. I bought 3 packs of sea cucumbers in 99 Ranch and they totalled to about US $15.00. 9 pieces.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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Note that those reconstituted sea cucumbers are almost ready to eat. That's why the dried scallops are braised first for 30-40 minutes before adding the sea cucumbers in the clay pot.


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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Several times now I have seen rehydrated sea cucumbers in the fridge section of the Asian store I go to. One of these days, I'll have to buy some. I've only had sea cucumber in soup whenever my s-i-l makes it, or at banquets. The clay pot looks good!

Me thinks this young pup called Ah Leung is teaching this ole' "puppy" new tricks. :wink:

As in the weekly blog posts, I want to see the inside of Ah Leung's fridge! I want to see how many plates of leftovers are in his fridge after a pictorial...or in his freezer! Come on, Ah Leung. 'Fess up!


Edited by Dejah (log)

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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As in the weekly blog posts, I want to see the inside of Ah Leung's fridge! I want to see how many plates of leftovers are in his fridge after a pictorial...or in his freezer! Come on, Ah Leung. 'Fess up!

Not too much leftovers in the fridge usually... :rolleyes: My wife refuses to buy food from the cafeteria at work (I am more easy-going on that). She usually consumes all the leftovers while it forces me to make fresh entrees almost every night. :raz:


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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As in the weekly blog posts, I want to see the inside of Ah Leung's fridge! I want to see how many plates of leftovers are in his fridge after a pictorial...or in his freezer! Come on, Ah Leung. 'Fess up!

Not too much leftovers in the fridge usually... :rolleyes: My wife refuses to buy food from the cafeteria at work (I am more easy-going on that). She usually consumes all the leftovers while it forces me to make fresh entrees almost every night. :raz:

Want to see your fridge anyway...before tidying or cleaning up! :angry::raz:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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