KC 131 - Am I Being A Bit Shellfish?

KC 131 - Am I Being A Bit Shellfish?

Good time-of-day-in-which-you-are-reading-this, I am the site’s Baron of Breakfast and now self-proclaimed Admiral of Asian cuisine Nathan O’Guin. Two travel the alliteration and assonance agenda, Jon. (Yeah, yeah, I hear you. Why hello there, everyone! It's your none-better Editor, Jon O'Guin, here to put Nate's pictures into the post, and make snarky comments as I do so, despite him actively helping me out! Don't worry, this is how our family expresses gratitude.)

I have given myself the second title since I bought a single cookbook, “Japan”, from Costco. So while I may be omitting a bunch of cuisines currently,  we’ll see what the future holds. Today I will be telling you how to make 2 crab based dishes. One I enjoyed, the other, I really wanted to enjoy. Let’s get right into it.

 

With Just a Pincer of Bad Luck

Now the first recipe is a Vinegared Crab and Cucumber salad with Yuzu. The first problem arose when my mother, my friend, and I were traveling back from Finnriver, the often-talked-about cidery my family frequents. I had made a note of the ingredients so on the way home we could stop by Central Market, which is "Like Whole Foods but cooler", says my aunt from California.

They have a fishmonger and specialty produce section, so I figured that if any place that I wanted to go would have Yuzu, it’d probably be them. They did not. However, the recipe states you can substitute the Yuzu with Meyer Lemons, as they are a sweeter variety of lemons! Central Market also lacked Meyer Lemons. So we just got regular lemons, as it was just for zest on top.

Oh and they were out of fresh crab meat until the next day. So we left with most of the ingredients. Just not the crab, so we stopped off at safeway and picked up some “fresh” lump crab meat and claw meat. Full of optimism I made it at a later date instead of that day.

Lump.jpeg

I like the bands holding the lids on, because they look like they're a chant of their ingredients. 

 

 

Just Lump the Ingredients Together

So I planned on making both dishes, as they are smaller as sort of a two appetizer for dinner thing. I realized one of the dishes called for room temperature eggs about 40 minutes before we were going to eat. So I just made the salad, as we had trivia to get to that night. Now the recipe calls for 7oz. of crab meat picked through for shell and cartilage. I did not pick through the meat for those things. Regrets, though not many, as in total we only found three small cartilage pieces. Since we have a kitchen scale, and I am a stickler for directions, I started mixing both types of crab meat roughly evenly so we had 4oz. of each type. So might notice, that 4 plus 4 does not equal 7. I like round numbers too, more than I am a stickler, so I figured I’d increase the amount of crab by an ounce. Though I did not slightly increase any of the other ingredients because screw making sense.

mish mash.jpeg

Shellfish are rarely sensical. 

Now you also take a Japanese cucumber, slice it very thin, and salt it and let that sit for 10 min. while you get the dressing made and the crab marinating in it. The dressing is a three part combination of rice vinegar, mirin, and soy sauce. Things readily available in most stores. Just mix those up and put the crab in it. Then after the cucumber has been sitting with the salt for 10 minutes, you squeeze out the excess moisture in the cucumbers, mix with the marinated crab, zest some lemon over it and enjoy.

 

This Salad Made Me Krabby

Now, I thought I’d like the salad the most out of the two recipes today. I did not. It wasn't bad tasting, it just wasn’t good either. It was a bland weird textured thing that I had to make myself finish the bowl of. We eat our mistakes in this kitchen.

Done.jpeg

To be fair, this time it's substantially easier than that time we broke a plate. 
THAT was a hard mistake to eat. 

I can think of a couple of things that I will do next time. Probably get crab legs instead lump crab and claw meat and use that meat instead. Also make sure I have removed much of the excess moisture from the crab meat, as I think the dressing was watered down by crab juice. Also, if I add more meat, maybe it would also be smart to scale up the dressing. All-in-all, I will most likely make it again as I am sure it will be better if I change those things.

 

Can’t Make an Omelette…

The next recipe, is a crab omelette wrapped in Nori (I spell omelette the French way because I’m bougie). This recipe, I thought would be good, and it was pretty good. Simple recipe. Just take some finely diced scallions, recipe calls for negi, which is a Japanese vegetable, but provides that you can sub scallions. Heat that in some oil with an ounce and a half of crab meat until the veggies are slightly wilted, then pour in three mixed eggs that have a pinch of salt added to them. Cook then plop on the nori, roll up, cut and eat.

sizzling crab.jpg

Oh, we're already halfway there. 
...
OOOOOOH-OOOOH, SQUIDWARD ON A CHAIR

Now I can’t remember if I mentioned in my last post, covering omelettes, that when it comes to scrambled eggs, I like them dry and preferably browned a bit in spots. (Editor's note. He did not. I checked. You can double check my work, if you want. ) So I have no idea what to look for in eggs if it wants anything else. This recipe specifically calls the eggs be cooked on low until set but still glossy. This is an instruction my mother and I both were slightly lost on. Since we didn’t want to overcook it, so we tried to keep the eggs glossy but it turned into just accepting that a thin layer on top wasn’t fully cooked. A fact I can get over as it is wrapped in nori, so I didn’t really get the wet egg texture I dislike.

 

Round Egg in a Square Roll

Now I have an unnecessary amount of titles,  (Ha! He thinks 2 titles is too many. This is why he'll never be Car'a'carn, Lord of the Morning, Shadowkiller, and Coramoor)  because I made up some puns for the recipe and I’ll be damned if they aren’t included. Back to the food, the recipe is pretty simple, though it does require nori and a sushi rolling mat. Also, the book says to use a tamagoyaki nabe which is a rectangular pan also known as a Japanese omelette pan. (It's name actually translates to "Omelette-cooking pan/pot") I don’t own one of those so we did it in a round pan.

omelette.jpg

We'll see if it...pans out. 

The only thing to watch out for it some of the omelette will extend a little past the edge of the nori, and you will have some bites that are mainly nori. The recipe also calls from trimming the nori sheets to fit the egg better, our pan made the eggs about as wide as the full sheet, so we didn’t trim.

Wrapping it was not too hard, just slide the egg on to the nori, which should be on top of the sushi mat, start the roll with your fingers then grab the edge of the mat and pull away from you, forcing the roll to…well..roll. We did run into some problems with the wet nori tearing a bit. So you have to watch out for that. It’s just aesthetic though and doesn’t affect the flavor. 5/7 would make again.

finito.jpg

This picture was originally twice as tall, but the bottom HALF was just empty counter space. 
I don't know if he was going for a 2001 Monolith thing,  or some sort of negative space gag, so I just cut that shit out. EDITING! 

This post is a bit shorter, as recently some of Jon’s posts have been long. (He's not wrong.) So I’m giving you a break. It’s definitely not because I forgot I was writing this post until Jon messaged me 4 hours before he put the blogs up to ask if it was almost ready. Yep, definitely not that one. (Fun Fact: I also scheduled to do shit much earlier than usual, since I figured Nate had it on lock. Forgetting shit is another important O'Guin trait.)

In any case, that's the end of the post. As always, we welcome any contributions to our Patreon, which we use to cover the costs that running the site incurs, as well as maybe one day actually, you know, making a profit, so we can live like kings off crab omelettes for the rest of our days. If you're financially forbidden from forking over some funds, that's fine, you can always help us out by simply liking our posts on social media, following our Facebook Page, and sharing our content. 

THURSDAY: JON FINISHES HIS DISCUSSION ABOUT FUNGUS, WITH ACTUAL DISCUSSION OF COOKING. 

NEXT MONDAY: ASSUMING EVERYTHING GOES WELL, WE'LL FIND OUT IF LOVE CAN BLOOM ON THE BATTLEFIELD, AND IF BLOOMS CAN FRY IN A STOCKPOT.

 

Recipes

Rolled Crab and Nori Omelet

Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 thin negi, or 2 fat scallions (spring onions), finely diced
  • 3 oz. crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 2 sheets nori
  • soy sauce, for serving

Steps

  1. In each of two bowls, whisk 3 eggs and 1/8 teaspoon salt
  2. In rectangular tamagoyaki nabe heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat
  3. Add half of negi and half of crab and cook until negi is slightly wilter, about 2 minutes
  4. Pour in one bowl of salted eggs, mix briefly to distribute the crab and negi, and cook over low heat until set, but still glossy
  5. Turn out onto a cutting board, then flip west side up for rolling (we just slide eggs on to nori and skipped this step)
  6. Repeat with the remaining oil, negi, crab, and salted eggs
  7. When ready to serve, cut nori to fit each egg rectangle, making sure these is an extra 3/4 inch at top end of nori, to facilitate rolling (we didn't have rectangle eggs, so we skipped this step as well)
  8. Place one cut sheet, shiny side down, ridges horizontal, on top of rolling mat.
  9. Position one of the egg rectangles on top of the nori so it is flush with bottom edge, then roll up tightly from the short end (we just tried to get as little overhang of egg as possible)
  10. Secure with toothpicks, cut crosswise into 3 pieces
  11. Repeat with remaining nori and egg
  12. Serve with small saucers of soy sauce

 

Vinegared Crab and Cucumber with Yuzu

Prep time: 25 min
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 7 oz Japanese cucumbers, cut crosswise into thin rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt 
  • 7 oz crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • finley slivered zest of 1/2 yuzu, or 1/4 Meyer lemon

Steps

  1. Place cucumber in a medium bowl and massage in the salt gently and thoroughly, taking care not to bruise. Let sit for 10 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mirin, and soy sauce and toss with the crab. Set aside to marinate while cucumbers are salting
  3. Squeeze the cucumbers in large handfuls to remove excess liquid and drop into the bowl with the crab
  4. Toss, strew with the yuzu zest, and serve