Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Eating Jellyfish for Food

Greetings food lovers.
Recently Eau Claire Wisconsin Food Blog reader "Little Byte" from Eau Claire, Wisconsin (cute pic included)
asked us, can I eat jellyfish? and if so are they available in any Eau Claire Restaurants? Also where would one buy food grade jellyfish?

Great question and thanks for asking. Let me begin by saying I am a fan of both watching and eating jellyfish. On our last trip to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium we took lots of pictures of jellyfish and had a chance to dine at the exclusive Jellyfish Restaurant, it was delicious. The taste of jellyfish will depend much on what it is prepared in and the spices used when cooking. The texture can be gelantious to crispy depending on how it is prepared. So YES you can eat "SOME" jellyfish, but not all species are edible.The most consumed species are the Cannonball and Mushroom Jellies. A little digging on the internet and I found some good information about both saltwater and freshwater jellies. The South Carolina DNR has a great publication on jellyfish located  at...https://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/pub/seascience/jellyfi.html The Wisconsin DNR considers freshwater jellies as an invasive species to our lakes and keeps a list of lakes in Wisconsin where jellyfish have been discovered you can find this information at dnr.wi.gov/lakes/invasives/AISLists.aspx?species=FRESHWATER_JELLYFISH

 Not sure if there is currently a food place in Eau Claire that offers them on the menu. I do know that once a year at the downtown taste of Calgary event here in Eau Claire there have been food vendors who offered jellyfish dishes for tasting. This years event is being held August 14-17 and is a great place to expand your culinary tastes with exotic foods from around the world. You can find more info at http://www.tasteofcalgary.com/

I have not checked yet, but I have been told that some of the local Asian markets do sell frozen jellyfish. I did find a great recipe located at http://www.fairchildgiftcompany.com/freeseafoodrecipes.html
 If you search online there are several places where you can purchase frozen jellyfish.
One jellyfish recipe I have tried that works good for fresh cannonball jellies is as follows,

2x2x2 Jellyfish stir fry

1 cup baby sea scallops
1 cup small peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup cannonball jellyfish cut into 1 inch strips
2 tbl. spoon butter
1 tbl spoon olive oil
1 tbl. spoon minced garlic
1/2 cup bamboo shoots
2 cups cooked and cooled linguine
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a skillet combine olive oil, garlic and 1 tablespoon butter on high heat, add shrimp and jellyfish first, cook for two minutes, then add scallops and bamboo shoots, cook two minutes more and add linguine and remaining tablespoon butter and cook two minutes more. Serve hot immediately with garlic bread sticks.

This is simple and very tasty!

Well little byte, hope we here at Eau Claire Wisconsin Food have answered your question's. I have posted more jellyfish photographs here.
 Until next time...

Munchies signing out!

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