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faSEAnating Food Facts
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by: Celebrity Recipes

Here are some faSEAnating food facts that you should know about your favorite foods from the sea!

Buying the perfect fish for sushi-pay close attention to fish that is firm and has clear eyes. Buy only at markets that specialize in fish. More importantly, choose and get the fish cuts that have the fewest number of blood vessels. You can recognize this if the cut is dark in color.

All fish, seawater or not --- may contain parasites. Although the risk is small, pregnant women, small children and older people who are at greater risk, should be more careful when eating raw fish. At home, you can kill the parasites by freezing the fish (preferably at 20°C or 4°F). Since our freezers at home can't give this much temperature, it is best to buy fish pre-frozen. You can then thaw it and use it for sushi or sashimi. Next time you order at your favorite restaurant, pay close attention to the freezer temperature.

The tender lobster meat waits for those who struggle past the shell and don't mind getting their hands all oily and greasy in the process. A lobster is best-enjoyed eaten using hands, a small hammer or a nutcracker and of course, that small bib that you place around your neck to protect your shirt from stains. Start by twisting off at the joints the large claws of the lobster. Crack the claws but either using a nutcracker or a small hammer. The back of a heavy chef's knife --- a rock will also do, a little primitive but effective. Bend the body away from the tail --- that's the segmented portion that ends in small flippers which you need to remove --- after you hear the crack it will separate. Push the meat out of the tail, put two fingers tightly around it, dip in lemon-butter-garlic sauce, and place it in your mouth. Enjoy the tender meats as it rolls around your mouth. Delicious! The last process of sauce dipping and dunking in your mouth should be repeated as often as you can get meat from the lobster. There is more meat in the legs (especially if you get a really big lobster) and the cavity where the legs join the body. The lobster tomalley (or liver, it's green) and the roe (if the lobster is female) can be discarded. Although some like having the tomalley as a sauce and there are recipes that call for it.

There are two school of thoughts about shrimps, it's shell and the "vein" which is actually it's digestive tract. One says that removing them makes shrimps taste and look better. The other insists that the shells adds flavor. Both have some plus or minus factors associated with them. So whether you remove them or not actually depends on personal preference. Here are few easy steps to unshelling and de-veining shrimps:

  • Remove shrimp legs and then remove the shell, except for the tail, by using only your fingers.
  • Get a knife and insert about 3/4 of the way into the shrimp from the head and cut almost through the flesh down at the center of the back to the tail.
  • Open the shrimp or "butterfly" it until it lies flat. Remove the "vein" with your finger or the tip of a knife. Rinse shrimp under cold running water.

Cook crabs first in a pot of boiling water with some salt in it. Remove crab from water and allow it to cool slightly. Place crab belly-up on the table and pull off the triangle shaped belly flap, or "apron". Remove shell. Twist off claws and legs and crack them open to get the meat. You can use a lobster pick (a two-tined small fork), a full-sized fork or even the tip of a crab claw. Get the crab meat and roe (also called "crab butter") from the shell. Keep the roe or discard it. Depending on your presence. Pull off and discard the spongy gills and small paddles at the front of the crab. Cut the crabs body in half lengthwise and then into quarters or simply snap the body in half to get to all the meat inside.

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September 25, 2017

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