Posts Tagged tips
It has been reported by the UK press this week, and subsequently mentioned by Al Gore in his blog , that the UK coastline is set to become like ‘jellyfish soup’ this summer. In respect of this abundant harvest we are about to receive, I thought I would scour the web for jellyfish recipes and put them in this week’s post.
Mmmm, I can almost hear your bellies grumbling in anticipation…
- Jellyfish and Chips
- Jellyfish Tempura
- Jellyfish Burgers
- Jellyfish Salald
- Sesame Jellyfish
- Jellyfish and Pork Bone Soup
- Jellyfish cocktail
So why jellyfish then?
It has been reported for a number of years that jellyfish numbers are increasing dramatically, especially around the coastlines of Europe and – more importantly to me – the UK. A number of factors have been blamed for this: overfishing, ocean acidification and climate change.
Overfishing allows jellyfish to become the dominant species in a particular ecosystem, and once that happens, juvenile fish which share the same food source as the jellyfish (plankton), get crowded out and starve. Also, when there are large numbers of jellyfish present, other fish species run the additional risk of death by stinging, as happened at a salmon farm in Northern Ireland.
Climate change is also being blamed, as it’s warming the oceans waters and fundamentally changing the oceanic ecosystems at a rate too fast for other, less hardy and already threatened marine species to keep up with. One of the biggest threats is in the form of the box jellyfish, which is seeing a huge increase in numbers partly due to its excellent survival abilities.
Oh, and if you needed more convincing to rid the oceans of jellyfish, did I mention that it’s not only a delicacy in the Far East, but is also seen as a health food.
I haven’t reproduced these recipes simply just for fun; the jellyfish problem is a clear and present danger to the health of our oceans. It would make sense for Humanity to switch to this (over) abundant food source and give the other species in the oceans a chance to recover.
If you do try any of these recipes and they’re any good, do please spread the word: I can almost picture the marketing spiel now, Try Jellyfish Today – it’s the New Cod!
I’m off now to source some nice fresh local jellyfish and see what my culinarily-gifted wife can concoct. If she can’t make jellyfish taste good, we’re really in trouble. Bon Appetite!
Jellyfish and Chips – A Twist on a British Classic*
- 4 x fish fillets (in this case locally sourced jellyfish)
- Plain flour Salt and Pepper
- For the batter:
- 570ml / 1pint water
- 225g / 8oz plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 Tsp tumeric
- Lemon wedges to garnish
- Whisk all the batter ingredients together.
- The batter is of the right consistency when if a finger is drawn across the back of a spoon coated in the batter a sharp, decisive trail is left behind. (Generally the thicker the batter the better and crisper the results)
- Check the batter seasoning and adjust to taste with salt and pepper
To deep fry:
- Liberally dust each fillet of fish in the prepared flour Lift each fillet from the flour and lower into the batter, ensuring each fillet is generously coated
- Gently lower the fish into the oil (gently to avoid any splash!) Leave the fish to cook for 3-5 minutes depending on size
- As the fish cooks the batter will darken in colour and when each fish is nearly cooked it will rise to float on the oil’s surface
- The fish is cooked when if broken open the interior flesh is white – if the flesh is still slightly translucent it will need longer cooking
- Remove the fish from the oil with a spider or slotted spoon
- Place the fish on a wire rack or prepared roasting tray to drain
- Sprinkle a little salt across each fillet to soak up any excess oil
Jellyfish Tempura – A Japanese classic
- About 200g salted jellyfish
- Sunflower oil, for deep frying
- 25g cornflour
- 25g plain flour
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- A pinch of salt
- 100ml of fresh, ice cold soda water
- Rinse the salted jellyfish under cold running water for 5 minutes. Then place in a bowl and add boiling water. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Drain and then rinse with cold water. Drain, cut into chunks about 2 centimetres across and dry thoroughly by rolling in kitchen roll and squeezing.
- Sift the cornflour, flour and salt together in a bowl, add the sesame seeds and stir in the soda water to make a thin batter (the soda water must be fizzy for best results).
- Dip the chunks of jellyfish into the batter and drop them in the hot sunflower oil to fry for around 1 minute. The batter should expand and crisp up to a golden colour. Lift out and allow to drain. Serve with a sweet chilli or soy dipping sauce.
Jellyfish Burgers – great for a summer BBQ
- 125g jellyfish ready-to-eat (if you can only find salted jellyfish, that’s fine, but they must be rinsed, then soaked in water for at least 4hrs or overnight to remove the salt)
- 500g potatoes
- 75g butter
- Salt & Pepper
- 3tsp toasted sesame oil
- 3tbsp fresh spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- 2 Large handfuls fresh coriander leaves and stalks, finely chopped
- 2 tsp sweet chilli dipping sauce
- Vegetable oil for frying
- To serve: Sweet chili dipping sauce
- Squeeze as much water as possible out of the jellyfish, then pat dry with cloths or kitchen roll to remove more water. Chop thinly into shreds the size of tagliatelle, and about 2cm long. Place on a cloth to continue drying (you really need to get as much moisture as possible out of them). Meanwhile…
- Make your mashed potato:
- Peel the potatoes, then chop them into walnut-sized chunks.
- Place them in a pan of hot water, bring to the boil and continue boiling for 12-15 minutes until tender
- Drain the potatoes thoroughly, then mash thoroughly (we should use a potato ricer)
- Add the butter, salt and pepper and stir through.
- In a bowl, mix the toasted sesame oil, spring onions, ginger, chopped coriander and sweet chili dipping sauce together and stir well.
- Put the mash into one large mixing bowl and add HALF of the toasted sesame oil/herb mixture, and mix together. In a second bowl, add the chopped jellyfish and the remaining toasted sesame oil/herb mixture, and mix together.
- To make your burgers (you are basically making a mashed potato sandwich with the jellyfish mixture in the middle):
- First take a handful of herby potato mixture and make a very flat disk the size of your palm. Lay it on a chopping board. Take a slightly smaller handful of the jellyfish mixture and place it on the potato so that it doesn’t reach the edges. Take another handful of potato and place it on the top. Mould the mixture around so that the jellyfish is cased in potato.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan until medium-hot, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry the burgers one at a time for only 2 mins on each side. You just need to brown the outsides (remember that the jellyfish and potato are all cooked and ready to eat.
- Serve with jellyfish salad (see below) and sweet chili dipping sauce.
Jellyfish Salad – the healthy option
- 1/2 lb Dried salted whole jellyfish shopping list
- 1 1-pound daikon radish
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 large chicken breast
- 1/2 egg white
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 scallions
- Soak the jellyfish in a large bowl of cold water for 24 hours changing the water a couple of times.
- Peel the daikon with a vegetable peeler; slice thinly; stack slices and cut into matchstick shreds.
- Put into a mixing bowl toss with the 2 teaspoons of salt and let stand 1 hour.
- Meanwhile drain water from jellyfish. Pour boiling water over the jellyfish and let stand for 15 seconds.
- Drain and run under cold water.
- Set aside.
- Bone the chicken breast and slice thinly; cut slices into shreds.
- Mix chicken with the egg white cornstarch and teaspoon of sesame oil; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating cut jellyfish into the thinnest possible shreds by rolling up each sheet and slicing it thinly.
- Place in a large bowl.
- Wring most of the moisture from the daikon shreds; add to the bowl with the jellyfish.
- Heat 3 cups water in a saucepan.
- When boiling turn off the heat and add the chicken shreds stirring to separate the pieces. Simmer for 1 minute.
- Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain and add to the bowl with the jellyfish.
- Blend the salt and sugar with the wine until they dissolve.
- Heat the oils in a saucepan and add the seasoned wine. It will sputter and evaporate.
- When the oil is hot don’t let it smoke turn off the heat and add the scallions. Cool. Toss with the salad just before serving.
- 1/2 lb jellyfish
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons Chinese white rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- To prep jellyfish:
- Rinse very well in cold water and drain. Put in a stainless steel bowl and cover with boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Then drain rinse with cold water for 6 minutes. If you are not using the jellyfish right away, you can soak in the fridge, but change the water ever hour or so. Drain thoroughly and blot dry with paper towel.
- Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl.
- Let sit 30 minutes.
- Just before serving, garnish with sesame seeds.
- You may heat this recipe if you like; just stir-fry it in a wok about 3 minutes, but it is best served cold.
- 113g Jellyfish
- 300g Pork shoulder bone
- 1 sprig spring onion
- 38g Glutinous rice wine
- 38g Mint
- Caltrop starch
- Soak jellyfish until it is soft. Rinse well. Tear it into small pieces. Marinate with wine, salt and caltrop starch.
- Boil the pork shoulder bone in approximately 8 bowls of water. Add in jellyfish and boil for 50 minutes. Add spring onion and mint and boil 10 minutes more. Add caltrop starch solution. Ready for serving.
Jellyfish Cocktail (contains no actual jellyfish)
Looking for a flavor-filled, blue highball with a cool visual effect and is fun to build? The Jellyfish is a great option. It has the appearance of a Caribbean-blue sea and white tendrils floating around that give the cocktail its marine-inspired name. To obtain the full effect of the drink you’ll want to slowly pour the ingredients over one another, ending with a careful float of cream.
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1 1/2 oz blue curacao
- 1 1/2 oz white sambuca
- 1/2 oz cream
- Fill a highball glass with ice and add vodka.
- Float the blue curacao slowly on top, trying to minimize the mixing of the liquids.
- Float the sambuca on top in the same manner
- Float the cream on the very top using the back of a barspoon.
- Stir delicately, but not too much to ruin the “jellyfish” effect.
Nutritionists amongst you may be interested in the complete breakdown of the nutritional information of jellyfish, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
If you have anything to say on this article, or indeed anything raised in The Green Review, please join the discussion on our facebook page. The more contentious the better…
Also, if you know of any other exciting jellyfish recipes, or if you actually try any of the ones above, please share them and your experiences of them via the facebook page.
Photos courtesy of Cathy Figuli
You may well have read my recent post on ceiling mounted airers, in which I looked briefly at the impact tumble dryers have on the planet. Well, in researching that post I found a surprising bit of kit that I never knew existed: the gas powered tumble dryer.
I’m well aware that the average domestic user shouldn’t really be using a tumble dryer, but perhaps you own a business that requires one, or maybe run a children’s football team and get lumbered with the kids’ muddy kit every Sunday evening. If you are one of these people then read on. If not; get a washing line.
There are 10 million tumble dryers in the UK, accounting for 4.3% of our domestic energy consumption. Ok… Stop for one second: 4.3% of our domestic energy consumption? Geez people, what’s wrong with the sun and the wind? Do we really have to throw so many clothes into these machines? I have a family of four, including two young, messy children, we live in small Victorian terrace and we have never, ever felt the need for a tumble dryer.
Anyway, sorry about the rant – on with the post.
Gas powered tumble dryers are beneficial to your pocket and the planet for the reason that they use gas, which is cheaper than electricity and emits less CO2
The average carbon emissions from a domestic electric tumble dryer are 159kg of CO2 per year and they cost about £37.00 to run (based on 148 4.7kg cycles) A gas tumble dryer should produce 54% less carbon than this and cost 61% less to run.
There is only one gas tumble dryer available in the UK market and that is the White Knight (a somewhat grand title for a clothes dryer, don’t you think?) However, you may be able to purchase a second hand gas tumble dryer from a launderette, which would be an even greener option (reuse); just remember to remove the coin mechanism – or perhaps not; it may look quirky and cool.
- They have to be fitted (and maintained) by a CORGI registered gas fitter; an electric version simply needs to be plugged in.
- If you use renewable electricity in your home, you will not benefit from any savings by using a gas tumble dryer. But then again, if you do have robust green principles and have taken the time and expense to install a renewable energy system, I’d be surprised to find a tumble dryer in your house anyway.
You can pick up a gas tumble dyer from about £300 so they’re not too expensive in comparison to electric models as is so often the case with ‘green’ technology.
To finish, I would like to say that we shouldn’t really be using tumble dryers at all. There are plenty of other ways to dry clothes without the need for these machines. Nevertheless, if you do truly need a tumble dryer, or feel you really can’t live without one, perhaps you should think about a gas powered version. At least it’s greener than the alternative.
If you have anything to say on this article, or indeed anything raised in The Green Review, please join the discussion on our facebook page. The more contentious the better…
Photo courtesy of my mother-in-law. Gracias
Laundry. It’s something we all have to do, something we never want to do and something that leaves a stubborn stain on our household energy consumption. We are always being told about the steps we can take to reduce energy consumption when washing our clothes, but what about drying them?
This post – the first of The Green Review’s actual reviews – is going to look at ceiling mounted airers, explaining what they are and why we should use them. They are not needed by everybody, but if you fit the criteria of a homeowner who could benefit from one (like me), then they’re invaluable.
What is a ceiling mounted airer?
At the risk of sounding patronising, a ceiling mounted airer is a clothes airer that goes on … yes you guessed it … the ceiling. It is effectively a number of lathes/rungs that are attached to the ceiling via a pulley system. You hang your clothes on the lathes and then just hoist the airer up to the ceiling.
I was completely unaware of this product until I visited my father-in-law in France, where apparently everybody has one. Living in a small property myself I was instantly convinced to buy one of these and I am now passing on my admiration for the product to you.
I live in a small home and I was sick of constantly tripping over clotheshorses that were placed in un-strategic locations around the house. During the winter – when the outside clothesline is unusable (and being the proud father of two messy daughters) it felt that there was never a time when some clothes didn’t needed drying.
And this blog is related to the environment because?
Ok, I was just getting to that. Now I know that I’m not the only person raising a family in a small house or a flat. I also know that without sufficient room to dry clothes, they end up either in the way, over the radiators or in the tumble dryer. It doesn’t take a huge brain to realise that drying clothes over radiators will suck up the majority of heat emitted and require said radiators to be turned up, consequently increasing energy bills and carbon emissions.
A tumble dryer also pushes up energy bills and emissions, typically emitting 159kg of CO2 per year and costing £37.00 to run(based on 148 4.7kg cycles). If the purchase of a ceiling mounted airer can alleviate these, then great.
First and foremost, the best thing about a ceiling mounted airer is that it gets the washing OUT OF THE WAY. Admittedly you can still see the washing as it’s above your head, but you are no longer tripping over it, stubbing your toe, fighting to get at a cupboard, stopping your two-year-old robbing the clothes, or … you get the picture.
The next advantage is that during the winter with the (uncovered) central heating on, the ceiling has a lovely circulation of warm air running around it, which dries the clothes nice and quickly.
Finally – and this one they don’t mention on the sales websites – it’s good for your back. On the majority of normal clothes stands there are a number of rungs that work their way up from the bottom to the top. When hanging and collecting clothes from the bottom few rungs that are near the floor, one has to bend down, causing strain on the lower back. With a ceiling airer, it is possible to adjust the loading level so that when you are placing clothes on it, all the lathes are at belly height, thus making it much more comfortable to work with.
So there; you not only save carbon emissions, energy and cash; you save vertebrae as well.
Things to consider
- You need very little room to mount one, mine is in a little entrance passage to the back garden – but do bear in mind access to the airer. You can get at them from underneath, but it’s far more convenient to go at them from the side.
- When you measure the space for the airer, remember that it has to attach to joists. Find the joists you are going to use first, then measure out from there. Don’t simply measure the area and think, “right that’s it, I’ve got room”.
- You can use a stud/joist finder to make sure you have appropriately situated ceiling joists
- Watch out for light fittings and other such cables that could burn down your house or kill you should you catch them with the drill; again a joist finder will help with this.
- RE the above: if you are not a very good DIYer, get someone who is competent to help you. This can be a tricky job for a beginner.
- There are various styles of airer to choose from. You can buy a more modern looking contraption, right through to an oldVictorian style airer, which looks great in a period kitchen
- They cost any where from £30 to £70 depending on size. Always go for the biggest you can as you can get more washing on it – obviously.
In summary then…
If you are one of those people who, like me, have very little space to dry clothes and don’t want to try and bleach out the dirty stain of a tumble drier’s carbon footprint; then you really should look into a ceiling mounted airer. They’re great product and come highly recommended by myself. Buy one. That’s it.
Photo courtesy of Cast In Style