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Monday, October 20, 2014

Fresh Live Sea Urchin at Home!

Tired of paying a premium for Sea Urchin (Uni)? Me too! I decided to buy a couple live ones at a fish market over the weekend. Unfortunately they have bumped up the price tremendously from $5 each to $5 /lb! It is always a toss coin when it comes to choosing the right one as you can't tell without opening it!

Here are some tips that may be helpful:
  1. Make sure it's alive! Wiggle the spikes with your fingers and see if it moves and how fast it moves!
  2. Bigger is NOT better! The older it is, the less likely it'll taste good/bitter. Look for a medium size (slightly bigger than a softball is ideal)
  3. Get it pre-shucked! It's honestly a huge toss-up in terms of taste, color, and texture. I just bought it for fun as I like to dissect things and like getting items in their original forms instead of it already processed. Unfortunately one of the two I purchased was extremely bitter! =(
 If you don't have a fancy tool to split the sea urchin in half. All you need is a pair of scissors and two large spoons! If you were not successful in splitting it in half, simply use a pair of scissors to complete the split. Do try to avoid cutting the sea urchin though!

With regarding the purpose of the spoons...
  1. Simply put stack them on the back of each other
  2. Position the spoon heads on the weak spot of the sea urchin which is on its bottom (look for a small hole to pierce) 
  3. Pull the spoons' handle away from each other.
Now simply, gently use a spoon to scoop up the sea urchin meat. It is extremely delicate! Scoop it gently like as if you were scooping up some partially melted butter in a bowl. Then immediately submerse it in a pool of cold water for cleaning, remove any residues stuck on it, and place it on a paper towel to dry. There should be five pieces of sea urchin meat in each spiky shell. 

If you did it right, it should look something similar to below! Enjoy! Hope yours isn't bitter!

 Cheers!

Sea Urchin #1

Sea Urchin #2

Center weak spot at bottom of the shell!

Insert spoons into the center bottom weak spot!

Voila!

Cleaned out!

Give it a good clean!

Pay dry!

Voila!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Super Fresh 8.5 lb Baja Hiramasa aka Yellowtail!

I got a huge surprise this morning after being told that the smallest fish they had was an 8.5 lb one :( I was too committed to not get it so I just gave in and got it. I'll be needing a lot of help to finish this fish! I got it from my favorite seafood wholesaler Catalina Offshore! I basically wanted to make sushi and sashimi, pan sear some of the fish, and make a soup with the fish head and the bones! One of the other reasons why I wanted to get a whole fish was because I always wanted to try fileting a fish by myself. It's actually quite fun and a lot more difficult than I thought. With some practice, hopefully I'll get better at it!

Nicely Wrapped

Yellowtail!


I'm still alive!

Off with its head!


Portioned

This will be used for sashimi!

This will be used for sushi!


Cheers!
Pan Seared with Cilantro and Ginger

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Straight up Carrot Juice from Scratch!

One of the easiest and healthiest drinks you can make! Carrot Juice! It's good for your eyes, anti-aging, glowing skin, defense of heart disease, reduce risk of lung/breast/colon cancer, and the list goes on! The best way to consume carrots is without cooking it or else you lose all the nutrients.

I bought 12 sticks of carrots and made 2 cups (450 mL) worth of deliciousness! Do you like carrot juice??







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Best Tacos I've ever had!

I'm so close to Mexico; there's a ton of great places for Mexican food! When it comes to tacos, I think this place serves the best tacos; at least so far! My personal favorite is the Lengua Taco (Beef Tongue). Unfortunately many people get grossed out by what it is but if you are open to trying new things, it actually tastes pretty amazing! Perfect texture (almost like a fusion of land and sea when it comes to texture) and its full natural beef flavor. The below are some of the other popular/great tacos they offer!

Name: Tacos El Gordo
Yelp: Click Here!
Google Maps: Click Here!



Carne Asada Steak Taco with Avocado

Popular Adobada Taco

Beef Lengua Tongue Taco
Huge hunk of Adobada!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fancy Cupcakes - Move over Sprinkles

Time for some real moist cupcakes! I personally feel Sprinkles is over-hyped and past its prime. This place does it right and it's called Babycakes. My personal favorite is the Blood Orange.

Name: Babycakes
Yelp: Click Here!
Google Maps: Click Here!


Pumpkin

Red Velvet

Not so "Blood" Orange

German Chocolate

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Steaming Fresh Pacific Black Cod

Bought a fresh whole Pacific Black Cod at one of my favorite places to get seafood! Had some folks visit who are super seafood fans and we steamed this bad boy up! This one was about 2.3 lbs. We split it into 2 and just cooked one half of it. We steamed for about 8 minutes and it came out perfect! Usually a good way to know when it's done is by looking at the color of eye ball. If it's clear and the white ball (lens) is exposed, it's basically done! Simply put some ginger slices over the fish and steam! I did it Asian style where we heated some oil and poured it over the fish after it's been steamed followed by some seafood soy sauce on top.






Live Spot Prawns - Sashimi style @ Home

My folks came down here to visit and thought I'd share them some fresh LIVE Spot Prawns to enjoy! If you never heard of "Spot Prawns", they are also known as "Sweet Shrimp" or "Amaebi". They are super delicious, sweet, and bouncy when fresh! Usually a restaurant would charge over $7 a pop but if you do it at home, I got it down to $2.50 a pop! Amazing eh? You can save some money or if your food budget doesn't allow for $7 a pop, try getting some fresh LIVE spot prawns for home at your nearby seafood market!



Off with their heads!!!

Oink oink oink!

Voila!