SEPTEMBER 2020 MONTHLY CHALLENGE - SHELLFISH

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I like tempura. So I made some.

The Players

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Some 21-25 shrimp and some sea scallops.

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For the batter I'm going with rice flour, and a pinch of msg. That was the smallest bag of msg I found at a local Asian market, I imagine it will last me a lifetime.

And for the dipping sauce:

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That's some ice cold, a bit of slush on the surface, sake, which went into the batter, not the sauce. The fish sauce, mirin, soy, dark soy and sesame chili oil are the sauce.

The Procedure

First off the shrimp were shelled and cleaned. The I tried a technique that I don't think I have ever done before, 'stretching' the shrimp. It changes them from the typical crescent shape to a longer, straighter item.

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It took some practice, but it isn't a difficult task. Had I been feeling more ambitious I might have done a video of stretching one of the shrimp. The Japanese have a specific name for it, which as I recall is just the words 'stretched' and 'shrimp'. So the stretched shrimp and scallops were placed on a wire rack to dry for a bit while I made the sauce. Then I took a couple of scallion greens, made thin strips and stashed in a small bowl of ice water, which makes them curly.

The batter was pretty simple. A bit of water was added to the sake to make 3/4 cup, and a good splash of the fish sauce. In went about 3/4 cup of the rice flour, a pinch of msg and a pinch of baking soda. Rice flour added as needed to make a thin batter.

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The shrimp and scallops were dusted in cornstarch, dipped in the batter, then quickly deep fried. In truth I had the oil a little too hot, got a bit more browning than I would have liked. A couple of shitake mushroom caps were cut into strips, dipped in the batter and cooked up as well.

The Product

Tasty! Would have liked a lighter, more delicate color on some of it, tempura isn't usually that dark in restaurants. But the flavor was just fine! And next time I think I might cut the scallops in half, make them more bite sized.

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And some of the green onion tops didn't curl at all. As if that really matters.

mjb.
 
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But I have a cunning plan.....
I'm a big fan of cunning plans.😁

Mrs Hank doesn't do bivalves. She just shakes her head when I suck them down out of the shell. I'll come up with something with crab, lobster or something.
 
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teamfat teamfat I cannot agree to anything more than that being done to oysters. They are perfect as they are. Althoughhhhhhhh, one time in Boston I had deep fried oysters and I didn't hate them.

phatch phatch wow xoxoxoxo on that!

abefroman abefroman "with nutrients" :rofl:
 
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I was bagging up roast tomato sauce I made last week and decided to try something different. Shrimp filled Manicotti. I thawed out half a pound of wild caught red shrimp (8pcs.) then built my filling with ricotta, one small egg, dried Parmigiano, fresh grated Romano, a fresh Italian cheese blend, fresh nutmeg, pepper, zest of one lemon, juice of a half and chopped fresh basil. I cooked my shells for four minutes then into cold water to stop cooking. I blanched four of the shrimp in that same water then blast chilled. When the shrimp was ready I sliced and finely diced then and added to the filling.



I piped the filling into the shells with a plastic bag then assembled my dish.


Finished with the tomato sauce cooked with onion, red pepper, garlic, peperoncino, parsley, basil and anchovy paste. I let that thicken some then let cool. The filling I had left over went into the sauce then onto the Manicotti and topped with the aforementioned cheese blend then into 350F oven when the hockey game was over. (NY Islanders lost :angry: ).

Anyway It was delicious - the filling was very well balanced, the pasta was perfect and it was very filling. I could only eat 1-1/3rd. Oh right I caramelized the other four shrimp on one side, turned to finish with the heat off and they were a treat to go with the "Shrimp filled Manicotti".
 
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So these 6/8 prawns followed me home from, Ocean City, an Asian market in downtown Salt Lake.

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Now, what should I do with them? I will defrost a few at a time when needed, keep the rest frozen. I can't foresee me eating the entire boxful in one sitting!

Asian? Mexican? Grilled? Scampi style?

Decisions, decisions!

mjb.
 

phatch

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Ya gotta watch out for giant shrimp in this town.

Part 1 of 3 part 1973 horror movie satire short for locals.

 
Last edited:
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This may sound like a silly question but what is included in the term 'shellfish'? I had not thought of prawns (shrimp) and lobster as shellfish but I think in culinary terms they are included?

Would crayfish be included?
 
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This may sound like a silly question but what is included in the term 'shellfish'? I had not thought of prawns (shrimp) and lobster as shellfish but I think in culinary terms they are included?

Would crayfish be included?
It’s a great question! I thought the definition included both mollusks and crustaceans... but nothing with fins.
 
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shell·fish - /ˈSHelˌfiSH/
noun
an aquatic shelled mollusk (e.g. an oyster or cockle) or crustacean (e.g. a crab or shrimp), especially one that is edible.


Similar: crustacean, bivalve, mollusk

crus·ta·cean - /krəˈstāSH(ə)n/
noun
an arthropod of the large, mainly aquatic group Crustacea, such as a crab, lobster, shrimp, or barnacle.
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bi·valve - /ˈbīˌvalv/
noun
an aquatic mollusk that has a compressed body enclosed within a hinged shell, such as oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops.

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mol·lusk - /ˈmäləsk/
noun
an invertebrate of a large phylum which includes snails, slugs, mussels, and octopuses. They have a soft unsegmented body and live in aquatic or damp habitats, and most kinds have an external calcareous shell.

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Even though I'm a pro-chef, being a school-teacher has been, since 1987, my regular every day job. It's been a lot easier earning a real living that way.
I hope this helps.
 
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and most kinds have an external calcareous shell.
Thanks for the info Iceman Iceman . Is squid included even though it doesn't have an external shell? I've seen definitions of 'shellfish' which include squid. Crayfish is a crustacean so maybe its included? Although... they are freshwater not sea. Well I'll post my crayfish salad anyway. If it doesn't qualify it doesn't matter.

In the end its up to the judge.:)
 
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Thanks for the info Iceman Iceman . Is squid included even though it doesn't have an external shell? I've seen definitions of 'shellfish' which include squid.
Squid is a mollusk... like octopus, who doesn’t have an external shell either. Is confusing, huh. Some shellfish have no shells and none are fish. :)

And making things seaworthy even more confusing... a sea cucumber is not shellfish nor vegetable, and a sea bean is not animal nor legume.

 

nicko

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I guess technically squid and octopus can be included but that was not what I was thinking. I was going more for

  • clams
  • oysters
  • mussels
  • razor clams
  • Shrimp
  • lobster
  • snails
  • crab

Basically something you have to crack open at something at some point. :D
 
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