List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Okay so I am starting off with a bit of a cheat. It was originally my idea that I would make snickerdoodles where I coat them with cinnamon sugar. Thing is, I am well over 200 food items in here and… I still haven’t properly used cinnamon in my baking. So, here it is in all my beaver-covered cereal glory.
Okay now to the main event. Every now and then I get a food item in my head that I become mildly obsessed with; like with an earworm the only way to stop this is to find another item to become obsessed with or to cover it. Jellyfish is the latest in a long line of foods to take on this mantle (previous owners including Rainier cherries, purple sprouting broccoli and banana ketchup) and luckily it was available on Amazon in a ready to eat fashion.
Thing is that it is all well and good to buy a packet of jellyfish but what the flying hell do you do with it… make an Indonesian themed meal apparently.
In the top half of the picture there is the Jellyfish Salad. The great thing about the jellyfish in this salad is that it takes on pretty much all of the flavours you put in. This means that they took on the citrus edge of the lemongrass as well as the je ne sais qoui of the fish sauce. The thing here is the texture (which is a big like slightly jellied sauerkraut) and the knowledge that you are eating something that is rather weird.
To accompany this I made rujak mangga using the green mango, terasi and ground Szechuan peppercorns. I was surprised how nice sliced green mango was. I know that these are immature fruit but the flavour is still there but it is just tastes a bit more fibrous and you can hold a bunch of sticks like celery without them coming apart in your hands. The Szechuan peppercorns gave this mango salad some citrus and peppery flavours whilst the terasi (bought here under the Indonesian name of napi) gave it some saltiness and some umami which made this a very different salad.
Okay, so this is a little bit of an anti-climax to the slight oddness of jellyfish as this is a pretty well known fruit. When eaten whole (after being lightly rolled between the fingers to remove some of the bitter oils) this is an addictive bittersweet citrus fruit that has a significant sour shot as soon as it bursts. After one kumquat I wasn’t sure… but I kept eating them and in the end I found myself seriously enjoying these tiny fruits.