2011/10/24

Parlez-vous De Crevettes Bleues?

Stormy weekends have kept us off the water. We consoled ourselves with food. Yesterday, I took Kimie to lunch at a new restaurant in town. The food (Japanese style) was OK but we missed Mama's Kitchen.

Then, in the afternoon, we received a cold package delivered to our door. It was from our friend who runs a ryokan hotel to our north. A box of Pacific blue prawns (called Tenshi no Ebi - angel prawn - in Japan) from New Caledonia, a bottle of sweet red pepper sauce, and wonton sheets to wrap around the meat and fry in sesame oil.

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We'd never tried blue prawns before, so Kimie prepared some for dinner. So many ways to cook them - pan fried, tempura, wonton, sashimi, soup.... Kimie kept it simple and pan fried some with mizuna (a leafy green vegetable) garlic, salt and pepper.

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Before cooking, they look silvery blue. She saved the heads for later.

I didn't get a picture of the cooked prawns - we were too busy eating them. They were so flavorful - the best prawns I've ever tasted - with an excellent texture. New Caledonia has been farming blue prawns for decades now. Their local species were not adaptable to aquaculture, so they brought in this one from Mexico. Unlike many farmed "fish", these prawns are not fed land animal by-products, hormones, coloring or antibiotics. They are raised in a way that does not harm the surrounding mangrove forests.

The Pacific blue prawns are grown on Pacific islands. New Caledonia is one place, Fiji is another. Development work is being done in Hawaii. Other than the superior flavor, the water that is used on island farms is free of viruses. Polluted water can be a big problem for prawns grown in some other countries.

Today, we had the heads in our ramen (noodle soup). The wonderful prawn flavor was infused into the ramen. I did manage to take a picture this time. The prawn heads turned an otherwise ordinary dish into a savory delight.

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Délicieux!

7 comments:

Martin J Frid said...

I'm not a huge fan of ramen but that dish in your photo is just looking soooo good! Itadakimasu :)

HappySurfer said...

Yum! Ditto to what Martin said about how good looking the bowl of ramen is.

How generous of your friend.

Pandabonium said...

Martin - not my favorite either, but this was delicious. Actually, we usually use less than half the seasoning provided and add veggies like mizuna, mushroom, carrot, onion, maybe an egg. Then it becomes a pretty good soup.

HappySurfer - she is generous to a fault.

Bear Bear said...

I usually cook prawn heads in my soup base too!!! Never tried with ramen though. I'm drooling looking at this dish! XD

Pandabonium said...

Bear Bear -
Well ramen is sort of a simple "can't think of what else to make" kind of thing, but prawn heads elevate it to almost haute cuisine! ;^)

The Moody Minstrel said...

All I can say is YUM!!!!!!

Pandabonium said...

Moody - we finished them off last night. Kimie made won ton with them. Awesome.