Tag: ‘Fukui’

Space caramel made from giant jellyfish

16 Sep 2009

In the latest move in Japan's war on giant jellyfish, high school students in the town of Obama have developed a new type of caramel candy made from the enormous sea creatures -- and they are offering it up as a snack for astronauts in space.

Echizen kurage, Nomura's jellyfish --
Nomura's jellyfish (Echizen kurage) -- If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em (in space)

The enterprising Obama Fisheries High School students have requested the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to place their chewy treat on the official menu for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The space agency, which appears to be entertaining the proposal, is reportedly sending a representative to the school tomorrow (September 17) to evaluate the candy.

Described as having a sweet and salty flavor, the caramel's ingredients include sugar, starch syrup, and jellyfish powder, which is obtained by boiling the jellyfish down to a thick paste, drying it, and grinding it into fine particles. The most recent batch of caramel uses powder from Nomura's jellyfish snared last month in fixed fishing nets in nearby Wakasa Bay. The bay is located in Fukui prefecture, which has been among the areas hardest hit by the giant jellyfish swarms in recent years.

Students pose with caramel made from giant jellyfish -- The students began cooking with Nomura's jellyfish three years ago, after a NASA-designed food safety management system was installed at the school. In 2006, after the school developed a method for processing giant jellyfish into an edible powder, a local company began using it as an ingredient in their jellyfish cookies.

Since then, the students have been searching for new ways to use their jellyfish powder. They are hoping to benefit from the recent raw caramel craze sweeping Japan.

[Source: Chunichi]

Cookies made from giant jellyfish

30 Oct 2006

Ekura-chan saku-saku cookies -- As part of an ongoing battle against invading swarms of giant jellyfish in local waters, some residents of Fukui prefecture have developed a method for converting the sea creatures into a powdered ingredient used in souvenir cookies.

Sold in boxes of 10, the jellyfish treats, called "Ekura-chan saku-saku cookies," can be purchased at JR Fukui station for 580 yen.

The key ingredient in the Fukui-area cookie maker's recipe is powder made from dried, ground jellyfish, which is produced using a process developed three years ago by students from Obama Fisheries High School. The bitter, salty flavor of the jellyfish is said to nicely complement the cookie's sweetness.

In recent years, swarms of Echizen kurage (Nomura’s jellyfish) have been invading the Sea of Japan each autumn, seriously disrupting fishing operations. The giant jellyfish can grow up to 2 meters wide and weigh up to 200 kilograms (450 lbs) each.

[Source: Mainichi Shimbun]

Chefs prepare for annual giant jellyfish invasion

31 Aug 2006

Each year, in an annual rite of autumn, giant jellyfish (echizen kurage) invade the seas around Japan, damaging nets, interrupting fishing operations and reducing the overall quality and quantity of catches. This year the residents of Fukui prefecture have a new strategy to combat the giant jellyfish -- they plan to eat them.

Giant jellyfish and makeshift menu
(On the menu: jellyfish soup, jellyfish yogurt and jellyfish sashimi)

As part of this new strategy, jellyfish cooking classes were held at the Culinary Culture Center in the city of Obama on August 28. The classes attracted about 20 interested people from the local fishing cooperatives and hotel owners association.

Toshiko Komatsu (58), a member of the Oshima fishing cooperative women's group, presented recipes that call for raw jellyfish. "Jellyfish consist mostly of water," she says, "so they are not fit to be steamed or grilled." Her dishes feature bits of last year's giant jellyfish catch that have been preserved in salt, served Chinese-style with cucumber and vinegar soy sauce or served with plum sauce.

Michiko Kamisako (67), who fishes for a living in Oshima, provided some basic advice on jellyfish preparation. "Big jellyfish can be eaten if you slice them into tiny pieces," she explains while squeezing strips of finely sliced jellyfish.

Beginning August 19, reports of giant jellyfish trapped in fixed nets began coming in to the Takasu Fishery Harbor in Fukui city. On busy days, up to 100 jellyfish can become trapped in each net. Most encounters with jellyfish ranging from 50 to 100 cm in diameter are occurring along the northern Fukui coast.

Echizen kurage, also known as Nomura's jellyfish, can grow up to 2 meters wide and weigh up to 200 kilograms (450 lbs) each. That's a lot of sushi.

[Source: Chunichi Shimbun]