Food That Moves: Finnish Signal Crayfish

Just when I had figured this feature was gone for good with our relocation to woefully shellfish-scarce Finland, this happened. Our friends next door received a large batch of live signal crayfish and generously brought over a bucketful. It should be noted that these are the first live crustaceans I have cooked in about five years. I’d heard about Finnish crayfish season before, but it turns out that they are not as popular in our particular region as I would have hoped. I’ve seen a handful of live ones (not even enough for one person, usually) at the supermarket on occasion, …

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Food That Moves: California Spiny Lobster

If you say the word lobster, almost everybody automatically thinks of the brown bugs with big claws that come out of Maine. And I wouldn’t blame them, because those are mighty tasty crustaceans. However, here on the left coast, from October until March of each year, we have our own crop of fresh lobster that shouldn’t be ignored. California spiny lobsters are only distantly related to the more well-known homard lobsters, but they taste every bit as lobster-y. In fact, many restaurants now use spiny tails for their recipes and diners would be hard put to tell the difference. This …

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Food That Moves: California Red Rock Crabs

We have a few different options for crabs in Southern California. The most well known is the dungeness, which is actually brought down from the northern part of the state most of the time because they’re more abundant there. Local fisherman are more likely to find rock crabs, red crabs, yellow crabs and the occasional spider crab. When we were in Orange County, I usually preferred to shop from our local fisherman and family at Pearson’s Port. Besides being super friendly and always having the freshest stuff around, they’d always have a few tanks of whatever crabs were in season. …

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Food That Moves: Giant Lobster Fried Rice

That is, the lobster was giant, not the rice. Though that was a pretty substantial pan of food as well, come to think of it. If I remember right, I actually brought this sucker home on the same day that I had to pick up the younger cat from the vet. With the 5 pound cat in a carrier on one hand and the 7 pound lobster in a bag with ice on the other, they were feeling pretty much the same weight. o.O The before video. But wait! Aren’t bigger lobsters less tender and thus not as good eating? …

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Food That Moves: Dungeness Crab with Broccoli Rice

Another West Coast favorite is the star of today’s column — the Dungeness crab. These guys are in season starting mid-November and running to summer, and that’s when they’re cheapest and fattest as well. Of course, the market I shop at has them year-round because that’s just the sort of place they are. Dungeness are great because they’re highly meaty, heavy crabs that will amply reward anybody who takes the time to crack those shells. The best crabs are cooked right after being caught, since they will still be fat and feisty. Crabs that have sat around too long get …

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Food That Moves: Pan-fried California Spot Prawns

One thing about growing up in an Asian household — we’re not squeamish about meeting our dinners before they’re on the plate. The fresher the better, my mom would always lecture, and you don’t get much fresher than when your meal is trying to crawl its way out of the kitchen sink. Surprisingly few of my friends (including the boy, who still prefers to not be around the kitchen until everything is good and dead) have had experience in the handling of live foods, though, so for them I present a brand new VK column — Food That Moves! We …

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