Tagged With seafood

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Imitation crab — also known as “krab”, “kay-rab”, “fake crab” and “krab sticks” — is a mixture of fish (usually Alaska pollock) and starch that has been shaped and coloured to resemble the leg of a crab. It’s basically the lunchmeat of the sea, and it can be surprisingly tasty. (I used to eat it straight from the package, as I did with all lunchmeat, and I regret nothing.)

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Tuna may be the most popular canned fish on the market, but its image is firmly associated with school lunches and the occasional melt. Canned salmon, on the other hand, has the ability to rise above its station, to dazzle and delight even in fancy situations. You just have to treat it with a little bit of respect.

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In spite of living in a coastal city with a reputation for its seafood, I don't cook a lot of it. It's expensive, and expensive instills fear in me. If I screw up, I might be out $30 or more for the main course alone. Even prawns are eye-wateringly exy for anything of respectable size. So, in wanting to write about one of my greatest cooking fears, where could I turn? It would have to be something that people aren't necessarily familiar with and, in keeping with the theme of this column: simple and inexpensive.

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Mussels are one of those sexy, evocative dishes that seems best executed by a fancy-pants chef at a corner bistro, but a big bowl of the bivalves is one of the most weeknight-friendly meals you can make. If you've ever been wary of cooking shellfish at home, mussels are a great place to start.

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Whenever I have the chance to buy prawns shell-on -- or, better yet, head-on -- I take it. Deveining and then cooking prawns in their shells is the tastiest way to go, and there's something very satisfactory about peeling them just before popping them into your mouth. But their journey shouldn't end there; the shells still have more to give.

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When our very own US editor-in-chief sent me a recipe for ceviche, I was excited, because ceviche combines two of my favourite activities: Eating seafood and not cooking. When I read the recipe, however, I was a little appalled, for it suggested that beautiful pieces of fresh sea bass be left in an acidic marinade for two freaking hours.

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Due to laziness and a strong desire to not turn on any sort of heat source during the summer, I have become a huge fan of dishes that can be prepared without any actual cooking. Perhaps that's why I'm so enamoured with the idea of aguachile, in which super-fresh seafood is "cooked" in a spicy, citrus-y chilli water.