Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fried Seafood and Potatoes

IT'S A CRIME I TELL YOU! Frying seafood or serving seafood with potatoes--it should be outlawed.
Ok, so I admit that I'm guilty of enjoying that occational fish and chips (especially at Union Jack's in Costa Mesa, California). The British have stumbled on something very successful--large pieces of fried fish served with what resembles the American steak fry, wrapped in newspaper which by the time it gets to you from the fryer has soaked through with grease. The only thing it really needs is malt vinegar.
But really, sweet, succulent seafood (and I guess what I really mean when I say seafood is shellfish) battered and fried is quite possibly the most disappointing thing I've ever tasted. I swear off of fried oysters, fried lobster, and fried shrimp. Fresh seafood should really be enjoyed with the minimalist approach (salt, pepper, maybe an acid of somesort, maybe butter and that's about it--Japanese cuisine has really captured and embraced the idea of unaltered seafood). To manipulate the freshness of seafood by suiting it up in flour or a batter of somesort and then drowning it oil is like the creation of the chicken nugget--it just should not have ever happened.
And Oh the disappointments of being served mashed potatoes with a beautifully poached lobster. Some may think it works, and trust me when I say it is served at Michelin Star rated restaurants and called something fancy like "pureed potatoes" or "whipped potatoes", but the heavy startch form the potato (no matter how you make it or what you call it) really takes away from the very juicy, very plump piece of the beautifully cooked seafood.

And if you're wondering if I'm the kind of person that eats the rice separately from the sashimi when I order nigiri at a Japanese restaurants my answer is "Why yes, yes I do". The only real purpose that garganchuan, unauthentic lob of rice serves is a pedistool for the fish and as what I like to call a "soy sauce iron" (take the fish off the rice, dip the rice into soy, and spread the soy on the fish with the lob of rice--end result--a perfectly seasoned piece of fish).

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