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The Fruits of the Sea

December 12, 2011

I realised the other day as i was reading through all your responses to my poll question on your 5 favourite Filipino dishes that not a whole lot of seafood based recipes were named. I find this extremely strange since we are a country that is composed of 7 000 + islands, so you’d think that our main diet would consist of fish, clams, oysters, crabs, prawns… but in truth it doesn’t.

I know that people could argue with this by saying that we do have a couple of dishes that are vastly popular that use these “fruits of the sea” (direct translation from the french: Fruits de Mer), because we do, but if you were to make a general survey and ask people to monitor what they eat during the week, i’d be confident in projecting that probably more than 70% of it is meat, poultry or vegetable centric.

Take a country like Japan, where seafood is really celebrated in the region’s cuisine in every aspect. There are probably historical and economic implications at play here, but one of my theories is that we have decreased our consumption of products of the sea because they have become increasingly dangerous and harmful. Not necessarily to humans only (red tide, polluted waters, warmer oceans, bacteria…) but also to marine life and the way that we fish in general (dynamite fishing, non sustainable fishing, long line fishing, wastage, farming…) . If you start doing the research you’d be amazed by what you learn about how we are killing our eco systems, and in particular the impact of non regulated fishing on our future, not only locally but all over the world. Now, im not going to preach and say that we should all become vegeterians, all i do want to say is, not only concerning seafood, but with everything you buy and cosume on a daily basis, don’t be afraid to ask questions: where does it come from? how is it caught? how is slaughtered? what is it made of? These questions will lead you to the knowledge of whether or not the practice is done properly and with the best interest of the planet in mind.

WWF Bluefin Tuna overfishing: Panda

Its natural for us to eat meat, fish, vegetation… Just like these animal groups feed on each other too. But we can control the respect and more importantly the continuity/sustainability given to each life that is taken to feed us.

My friend’s company, partnering with the Save Palawan Seas Foundation started this campaign called Project Seven Thousand (http://www.projectseventhousand.org/), where people register and make a pledge to do something good and stop the harmful. Its a great innitiative to have people interact and determine what’s going wrong in our current society. Help them reach 7000 pledges.

This is one of many campaigns, so just be curious and see what you can do to help out in your region, country, village, town, anywhere really. Many little things will always amount to big things.

Why i love cooking? Its an ode to what the earth and the sea can give us:

Soft Shell Crab with Garlic Broad Beans 

Pretty straight forward, clean your soft shell crabs (remove lungs and gills, and spike at the bottom), season with salt and pepper, cover with flour, remove excess, fry in a mix of hot olive oil and butter until crispy, 2-3 mins either side.

Retain some of the fluids in the pan, add a chopped garlic clove, a sliced shallot, 1/4cup white wine to deglaze the pan, a handful of broad beans and a tsp or two of chopped capers, until all is caramelized.

Plate the food and add some lemon juice, some rind, salt pepper, some sour cream, you can even add some freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Some porn for you:

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2011 4:20 pm

    Awesome… Looks deeeliciousss. Great job on this simple and quick munchie. I’d love to try this someday. And hope you have a great time at Malaysia! I’m sure you’ll be back with a lot of inspiration. 😀

    Babe For Food – your new BFF in Cebu dining!

  2. December 13, 2011 2:50 am

    wow its so fast cant wait to try this,,, !!! good luck to you at nuffnang awards 🙂

  3. Justin Erik Nillos permalink
    December 13, 2011 5:03 am

    I wanna see your face while cooking…… LOL

  4. December 13, 2011 5:08 am

    mouth-watering and what an interesting way to plate the food! :p

  5. December 13, 2011 11:28 am

    This looks delicious and impressive! Where do you get your soft shell crabs here?

    You are right about the need to ask more questions about where our food is coming from…not only should be be more responsible, it also makes us appreciate what we are consuming. Great blog!

  6. December 13, 2011 12:44 pm

    Hello Erwan,

    Any tips when buying soft shell crabs? I often see some in SM, but unsure about its quality. Any sureties tips aside from smelling the thingie?

  7. December 13, 2011 9:18 pm

    Looks fabulous!! x

  8. grace permalink
    December 15, 2011 5:32 am

    Looks delicious. I absolutely love this one. I wanna try it soon.

  9. December 15, 2011 7:02 pm

    first of all i wanna say it looks really delicious! and second i want to say something about the seafood thing; i agree with you that we should be more into seafood b’coz of our 7000+ islands and were surrounded by water, but maybe b’coz here in manila seafood is really expensive and i belong the the middle class i only get to eat seafood once a month or none at all… did i tell you i love seafood? if i have the financial resources i would eat seafood everyday i’ll tell you that for sure. but still manila is just a part of the philippines and you got to wonder why the answers to your question is more about meat or veggies but i know in cebu or davao there are alot of seafood recipes there. ^_^

  10. December 17, 2011 2:52 am

    Looks Delish and easy to cook… i also love Sour Cream…where could i get those Soft Shell crabs?

  11. December 18, 2011 4:13 am

    Your blog is freaking awesome!!!

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