I found a new place called Hua Xing Market in Ypsilanti that has 4-foot eels, live soft-shelled turtles, fresh luffa, and duck tongue! I picked up a pound of tongues on Friday and served them last night at my aunt’s birthday party. I was surprised that some people tried them without asking what they were. My uncle thought they were pickled asparagus.
I braised them in half soy sauce, half water with turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes, sugar, and ginger for about 20 minutes. Then I drained them and fried them in a pan with oil and garlic until they browned a little. I took them off the heat and drizzled in a little agave nectar and hoisin sauce.
I’m going to save my pennies and buy a turtle for Kristen’s visit on December 23rd. All the recipes I’ve found say I’d have to cut off the head and let the blood drain out. It sounds kind of gruesome.
I found this photo of a butchered turtle from some culinary student’s Flickr page.
The person said, “Almost the entire turtle is edible, with exception to the lungs, gall bladder, skeleton, skull and nails. The head still bites even after being beheaded for 20 minutes (the guy was opening and closing its mouth on my desk). These puppies have a really strong will to live, which is why they are thought of as being a very potent and healthy cuisine.”
In other news, Danny came home last night and brought a couple of pounds of venison steaks. They are almost black in color. No wonder the French call things like that viandes noires. I’m not sure how he’s going to prepare them but I’ll take a picture of it.