This recipe was inspired by Korean soy-preserved blue crabs, aka Gaejang. Gaejang is an addictive spring delicacy that I had the honor of tasting in Seoul during a return visit. The crabs are preserved in a marinade that has been strained, boiled, and cooled every 24 hours for 3 to 5 days. Straining and boiling multiple times helps to remove harmful bacteria. If you're skeptical, just know that I prepared this with my good friend, Seung-Hee, food lover/accomplished eater, as well as nutritionist and public health specialist with the CDC.
We made this recently with fresh raw Prince William Sound spot prawns just a few hours out of the water. Firmer in texture than crab, which becomes more like a briny beautiful sea-jelly, you could also use wild shrimp or tiger prawns. As for serving, this dish is also known as "rice thief"; the soy sauce marinade elicits cries for lots of accompanying rice. Seung-Hee also suggests soft-boiled eggs and roasted seaweed. I like something green and bite-y, like green onion, micro-greens, or pea shoots or arugula to offset the richness. The whole meal is a hands-on eating frenzy that ends in very happy and satisfied mouths.
For the Prawns:
Place prawns on a shallow serving platter and pour marinade over; top with onion and jalapeño slices. Serve with steamed rice, roasted seaweed (kim nori); soft-boiled eggs; and pea shoots, micro greens, or thinly sliced green onion.
Date Published: June 22, 2015
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