I fondly remember the unalloyed joy of eating lionfish tacos in the Caribbean, consuming an invasive species that was wrecking a reef preserve; if you've never experienced a similar pleasure, be on the lookout for "jellyfish crisps" made from the huge blooms of jellyfish that are the result of climate change, whose presence is a nuisance and worse.
The crisping method for preparing jellyfish was created by Mie Thorborg Pedersen from the University of Southern Denmark (detailed in the paper On the gastrophysics of jellyfish preparation, published in The International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science). It replaces the traditional, time-consuming drying process with a few days' immersion in alcohol. They come out as a mildly fishy, umami, potato-chip-like snack.
Many species are also “blooming” more often, or gathering into characteristic gigantic swarms, which can be a nightmare for fishermen and boats. Off the coast of Japan for example, the refrigerator-sized Nomura’s jellyfish has begun blooming annually, an event that used to take place only every 40 years. Soft-bodied, idyllic jellyfish are becoming an incredible nuisance, so it’s about time we start eating them in greater numbers.
Pedersen conducted her research using commonly-found Aurelia aurita, or moon jellyfish, which are one of the species that have been observed to be blooming with greater frequency. To preserve the moon jellyfish, Pedersen first soaks them in 96 percent ethanol for at least 24 hours. The jellyfish’s water content, or about 95 percent of its body, is replaced by alcohol, which eventually evaporates. What’s left is a thin, brown crisp.
I Tried Futuristic Alcohol-Soaked Jellyfish and They’re Not Bad [Louise Matsakis/Motherboard]