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Sea Treasures

Sea Treasures

, by Web Admin, 6 min reading time

Sea Treasures Seafood has been recommended to prevent and treat depression, is useful for maintaining a healthy weight, contains valuable nutrients. It is abundant, convenient, easy to cook and delicious.

Sea Treasures

Seafood has been recommended to prevent and treat depression, is useful for maintaining a healthy weight, contains valuable nutrients. It is abundant, convenient, easy to cook and delicious. Seafood is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin) as well as calcium, phosphorus and a great source of vital minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish and sea foods at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet program. The healthiest seafood includes fatty fish, shrimp, scallops, fish maw and abalone. Many recipes for seafood originate in South China where sea treasures abound.  

For convenience and added flavor boost, Chinese cooks utilize the concentrated taste and aroma of dried sea foods. Much of the weight of seafood is water. When it is removed in drying, the flavor shock is more intense and the nutritional benefits amplified. Here is a closer look at some popular Chinese dried sea foods.

Abalone (marine snail) is precious, rare, delicious, and nutritious, known as the "soft gold of the ocean” and "the crown of sea treasures." When reconstituted by soaking in water until soft, the meat is tender and high in protein 24%, and low fat 0.44% with many vitamins and trace elements that are very beneficial to our body. Abalone is rich in glutamic acid, which has been used to 

  • Treat personality and childhood behavioral issues.
  • Help treat epilepsy and muscular dystrophy.
  • Treat intellectual disorders.
  • Treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with diabetes.
  • Prevent nerve damage in people having chemotherapy.

Abalone in TCM

Abalone is considered a yin nourishing food which means it supports the health of internal organs. It moisturizes lungs, which improves breathing and complexion. It clears inflammation and nourishes the liver and can improve eyesight. Long-term consumption has been shown to help prevent cancer.

The most recent research has found abalone provides a good source of: 

  • Protein
  • Iron essential for building red blood cells 
  • Vitamin B vitamins including B12, vitamins A, E 
  • Magnesium 
  • Selenium 
  • Omega-3

When compared to other animal protein sources such as beef, tuna, salmon or eggs, abalone protein content is higher than all sources. Sea snail contains high levels of magnesium. Magnesium is lost when we suffer stress. Magnesium plays important roles in the body and is needed for more than 325 enzymatic reactions, including involved in the synthesis of fats, proteins and nucleic acids, neural activity, muscle contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism.

Chinese cooks add dried and canned abalone to soups and stir fries along with pork, dried scallops, mushrooms, chicken or goose meat or prepared sea cucumber. Here is information on several more sea treasures and a simple recipe. 

Dried Scallops

Yuanbei produced in Qingdao, China, is light in color, sweet, mils, salty and chewy. It is usually used for stewing soup or porridge. 

Why cook with dried scallops (Yuanbei)? They are flavorful and extra nutritious. In TCM, they are said to enrich our blood, nourish the kidney, calm the liver, reduce heat and improve spleen health. In every 100 grams of dried scallop, there are 65.7 grams of protein, which is 2-3 times more than found in chicken, beef or shrimp. According to the USDA, one 3-ounce serving of plain, steamed scallops contains 94 calories. They are low in fats — all types of fats. It is very valuable for initial recovery after illness or postpartum weakness. 


Dried Shrimp

Summer is a great time to enjoy the invigorating, moistening benefits of sea foods. We love the taste of grilled large shrimp. Dried shrimp (prawns) also has a smoky intense flavor that can enliven a soup, stew, congee or stir fry. Prawns are a rich source of selenium, one of the most effective antioxidants at maintaining healthy cells. They also contain high levels of zinc, which is important to develop a healthy immune system. Eating prawns helps build strong bones because they contain phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Dried shrimp is sweet, salty and warm in nature. Its concentrated nutrition supports kidney/adrenal energy, strengthens yang, and regulates qi.  


A Seafood Stew or Congee

Ingredients: 

6-12 dried abalone 

10 dried scallops

8 dried shrimp

minced garlic

minced ginger 

1 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. oyster sauce

1/2 Tbsp. bean paste (Doubanjiang for umami flavor)

salt, white pepper 

sugar 

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup cooking wine

starch to thicken 

Rinse with cold water and Soak the dried sea foods in water until tender. When softer they can be kept in the refrigerator overnight to increase tenderness. 

Simmer the sea foods, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, bean paste and soy sauce in white wine for 15 – 20 minutes until the wine has been absorbed. Add the Chicken stock  and simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes. Correct the seasons with salt, pepper and sugar. Add starch to thicken as desired. 

Congee

Congee is Chinese comfort food, breakfast, convalescent food, and a children’s dish that adults love. It is basically a thin rice soup that can be slow cooked in a crock pot overnight to provide a nourishing, satisfying warm meal. We can enhance protein and flavor the congee with dried sea foods that may include abalone, shrimp, scallops, or others. 

Ingredients: 

  • 5 – 10 pieces each of dried shrimp and scallops
  • 7 cups water, low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup raw long-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • Sliced scallions, for garnish
  • Sesame seed oil or soy sauce, for serving (optional)

Rinse the dried sea food with cold water. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear in order to remove excess starch. Put the rice, sea food, ginger, salt and cooking liquid into the crock pot. Stir it to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom. Cook it on low heat overnight. 

Serve congee warm topped with sliced scallion, soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil. (optional) In a bowl, top the congee with a fried egg and soy sauce. Or for a delicate treat, add dash of white wine


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