I have known for a long time that there are frequently bits of jellyfish in my beloved wakame (seaweed) salad, but I have never tried it all on its own. The idea of big hunks of jellyfish was not all that appealing. Most people think of jellyfish as something to be avoided and the idea of eating it is out of the question. Color me intrigued.
When I was shopping for this I saw dried salted jellyfish as well, I guess that is what differentiates this product as “instant.” I was a bit unsure what the contents would be like so I took a moment to feel the packaging and discern what was in there. Men may get this more than woman but squeezing it through the package was very much like squeezing a condom in its wrapper. Not really the image you want when thinking about food but that is what jumped out at me. I opened the package and inside I found three individual bags, one large packet of jellyfish, one packet of sesame oil, and one seasoning packet.
OK now what do I do with this stuff? The directions on the bag gave me all I needed to know.
As I handled the various packets I began to notice a vaguely fishy, gamey odor. It wasn’t overpowering but it wasn’t what I would call pleasant. My earlier condom analogy may have influenced my perception but it almost smelled like a lambskin condom. (Do they still exist?) I opened the jellyfish and put it a bowl by itself and took a bite. Not a ton of flavor to it, the odor was a bit off-putting but not bad, the texture was similar to mushrooms in many ways. You really just bit through it and it broke more than anything else. I took another little bite and decided that it needed the seasoning for sure.
I added the oil and the contents of the seasoning packet, gave it a good stir and dug in. It was pretty tasty, the plain jellyfish was in dire need of some flavor and the sesame oil/msg one two punch was just what the doctor ordered. The texture was still a bit odd but there was just a hint of sea flavor in the background that made it very tasty overall. A few dashes of sriracha made it even better. Then again sriracha is the savior of many a dish. I could not eat the whole bowl as it was but I did save the rest to toss in with some greens and other items for a later time. Jellyfish salad will be a welcome entry in my house. It is an interesting texture and a nice source of protein for any salad where you want the bulk and the texture but not a real strong flavor.
Jellyfish is going to get a Have To for me.