Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dried Krill 磷虾 and Dried Shrimps 虾皮/ 虾米

Do you know that salmon feeds on krill as fish food for the signature orange flesh and the Omega-3? Yes, that's partially where the Omega-3 in salmon is coming from. Imagine a simplified food chain of krill <-- salmon <-- us. We eat the salmon and salmon feeds on krill. Well, you should have also come across Krill Oil as the ultimate pure "fish" oil super rich in essential DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) Omega 3. So, if salmon is good for us, then krill is even better, considering krill is found in the lower food chain.

Dried Krill

The krill  磷虾 used here is different from those 虾米 typically used in Singapore. Krill, also known as okiami in Japan, a type of plankton, is even smaller than dried shrimp 虾米 that is often considered a type of crustacean.

It is not even easy to find good-quality krill (those with no coloring or preservatives added) in the Japanese supermarkets. I could not find them in Nijiya and only had better luck in Mitsuwa. One tiny pack does not come cheap @ $3.50 but I do not mind paying a little more for good quality ingredients; and especially when it is a natural "flavoring" ingredient that I most often can use in stir-fries and quick-cooking soups/stews, in replacement of other seasoning sauces such as oyster sauce.

Dried baby shrimps (sakura ebi) from Japanese supermarket

Sometimes, I also get dried baby shrimps (sakura ebi) 虾皮 from the Japanese supermarket when I cannot find krill. Well, they look almost similar - just bigger and redder than krill; however less "meaty" and smaller than dried shrimps 虾米.

Have you ever used dried krill in cooking?

I think dried krill is most often sold as "fish food"!!!

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