I had a can of whelk in my pantry and it was about to expire, so I decided to turn it into a meatloaf that tastes like a chewy, fishy version of sesame chicken.
Where did I find said can? At an Asian supermarket over a year ago(it's in a closed can, so it lasted a while, it's not like it was expired- I'm not that stupid).
Finding ingredients for this meatloaf other than whelk was a bit of a challenge, as it's not a very common ingredient. It's called the poor man's abalone by California fishermen because it's cheap unlike abalone, but I'd really love to make an abalone meatloaf soeday.
I did find a Korean dish that utilizes whelk in the form of a cold salad, so that was my inspiration for the meatloaf- golbaengi-muchim. But this meatloaf is cooked because nobody likes a cold meatloaf, even me.
So what does whelk taste like? It's very chewy, tastes like a mixture of seaweed and shrimp, and is reminiscent of conch(which is related to whelk), only better tasting for some reason.
I was surprised there weren't that many whelk in the can but whelk are large sea snails. It didn't have a foul odor either, unlike some canned proteins like corned beef. Actually, it didn't have any odor.
This meatloaf was probably 70% other stuff and only 30% actual meat, but that's the appeal to this recipe.
My dad spit out the whelk after he politely said on camera it tasted like it came from the ocean and was rubbery. He said it could've been cooked longer, but I have to disagree. Nothing would've made the whelk soften given its shape. Plus it's not easy to break apart either.
Red Curry Paste: www.amazon.com/AROY-D-Red-Curry-Paste-OZ/dp/B06XBYK3CY/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1526220152&sr=8-2-spons&
You will need:
For the cooking equipment;
A large bowl
A lasagna pan
Nonstick cooking spray
For the meatloaf:
1/2 an onion sauteed in sesame seed oil
2 beaten and whisked eggs
16 chopped up baby carrots
1/2 a chopped up long cucmber
1/2 cup cooked udon noodles
1/2 tsp. green chiles
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp. red curry paste(see HELPFUL LINKS)
2-3 tbsp. honey
Pinch of chili powder
Pinch of parsley
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup cooked white rice
14 oz. can of whelk, drained(see HELPFUL LINKS)
Breadcrumbs to hold the meatloaf together
1. Put the first 16 ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Break apart the whelk into smaller pieces with your hands and put them into the bowl.
3. Mix all the ingredients up. If the mixture is still liquidy after mixing them up, add a lot of breadcrumbs and mix until you get a firm meatloaf mixture.
4. Spray a lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray. Form 2 loaves.
5. Bake the meatloaves in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes.