If you have ever made the dreadful mistake of paying attention to my Twitter feed, which you should be able to see in the sidebar on the right side of my main page, you may have seen instructions for cooking and eating several Pokémon. These are my submissions to a podcast I listen to, I Chews You, where the hosts compete each week to come up with the most appetising and creative recipes for cooking a predetermined species of Pokémon (because I think we all know deep down that, just as Pokémon are smarter and more powerful than real animals, they also taste better). I’m normally not really a podcast person at all – it’s just not a format I particularly enjoy – but Pokémon and food represent a… very specific combination of my interests that don’t normally intersect. I Chews You is nothing intense or super-analytical, just good relaxing fun and generally pretty zany: four friends chatting about Pokémon and food, $#!t-talking each other and, for some reason that I honestly think even they have forgotten, discussing the pros and cons of La Croix sparkling water.
Anyway, I thought it would be nice to have all my recipes in one place, where they might provide some passing amusement to any of my readers who haven’t come across them before. If you enjoy these, maybe give I Chews You a listen, and if your own creative juices are stimulated, you can always send in your own recipes (on Twitter to @ichewspod or by e-mail to email@example.com) for their Wailord’s Mail Hoard segment – next week’s dish of the day is Walrein. I usually submit something each week, and it’d be nice to hear someone from my own audience join in now and again.
So, let’s get cooking:
Two things about Delibird: 1) it’s an Ice-type, and that means a long, slow roast is in order to avoid burning the delicate meat, and 2) it’s a FAT bird, so it’ll cook more like a goose than a chicken. Trim as much excess fat as possible before cooking, and regularly drain the fat that renders out during the roasting process, but don’t throw it away! Save it for roasting or frying other dishes (beer-battered Arrokuda pan-fried in rich Delibird fat… mmmmmmm…). To get some Christmas-y flavours in there, I suggest preparing our Delibird with a spice rub of dark Dutch-process cocoa powder and ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Stuff the bird with a mixture of chopped raisins, apples and cranberries with a little lemon and orange zest, then roast at a low temperature for four hours. Delibird’s tail is extremely high in fat and should be prepared separately – slice it into inch-thick sections and sear with no extra cooking fat, the way you would a wagyu steak. Again for the Christmas theme, I recommend a mint sauce made from chopped fresh mint leaves with a little sugar and vinegar.
Here’s what I think about Bellossom. On the basis of Oddish, I think Bellossom’s body is essentially a tuber; because of the hula aesthetic, I suspect it’s similar to a Polynesian sweet potato. Thus, I propose a tropical dessert variant of the classic loaded potato.
Strip your Bellossom’s leaves and flowers (but don’t throw them away), then wrap the whole body in foil and bake until soft (probably at least an hour). Slit the Bellossom open, scoop out its starchy flesh, transfer it to a bowl, and mash it.
Combine the Bellossom mash with coconut shavings, some pieces of finely chopped mango and pineapple, some butter and a teaspoon of allspice, then stuff it all back into the hollowed out body. Liberally sprinkle with brown sugar and bake it on high for five or ten minutes.
To serve, pile on some whipped cream, sprinkle with chopped pistachios, drizzle with fresh nectar from Bellossom’s flowers, and wrap it all up in leaves from Bellossom’s skirt. Enjoy!
Time to cook and eat Xatu! Xatu is famous for its powers of pre- and retro-cognition, so we’re gonna cook a meal that will make you SEE THE FUTURE: fried Xatu brain! Crack that fragile bird skull, extract the brain and soak it overnight in salted Musharna milk.
The next day, drain and dry off the brain, then chop it into bite-sized pieces. Thoroughly coat the brain in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried oregano, sage and Exeggutor leaves (or your alternate psychoactive herb of choice).
Fry the brains with finely chopped green chillies, onions, sweet corn and Morelull caps (again, you can substitute whatever psychoactive mushrooms are available in your area). Double check that you don’t have any work shifts in the next 24 hours, put on some soothing music and mood lighting, and get ready to become one with dreams, time and the cosmos!
Cleffa’s like… like a big chocolate-dipped space marshmallow. I think the way to go with Cleffa is to stuff it with ice cream (mixed from Miltank milk, fresh Payapa berries and a pinch of stardust under a full moon) and sear the outside to make a baked Alaska.
(This was actually the Houndour episode, but I didn’t have any good Houndour ideas and Kabuto came up in an unrelated Twitter conversation with the hosts)
Horseshoe crabs are not very meaty and their flesh apparently contains the same neurotoxin as pufferfish, but people in southeast Asia do eat horseshoe crab roe. More importantly, that blue blood contains chemicals with useful medicinal properties that couldn’t be produced artificially until very recently. Kabuto blood is probably downright magical; for all we know it could make you become immune to all disease and live for 300 years.
So, slice open your Kabuto, extract the roe, then drain the blood. Use the blood to make a sauce – I imagine it having a strong coppery tang, so balance that with some cream and a bit of sugar, flavour with onion, garlic, ginger and a hint of cinnamon, then reduce and thicken.
As for the roe, just fry it gently in butter, season with salt and pepper, then serve it in the empty Kabuto shell with fried rice, peas, carrots, chives, and a drizzle of the Kabuto blood sauce (bottle the rest for use with other dishes).
Prepare this dish for birthdays, career changes, midlife crises, retirement, or any other time you just kinda feel old.
I dunno if you want to cook Shuckle, but it’s… almost canon that you can make booze by stuffing berries into its shell and waiting for the juice to ferment. If only Pokémon didn’t have to keep that pesky kid-friendly rating, Shuckle wine would definitely be a thing.
The way you cook a Tyranitar is pretty straightforward; you hack it into thick steaks with a machete, season with salt and pepper, smoke them for an hour with old-growth Ilex Forest oak, then briefly sear them on both sides. Rare or blue; anything else is frankly a crime.
The meat has a powerful “earthy” flavour that comes from eating rocks and soil for over a hundred years as a Larvitar, which you can complement with a mushroom or miso ginger sauce.
Note that, as a Dark-type, the more chaos and destruction Tyranitar causes, the healthier it will be and the better its meat will taste. For best results, allow it to demolish a few small towns before setting up an ambush with high-level Fighting Pokémon, grenades, heavy anti-tank rockets, or a small nuke.
As I think we all know deep down, Pichu is really just a garnish to Pikachu… so this week, I propose we serve Pichu four ways as an accompaniment to I Chews You’s four classic Pikachu dishes.
To go alongside Ian’s coffee-marinated Pikachu, we can chop our Pichu into bite-sized pieces, drench in a batter liberally seasoned with cocoa powder, then fry and serve with rice and a sesame sauce.
For Evan’s Roman-style honey-roasted Pikachu, we can mince our Pichu and mix it with breadcrumbs, orange zest, black pepper, garlic and just a tiny drop of battery acid, then use that to stuff our Pikachu before roasting.
Accompanying Ben’s Pikachu mochi, we can render our Pichu’s fat and combine it with lemon or orange zest, a sweet white dessert wine and a decent helping of cinnamon to create a rich, decadent sauce.
Finally, to top Jeremy’s lemon Pikachu parfait… I Chews You logic clearly dictates that Pichu’s ears are made of black liquorice, so let’s turn that lemon parfait into a lemon-and-liquorice swirl, with a bit of grated liquorice on top.
Real scorpions are small enough to fry whole and are supposed to have a sort of nutty/salty flavour, but I reckon for Gligar it makes more sense to roast. Slice your Gligar down the middle and open it up, like butterflying a chicken.
Remove the large front claws and tail to cook separately. Slather the body with olive oil and apply a rub of garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika and thyme. Fold the wing membranes back over the exposed meat of the body cavity, to form a crispy “skin” during cooking.
Roast for an hour, then turn up the heat and broil for a few minutes to char the exoskeleton. Meanwhile, extract the venom from the tail and set it aside (use it sparingly to give a numbing zing to cocktails, sauces, etc, or use two full Gligars’ worth to murder an enemy).
Stuff the claws and tail with a mixture of breadcrumbs, dried apricots and hazelnuts, with a little orange zest and parsley. Use egg or milk to coat them with more breadcrumbs, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, then fry them whole.
Lugia (season 2 finale)
The Random Number God has assigned to me my greatest challenge yet: my contribution to the #WumboMailHoard for I Chews You’s great festival of hedonism is to be none other than the ancient and holy master of the Whirl Islands, Lugia.
Obviously you can’t exactly buy Lugia fillet at your local supermarket, so the first thing you’ll need is a small fleet of whaling ships with grenade-tipped harpoons to bring the damn thing down. An epic Pokémon requires an epic cooking method, so (assuming you survived step 1) we’re going to cut down a silver fir, strip the branches, and use the trunk to spit-roast our Lugia whole over a massive bonfire for, like, 12 hours. You might have to rig a crane or something to turn the spit; apply basting sauce with a paint roller, y’know, get creative.
Stuff the body cavity with like a dozen whole lemons (at this scale, don’t even bother zesting them), an entire branch of rosemary, about the same amount of bay leaves (from, if possible, an actual Bayleef), a couple of diced Parasect shrooms and all the garlic you have.
For basting, use about four litres of Sinnohan Cherubi wine (make sure to get the good stuff, even if it bankrupts you; you can’t sully a Lugia with everyday cooking wine) and half as much Miltank butter, seasoned with paprika, oregano, onion powder, chilli flakes and garlic.
(Yes, I already told you to use all the garlic you have – get more. You’re cooking a Lugia, this is no time to be thrifty)
Once it’s been on the spit all day and the juices are running clear, you can start carving bits off with a two-man saw, or better, an Aegislash.
The best meat on a Lugia is in the belly and tail, where all the fat is – enjoy a slice with a rich balsamic sauce or a bright salsa verde, alongside a can of cran-raspberry LaCroix.
Oh, and remember to invite, like, 30 friends – partly to share your meal, but also to help defend you from the Kimono Girls who will absolutely hunt you down for what you’ve done.
Plusle and Minun
(from this bonus episode produced by some other fans)
Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do: Plusle & Minun cocktail. This is how they used to do it at this hole-in-the-wall dive bar in Mauville City that got shut down for health code violations back in ’09. First, get yourself two cocktail shakers (ideally copper, but stainless steel will do). In the first, mix grenadine, cranberry juice, raspberry vodka and a little Campari; in the second, blue curaçao, pineapple juice, blueberries and white rum. Now comes the tricky part: get your Plusle to zap the first cocktail shaker at full power for at least 10 seconds, and have your Minun do the same to the second one. Then, using rubber gloves, pour both drinks into a single glass. If you’ve done it right, the red drink will have picked up Plusle’s positive charge and the blue one Minun’s negative charge, and you’ll get a vivid lava lamp effect inside the glass (is this how science works? absolutely not, this is Pokémon, fµ¢£ you). Drink it all before the charges equalise, and you’ll have a static tingle for hours!
So the great thing about Ludicolo is it has a pineapple on its head. For many of us, that would be enough, but for I Chews You, the podcast about cooking and eating Pokémon, we need to go full Carmen Miranda on this bitch – which means it’s time to try some creative grafting.
Step 1: obtain cuttings or buds of several tropical fruit plants – banana, mango, dragonfruit, lychee, whatever you can get your hands on. If you can, get Tropius plantains or just a whole live Bounsweet or Cherubi.
Step 2: anaesthetise your Ludicolo (chemically or psychically).
Step 3: find the stem where the pineapple joins Ludicolo’s head and make several V-shaped incisions around its circumference, one for each of your cuttings.
Step 4: Take each cutting and push the base of the stem under the skin of Ludicolo’s pineapple stem.
Step 5: Apply disinfectant and antibacterial cream, then bandage everything tightly.
Step 6: ???
Step 7: Profit! Your Ludicolo can now grow entire fruit salads on its head, which you can pick every week! Dice the fruit and serve with whipped cream infused with vanilla.
And of course, pair with a can of fine coconut LaCroix.
So, uh… not a lot of good meat on a Chimecho, as it turns out – the head’s hollow, the tail’s just a thin strip about 40 cm long. We’re going to work with the strip. The great thing is that Chimecho tails are naturally a good thickness for making jerky.
There’s this monastery halfway up Mount Pyre that makes traditional Chimecho jerky, and I dunno if it’s good, but it’s… very chewy. You get this tremendous sense of achievement from finishing a piece, and Chimecho has a sort of peppermint flavour that’s weirdly addictive.
To start, get about 50 Chimecho tails. Skin ’em, trim off the fat, cover ’em in salt. Marinate them for a day or two in a mixture of Sitrus Berry juice, chopped mint leaves, maple syrup, garlic, onion powder, black pepper, chilli flakes and ginger paste.
Stick the strips in a dehydrator for 8 hours (add liquid smoke to the marinade if you’re going to do this), or hang them on a line next to a smokey fire for 24. Chew a strip of Chimecho jerky on a long hike, and wash it down with the crisp floral notes of a hibiscus LaCroix.
Am I too late for this week? Swellow’s… well, Swellow’s a bird; the sky is (literally) the limit. You can roast it with a honey glaze; you can crumb and fry it; you can grill it with a traditional Hoennese spice rub; you can mince it for pies or dumplings.
The best way to cook a Swellow? I think we should go for a roulade. Pound the breast flat, roll it up with a Chesto berry and herb stuffing, wrap it tightly in rashers of maple-cured Whismur bacon, then roast it for an hour and a half.
Then slather it all in a Cheri berry sauce – I imagine Cheri berries tasting sweet and spicy, like a mixture of a real cherry and a medium-heat chilli. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with roasted vegetables, or any Pokémon from the Oddish line.
oh, damn, almost forgot: pair this dish with the complex, full-bodied sweetness of a peach-pear LaCroix.
…I mean, you…
…look, you can’t fµ¢£ing cook a Registeel, okay
but IF YOU DID, first you would rip out its innards and smash them to pieces with a titanium mallet. Season its metal guts with powdered gold, crushed glass, sulphuric acid and a dash of mercury, blend with a pile of iron nails, then stuff it all back in the body cavity.
Roast your Registeel whole in the open magma chamber of an active volcano for 300 years, or until golden brown, and serve with a garnish of fresh, crispy obsidian flakes.
And of course, pair this dish with the simple, fresh taste of a can of “pure” La Croix.
(Warning: this dish will definitely kill you)
Beldum is another tricky one, but it does have one important culinary advantage over Registeel: it has a brain and a big, juicy, succulent eye. Also, instead of blood, it has… magnetism? That’s just a confusing Pokédex entry.
Anyway this is how you make Beldum’s eye soup the old Hoennese way. Get, like, five or six Beldum. Separate the heads from the bodies; traditionally this is done with a meteoric iron cleaver, but you may find it easier to use an industrial laser cutter.
The bodies are no good for eating, but the metal has applications in forging magical weapons, occult artefacts, cybernetic implants and spaceship parts, so keep it for trade with your local magi-tech practitioner.
Pluck the eyes and scoop out the brains from all those Beldum heads, but don’t throw the heads away. Soak the brains in water overnight, then mash them and season them with salt, paprika, cumin, turmeric and a little powdered titanium.
Sauté the brains in butter with some crushed garlic and ginger until golden. Transfer to a pot of Torchic stock, throw in some chopped Payapa, Babiri and Liechi berries for an intoxicating mix of sweet, sour and spicy flavours, then bring it all to a boil.
Let the soup simmer for twenty minutes before adding the eyeballs, then give it another five minutes. Finally, serve the soup in the hollowed-out Beldum heads (make sure everyone gets an eyeball!) You could probably serve other soups in these too; it’s just not as poetic.
The brains and eyes make this a very rich soup, so make sure your dinner guests can refresh themselves with a tall, cold glass of grapefruit Lacroix!
So you want an old shrimp recipe, huh? Um. That is, an old-shrimp recipe, not an old shrimp-recipe. But we could make it both! You can’t do generation III without trying Hoennese fossil paella: a classic of the region.
Rice, garlic, onion, turmeric, paprika, Nomel berry zest, Cheri berries, pickled Lileep and Cradily fronds (use both for the colour contrast), slices of lemon-and-herb-marinated Relicanth fillet, and of course our star ingredient, Anorith, all fried in a single pan, then cooked with a savoury broth of Torchic stock and Pomeg berry wine.
A traditionalist would say you should just throw in a couple of whole Anorith, big juicy eyes and all, with no preparation before they hit the pan. If you’ve had enough eyeballs after my Beldum recipe, then crack open your Anorith’s shell, extract the meat (but leave the claws and tail whole) and potentially marinate it with honey, garlic and soy sauce before you cook everything.
As always, make sure you pair the piquant, smoky and sour flavours of this dish with just the right drink: a light, refreshing and subtle coconut LaCroix.
So, Nuzleaf. Nuzleaf’s like a… like a big turnip. Like a real starchy boi. Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew. The best way to cook a Nuzleaf in my opinion is to chop it into cubes and then slow-roast them in Makuhita fat until they’re golden and crispy.
You can also work in the rest of the evolutionary line. Seedot is an acorn, and apparently you *can* cook with acorns if you boil them half a dozen times to remove the tannins that make them bitter. After that, just chop your Seedot up and roast it along with your Nuzleaf.
Finely chopped Shiftry leaves sprinkled over the Nuzleaf cubes add a little blustery, minty flavour. This dish is a great addition to any meat-and-three-veg ensemble, or on its own. Your LaCroix pairing this week is a tart and tangy passionfruit – enjoy!
Well, it was inevitable that Wailord’s Mail Hoard would one day turn against its creator. Hoenn is one of the Japanese regions, so historically they probably did once hunt and eat Wailmer and Wailord – unofficially, maybe they still do!
Are we worried about the ethical ramifications of eating ancient, majestic creatures of the ocean, with intelligence comparable to humans, who may one day be driven to extinction by overhunting? Of course not; this is I Chews You. This is just another day in the test kitchen!
So, Wailord is 14.5 m long, about the size of a right whale, but tips the scales at a comparatively petite 400 kg. An adult right whale weighs over 40 tons. There’s a reason the Pokédex calls this thing “the Float Whale Pokémon” – its flesh is spongy, airy and… marshmallowy.
That means it’s time for…
Wailord’s whale s’mores!
Carve some big steaks out of Wailord’s belly, then chop them into bite-sized chunks. Marinate these for a couple of hours with soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and white miso. Then skewer the chunks and roast them over an open fire until the fat starts to get melty and gooey.
Chocolate and graham crackers famously don’t go with whale meat, so instead we’ll sandwich our Wailord chunks between squares of toasted whole wheat flatbread, with fried shallots, slivers of carrot, cucumber and daikon radish and a generous helping of garlic-herb butter.
Whaling is thirsty work, so don’t forget to pair your Wailord’s whale s’mores with the traditional ice-cold can of La Croix – a vintage lime, for freshness and zing.
Okay I’m gonna be early this week; I’m getting this recipe done fast.
…okay maybe not Ninjask fast, but fast-ish.
There’s actually a lot of real-world recipes for cooking cicadas; they’re high in protein and are supposed to have a delicious “nutty” flavour.
Now, what they do in Rustboro City is they make this sauce with Kewpie mayonnaise, Tamato berries, Nomel berries, local brandy, and I dunno, probably some other $#!t too, then they slather it on and just eat the whole Ninjask raw with some lettuce like a fµ¢£in’ shrimp cocktail.
Stay away from that $#!t. That $#!t’s nasty.
What you actually want to do is pick off the wings and legs, then pan-fry ’em whole with some chopped Shroomish, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Roselia honey, Cheri berry paste and a little rice wine. Simple flavours, simple process.
Also check out the chocolate-covered cicadas, cicada cookies and (I swear I am not making this up) cicada pizza at this link, because honestly the things people do with real cicadas are as creative as anything I can think of to do with Ninjask.
Oh, almost forgot the La Croix pairing – this week, you’ll be washing down your delicious crunchy fried Ninjask with the earthy taste of “coffea exotica.” Enjoy!
Walrein’s one of my favourite Pokémon of gen III; it’s a great Ice-type tank, it has a fantastic moustache, and it can feed your family for months if you pickle its blubber.
You heard me.
Cut your Walrein’s blubber into cubes, leaving the skin on. Wash and boil the cubes, then keep them in a barrel of sour whey for, like, two months. If you want, you can add flavourings or spices – toss some quartered Oran or Leppa berries in your pickle barrel, maybe some cumin.
After a couple of months, you can just eat chunks of Walrein blubber on its own, right out of the barrel, as a chewy snack. It’s even better, though, if you batter and deep-fry it in Delibird fat, and serve with a honey-soy dipping sauce. This is a rich, fatty and sour dish that needs a bright, sweet beverage pairing, so I recommend orange Fanta.
Just kidding, you’re drinking apricot La Croix.
Enjoy your meal!
I don’t know about you, but I think the Pokémon that are already food are some of the most difficult. Because you don’t want to just do the obvious thing, right? Sure, you could just eat the fruit from Tropius’ neck, but where’s the joy? The spark? The panache?
Well, I’m here to tell you that eating Tropius’ fruit is a scam. According to the Pokédex, Tropius grows the same fruits that it eats, so any fruit that it produces, you could just as easily collect for yourself! It thinks it can outsmart us by feeding our own fruit back to us! I won’t stand for this! Tropius has tried to cheat us, so animal welfare be damned; we’re going to have the most delicious revenge of all: Tropius pâté de foie gras!
Like migratory birds, Tropius can rapidly pack extra fat into its liver to prepare for long-haul flights. To prepare our Tropius, we’re going to start by making a nutritious boiled mash of barley, lard and some of the rarest berries in the Pokémon world, with some of the most complex and delicious flavours: Lansat and Starf Berries. Stick a funnel down Tropius’ throat and force-feed it this mash every day for three weeks, starting at 15 kg a day and gradually increasing to 30. Its fruit and its liver will both swell and become incredibly rich. Tropius fruit prepared this way is a treat in its own right, as it blends together the flavours of the berries in the mash, and is delicious on its own or as a component in a sauce or glaze. But the main event is the liver.
When the force-feeding process is over, butcher your Tropius and find the liver. Start the pâté by chopping the liver into bite-sized pieces and seasoning it with salt, black pepper, dried Tropius leaves, Sitrus Berry zest and a little paprika. Fry some shallots and garlic in oil, then add the liver and give it a good 5 minutes, tossing the pieces regularly. Blitz everything in a food processor, return it to the pan and deglaze with fine Sinnohan Cherubi brandy. Then add some Miltank cream and a tiny bit of sugar, simmer for a bit and pour it back into the food processor, along with some butter. Blend until smooth and creamy. If you plan to store the pâté for a while, mix up a Tropius fruit jelly and pour a thin layer over the top to seal it.
This pâté is indescribably rich, melts in your mouth, and has a complex mixture of fruity and savoury flavours. Serve it on crackers or toasted sourdough. Some people say you should never serve Tropius pâté with a liqueur, only with Cherubi wine. Screw them; I like it with Shiftry absinthe. But failing that, you should use the fanciest La Croix flavour on the market – I refer, of course, to the new Cubana mojito flavour.
(Note: force-feeding is now illegal in Unova and Hoenn because of its heinous cruelty, but you *can* still do it in Sinnoh!)
It’s theoretically possible to cook a gourmet Wingull dish, something you’d see in a nice restaurant, but I don’t think that’s really in the spirit of Wingull. Wingull is based on a seagull, and seagulls are (and this is true) the worst bird. For the real Wingull experience, you need some greasy, slightly burnt, funky-smelling, recklessly unhealthy Slateport City street food.
First, pluck your Wingull and remove any shotgun pellets. If there’s no shot, your supplier probably just found a dead one lying on the beach. That’s okay, you can probably still use it – just, like, dunk it in boiling water or something, idk.
When you butcher it, save the heart, liver and gizzard, which you can flash-fry with garlic and onions. Set the bones aside for making soup. If you’re cooking a Wingull, you’re probably cooking on a budget, so don’t throw anything away.
Chop up the meat into bite-sized pieces and grill it on skewers. The local vendors all use the same mystery spice rub for this. They won’t tell me what’s in it, but it smells of overripe fruit and tobacco smoke. Grill some flatbread, like a pita or something, with a little bit of oil. Then just roll the meat up in that, along with some fried onions, fried mushrooms, fried zucchini, fried artichoke… basically you want to get some veggies in there without accidentally making it healthy. Slather on some mustard or yoghurt (in Dewford Town they serve this with ketchup, but they’re a bunch of inbred freaks, so what do they know?) and serve with the least classy of all La Croix flavours: lime.
so, if you go to Fallarbor Town in the tourist season and see shops selling jars of this weird sparkly golden spice called “sun dust” or “solar spice” or “astral pepper” or any of half a dozen other brand names… that’s ground-up Solrock spikes.
Well, usually it is. Sometimes it’s finely-grated hard cheese mixed with yellow glitter. Reputable stores will always offer you a taste before you buy it.
Mature Solrock shed their spikes just after a solar maximum, which happens about once every eleven years, so the real stuff is hella expensive. But it tastes like the warmth of the sun on your face and childhood memories of summer – spicy and sweet and rich and savoury all at once, and only slightly hallucinogenic. In Fallarbor Town they break it out for special occasions, when they barbeque a whole Numel on a spit. The spice rub uses just half a teaspoon of Solrock dust, along with garlic powder, dried Cheri berries and Figy berries, a drop of numbing Seviper venom, smoky dried Nuzleaf leaves and plenty of salt; normally the basting sauce uses honey, soy sauce and Pomeg berry wine. Traditionally you’re only supposed to drink pure spring water from Meteor Falls with this dish, but… this is I Chews You; we can cheat a little bit and embrace the sun with a nice cold can of piña fraise (pineapple and strawberry) La Croix. Enjoy!
Lileep and Cradily are based on crinoid sea lilies, which are *clearly*, *obviously* plants, but somehow technically animals (they’re related to starfish and sea urchins). This makes Lileep really flexible for cooking, because it’s a vegetable that’s made of meat! The pink, cucumber-like fronds can be pickled with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and black sesame (those are a key ingredient in the Hoennese fossil paella I made for the Anorith episode). The squishy purple outer body gets shredded, pulped and reconstituted into flat sheets. Those sheets are dried and toasted, and that’s how you get the distinctive salty-but-sweet purple nori you see in Hoennese sushi restaurants. Finally, Lileep doesn’t really have a skeleton or many internal organs, so pretty much everything in the “head” is good meat. You can just cut it into strips and let it sit with a basic garlic, ginger and Lum berry marinade before briefly searing it on a high heat. Then bring everything together: cover a sheet of Lileep nori in sticky rice, lay strips of Lileep meat and pickled fronds across the middle, add some pickled ginger and a tiny bit of super-spicy Spelon berry paste, then roll it all up and slice into sushi rounds. The truly discerning, of course, will pair such a light and healthy seafood dish only with a tall glass of bubbly, subtly sour lemon La Croix.