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IRON BAY CHEF: Mummeh-wrapped Air Kraken with Cinderberry Garnish

Paper-wrapped chicken is a favorite among restaurants of the exotic Orient, and the peoples of Africa have similar delicacies. It was during a trip to Egypt while smoking 15 fakirs under the table that I learned in conversation of a more remarkable delicacy, mummeh-wrapped chicken. It was through experimentation among the air kraken-rich lands of Kxcvischishtan that I created my own variation of paper-wrapped chicken which substitutes the dry wrapping of the mummeh for paper. One might first ask, why can’t I just wrap the arms in paper? It can be done, but the paper quickly tears if the arm is of any length, and of course fresh kraken arm may yet have restless nerve tremors which will undo a night’s worth of wrapping.

In addition, because every mummeh was of a different person, every mummeh-wrapped kraken will taste different because of numerous variables ranging from the method of mummification long ago to your choice of how much of the interior of the mummeh to remove and how much content to leave for flavor. It was normal for Egyptians to leave herbs and flowers inside the body, and those impart remarkable nuance of flavor.

While mummeh-wrapped kraken may sound exotic to our ears, centuries of heathen practices have left Egypt with an overpopulation of mummehs. The dead are in fact so common that many are used as doorstops, set side by side and used to mark race courses, or unwrapped gradually as needs by for one’s toilet. It takes only a bit of preparation to obtain one through the post or through the well-traveled and richly-supplied acquaintance.


These are the materials required

  • Two long tentacles of juvenile air kraken cut to fit the mummeh’s stature. These should be the tips of the youngest arms. The end of one must be able to fit through an eye socket, and the other end must be about as wide as the human knee.

  • A cylinder of cinderberries sufficient to fill a space about two inches in diameter and six inches long, up to eight inches if your mummeh was particularly robust

  • A male mummeh (some spell the word as mummy) OR a female mummeh with an extra hand of either a male or female mummeh

  • One barrel teriyaki sauce

  • 36 cloves garlic, minced

  • five inches of ginger, grated

  • one pound crushed red pepper flakes

Cooking instrumentation to have on hand:

  • At least one live rat

  • Wood coffin

  • Metal coffin

  • Sufficient oil to fill the metal coffin for deep frying

  • Slotted metal fencing of sufficient length to line the metal coffin and spill over to allow for use as a handle (in other words, a very large coffin-sized colander) If you have the assistance of a mutant individual with impressive strength, a 5-foot-long slotted spoon may be commissioned and utilized.

1. Preparation of the kraken: Score the air kraken parts lengthwise, and insert garlic at regular intervals. Carefully wind up the arms into the barrel so the meat is submerged in the teriyaki sauce. Marinate overnight.

2. Preparation of the mummeh: Unless the mummeh is cleaned by your provisionier, Mummehs unfortunately come with contents that must be removed. There are two ways to do this. The first is to cut the mummy off at the knees with a sharp knife, reaching in and removing all dried and desicated materials in the central part of the corpse. Retain any amulets and other apparent sacred objects and study them for inscriptions of doom, fertility, summoning of spirits etc. reacting appropriately.

The trick to this of course is that as you remove the contents, the mummeh’s papering and clothing becomes brittle and begins to sink. It’s important to remove only enough contents to remove space to admit the kraken arm, so the bandages do not collapse entirely. 

Once you get to the neck, you will find your arm probably not able to extend into the head. You will thus have to remove the head contents through the eye sockets The good news is that the mummifier already removed the brain and other obstacles and thus there will already be considerable empty space.

A second option is to obtain a rat to remove the contents of the mummeh through consumption. If you have never used a rat in cooking preparations, a local disabled beggar or a local urchin, once asked, can supply one or more rats best then starved for a day or two. It’s important to admit the rat through the eye socket or the knee to minimize the rat’s interest in eating through the bandages.

3. Once the mummeh has been cleaned sufficient to allow insertion of the kraken arms, hook or tie the small end of the tentacle to the rat’s tail by way of wires or string, and shove the rat into one knee end of the mummeh. Hold that end and  the other knee closed.. Then place a piece of cheese on top of an eye socket.

4. As the rat chases from inside the mummeh from the knee toward the eye socket and cheese, he or she will carry the kraken arm with them within the mummeh. Move the cheese far away enough from the socket so that when the rat emerges, he goes far enough to pull a bit of the tentacle through the eye socket. Continue pulling the tentacle until about four inches are sticking out of the eye socket. 

5. Repeat with the other knee and the other eye socket. If the arms are of sufficient length, a bow formed from the arms may be tied over the brow of the mummeh as a decorative feature.

6. The eye sockets should be sealed by the emerged tentacle. You must now sew the knee cavities shut with cooking thread

7. Set the mummeh into a coffin (be sure it’s watertight) and cover with the teriyaki sauce, ginger, and pepper flakes. Marinate overnight.

8. The next day, remove the stuffed mummeh. Drain. There is now one portion of the mummeh that is not stuffed. Untie one of the knees and reach into the mummeh and search the area of the pelvis. You are looking for a cylindrical shape about six inches long (note: some of my more experienced readers will recognize the shape by particular namesx of considerable variety and color, but I am writing this recipe on the assumption that  lady yet flush with maidenhoon may read it, so discretion is advised)

Once you find the shape, remove it and excavate, and insert enough cinderberries to fill. Retain the cylindrical shape. Should there be any other shapes still attached to the cylinder, fill those too.  To make it simpler to find the object later, detach it from the midsection and stuff it into the mummeh’s mouth cavity.(If your mummeh is a female, fill the spare mummeh hand with cinderberries and place it inside the pelvis area)

9. You now have a softened mummeh stuffed with kraken arms as well as a fragrant packet of cinderberries. This is an excellent opportunity to invite neighbors over for a smoke and conversation, as it is unlikely they will have seen such a thing.

Light a fire under a metal coffin, which presumably you have handy to protect against the island vampyres, and fill with oil. You will want to line the coffin with wire fencing to make removal of the paper-wrapped kraken simple, or get those neighbors to help you handle the five-foot slotted spoon.

When the oil begins to bubble, submerge the mummeh in the container. It is very important to move slowly and carefully to settle the body into the coffin, as you don’t want oil splashing on you.

10. Deep-fat-fry ry your paper-wrapped kraken for 18 minutes or until it browns and stiffens. Lift the body by way of the metal fencing or whatever device you settled on and place onto a large table to cool.

11. When slicing your paper-wrapped kraken, use the sharpest knife you have, and swift strokes. You will need to dice through bone. Should the household lack anyone of sufficient strenth to do so, consider approaching a constable and spending a few quid to hire out someone from the jail who has experience in swift chopping. 

12. Remove the filled cylinder with cinderberries. Chop into segments. For some reason, women seem to find this part of meal preparation easier to conduct than men. Dole out a portion of cinderberries as an accent toward the top of the bowl to everyone receiving a serving.

13. Your guests will enjoy the kraken with vigor. You will find reactions to the rest of the contents will differ. Not everyone enjoys the wrapping, not everyone enjoys the bones, not everyone enjoys the desicated organs, and of course no one will want to eat an amulet should one fall into their bowl. So it is important to have bowls where guests may place parts of the contents they do not wish to eat. These contents, infused with the essential oils and nutrients of air kraken, may be donated later to a local poorhouse to allow for the sustenance of others. This is much more useful to the poorhouse than a donation of money, which cannot be eaten.

14. Enjoy your mummeh-wrapped kraken!


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One Comment

  1. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg September 8, 2013

    *considers the fact that a mummy has recently been seen walking around town*

    Martin!  I have an errand for you…

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